The Memorial Tournament. Schartzel Leads.

Charl Schwartzel leads The Memorial Tournament after the first round at the Jack Nicklaus Muirfield Village Golf Course, in Dublin Ohio.

Updates from Muirfield

Charl Schwartzel / Greenwood / Getty Images

Charl shot a first round of -7 under par 65, to lead The Memorial Tournament by two shots from Scott Piercy. Charl will be returning to Muirfield Village in October, with the Presidents International Cup Team, and after the advice Captain, Nick Price gave him today before tee-off, Charl will be all ears again. Nick had advised him to change his grip on the putter:

” I thought I’m going to do what they say and go back to a normal grip, and it just didn’t feel very comfortable. It felt really shaky. I switched back to my finger down the shaft and sort of changed the ball position like Mark said and that felt comfortable. As you know, putting is all about comfort at the end of the day. The birdie on the last definitely will make my evening a lot better.”

Second placed Scott Piercy owes his -6 under par 66 to not hitting too many drivers;

” I’ve hit a lot of drivers and kind of pounded down golf courses, and I haven’t had much success here doing it. I thought I’d hit a lot of 3-woods today and open up the fairways and allow me to get some pins and knock them on the greens and make some putts. Maybe I’m getting older. I’ll take 66 all the time, though, it’s just learning how to play golf courses. I can hit it over almost all the corners here. But I have to hit a perfect golf shot and if I don’t I’m not in a very good spot. With the wind blowing as hard as it has been, I think it dried the golf course out. I was hitting the 3-wood 290 to 310, depending on how hard it was going. So I was still hitting a short enough iron where I felt like I could still attack rather than hitting 3-wood, 5-iron or 3-wood, 6-iron. I still had 3-wood, 9-iron, 3-wood, 8-iron. It seems like golf courses, when I succumb to it, I play well at those golf courses.”

Third place is being shared by four players, all at -5 under par, they are; Josh Teater, Russell Henley, Kyle Stanley and Charlie Wi.


Presidents Cup, Freddie asks Big Jack for Help

Jack Nicklaus   

Jack Nicklaus                                                                            Freddie Couples

Presidential Cup Captain for the U.S. team Fred Couples had  asked the mighty Jack Nicklaus  the 18-time Major championship winner, to be an assistant captain on the American side for the Presidents Cup on Oct. 4-6, 2013.

Big Jack had to decline the offer, due entirely to his responsibilities as Host of the tournament at Muirfield. Jack just wants to be a cordial, not involved and unhurried host for the event at the course he designed.

“Freddie paid me a nice complement by his suggestion, it was very thoughtful of him. I would love to, but I simply can’t. I have duties as host, so that would not be the right thing to do.”

Jack Nicklaus is a four-time U.S. captain in the Presidents Cup, and  didn’t take Freddie  seriously when he first proposed the idea. But Freddie  was very serious.

“I wasn’t joking about it, when we were here at Muirfield Village last night, I said; Could I pick him? A couple of guys from the Tour said, ‘Yeah, he would love that.’ And then a couple other guys; maybe one pretty high up there said, He’s hosting the thing, he can’t do that. Then Jack winked at me and said, But I can be in your team room all you want.”

International captain Nick Price and Freddie Couples are friends, Nick joked about Freddie’s laid-back appearance;

“One thing you’ve got to be careful with Fred with his laid-backness, he wants to win as much as anybody. Even though he looks like he’s about to fall asleep on the golf course. I’m trying to figure out how we as the International Presidents Cup team can get that same buzz that the Europeans got on Sunday at The Ryder Cup.”

The Presidents Cup has taken on an enormity of it’s own, now that the Americans have lost the Ryder Cup, could they lose both tournaments in the same year ? Given the American dominance in this tournament it is unlikely, but; on Sunday the Americans were 200-1 on, to win the Ryder Cup, could lightning strike twice?