It appears Jack Nicklaus was right. The Golden Bear said last month it was “a strong possibility” that in 2024 the Memorial Tournament would move one week later on the PGA Tour schedule, to June 6-9.
The Toronto Star reported that the Canadian Open, currently played the week before the U.S. Open in June, will switch spots with the Memorial, meaning the event Nicklaus founded in 1976 would tee off later than ever, not counting the 2020 tournament when COVID-19 forced it into July. It also means the Memorial, held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, would be played for the first time in two decades outside the week of Memorial Day.
Memorial Tournament director Dan Sullivan would not confirm the change, texting that official word from the Tour would not come until Aug. 8, but the Star reported the Canadian Open will run May 30 to June 2, which is where the Memorial currently is slotted.
Before the final round of this year’s Memorial, Nicklaus addressed the possibility of a schedule change, saying he was not thrilled his tournament would serve as an opener to the U.S. Open.
“I would prefer to stay where we are,” he said. “I don’t like being the week before the Open, but if it’s for the betterment of the tour and what they’re trying to do then I would understand that, too.”
The Tour wants to bundle designated events such as the Memorial, all of which have elevated purses, in part because the top players want a better schedule flow, meaning as many designated events back-to-back as possible. With a move later, the Memorial would be one of three consecutive designated events in a row, followed by the U.S. Open and likely the Travelers Championship.
Andy Pazder, chief tournament and competition officer for the PGA Tour, said in June the Tour also is sensitive to the concerns of non-designated tournaments that worry they will be overshadowed by the bigger-money events. The plan is to avoid siloing those full-field events as much as possible. Moving the Canadian Open into the Memorial’s traditional spot would allow two or three non-designated events − Canada and perhaps the Colonial and Detroit or Houston − to take place over consecutive weeks.