DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) Not far from the 18th green at Muirfield Village Golf Club are a dozen or so flags snapping in the breeze. They represent the home nations of the players participating in the Memorial Tournament.
A year after a Swede (Carl Pettersson) won the Memorial, the 2007 title was taken by South Korean K.J. Choi. Choi closed with a 7-under 65 on Sunday to beat Ryan Moore by a stroke. Six of the top 10 finishers were not from the United States.
Jack Nicklaus, the Memorial founder, said golf fans should get used to hearing about such successes. He said the balance of power in the game is tilting, perhaps necessitating a change in how teams are formed for the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, which pit a U.S. team against another gleaned from several countries.
"We keep playing the United States against the rest of the world," said Nicklaus, the captain of the U.S. team in the Presidents Cup, which takes on an international team in September. "Maybe we ought to play East versus West."
Nicklaus said the game is spreading across the planet, with some areas producing players which never have before.
"We ought to divide this up a little differently, maybe the Americas (North and South) as a team because it's going to continue to go that way as the game grows internationally," he said. "That's not to say we're not going to have good golfers in the United States, but we're going to have good golfers everywhere else in the world and that's great for the game. I think you're going to continue to see that trend in the game."
2008 HONOREES: Each year the Memorial Tournament commemorates those who have made significant contributions to the game.
The tournament announced on Sunday that next year's honoree will be two-time major champion Tony Jacklin and posthumous honorees Ralph Guldahl, Charles Blair MacDonald and Craig Wood.
Jacklin won the 1969 British Open at Royal Lytham and then became the first British golfer in 50 years to win the U.S. Open in 1970. He played in seven Ryder Cups and was captain of the victorious European team in 1985 and 1987.
Guldahl was a star of the 1930s, taking U.S. Opens in 1937 and '38 along with the Masters in '39. The Canadian-born MacDonald won the first U.S. Amateur championship in 1895. Wood won 21 times on the PGA Tour, the highlight coming when he went wire-to-wire in the 1941 Masters.
The 2006 honorees were Mae Louise Suggs and Dow Finsterwald Sr.
PARENTHOOD: Tiger Woods is looking forward to being a father.
It seemed that every time he turned around during the Memorial Tournament, someone was asking him about his wife Elin's pregnancy. She's due in early July.