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Memorial Gets Commitments from DJ & Tiger


The 2012 Memorial Tournament will be the place where Dustin Johnson will mark his return to competition following a more than two-month layoff due to a back injury. The $6.2 million event hosted by Jack Nicklaus will be held May 31 to June 3 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Johnson has not played since he placed 35th at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Doral in mid-March. Citing back pain, he pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational later that month in hopes of being ready for the Masters. But Johnson further injured his back the week before the Masters while trying to lift a jet ski near his home.

In a statement through his management company, Johnson said, "Obviously, I can't wait to get back out and compete. I came into this year with some big goals, including making our Ryder Cup team, so I've got some serious ground to make up this summer."

While resting and rehabilitating his back, Johnson, a five-time tour winner, has slipped to 21st in the standings for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, which will face off against Europe in September at Medinah, Ill. The long-hitting South Carolinian finished fourth in last year's Memorial, four strokes behind winner Steve Stricker.

"I'm feeling better every day and working hard, so I plan to be 100 percent ready by the time the Memorial rolls around. I'm still a little rusty, but it's falling off in chunks," added Johnson. "It will be great to get back out there and I can assure you I'll be plenty motivated."

Also set to play for the first time since the Players Championship is Tiger Woods, who finished 40th last Sunday at TPC Sawgrass. Woods is a four-time winner in the Memorial, with his titles coming in 1999, 2000, '01 and '09.

According to his website (www.tigerwoods.com), after Muirfield Tiger is slated to play the U.S. Open, June 14-17, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco; the AT&T National, June 28-July 1, at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.; The Greenbrier Classic, July 5-8, at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.; The Open Championship, July 19-22, at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England; and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, August 2-5, at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

"I'm excited about my schedule and looking forward to competing," Woods said on his website.

So far, the Memorial has received commitments from seven of the world's top-10 golfers, including Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Stricker and Phil Mickelson. Current No. 2 Luke Donald said on his Twitter account that he will play in the tournament, but has not officially committed.

Also playing are 2012 Players champion Matt Kuchar - who was the Memorial's runner-up last year with Brandt Jobe, and reigning FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas.