By all accounts, another memorable Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley is taking shape.

By all accounts, another memorable Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley is taking shape.

As the city of Dublin continues its bicentennial celebration this year, the event which played a major role in its development will be staged for the 35th time at Muirfield Village Golf Club. The course is in excellent shape aided by recent spring rains, and one of the PGA Tour's strongest fields is in place. About all that's left to work out before the first practice round Monday are the final details, tournament director Dan Sullivan said.

"I think everyone's pretty happy where we're at from a preparation standpoint," he said.

Phil Mickelson committed to play on May 10, giving the Memorial nine of the top 10 players from the tour's money list at the time. He won The Masters for a third time last month and the television ratings were up 36 percent for the final round at Augusta National from 2009.

Tiger Woods also was in the hunt in his season debut. It was the third most-watched final round of any golf tournament since 1986, CBS officials said afterward.

The 120-player Memorial field also features former champions Jim Furyk (2002) and Ernie Els ('04), both of whom already have won twice this season as a host of veterans seemingly took advantage of Woods' absence. Other players in the field with major championships on their resumes include Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera and Mike Weir.

South Korean K.J. Choi, who won the Memorial in 2007, is part of a strong international contingent also featuring Rory Mcllroy of Ireland and Matteo Manassero of Italy. Two days shy of his 21st birthday, Mcllroy became the PGA Tour's youngest winner since Woods was a rookie in 1996 when he topped the final leaderboard earlier this month at the Quail Hollow Championship. Only 17, Manassero is the reigning British Amateur champion.

"The PGA Tour is a strong product even when Tiger's not playing," Sullivan said. "As the season has progressed, I think people have come to realize there's great golf being played every week."

As for Woods, who last year became the Memorial's only four-time champion, his appearance at Muirfield Village remained in doubt as of a week ago. The entry deadline is Friday. On the same day Mickelson announced his Memorial commitment, Woods told reporters in Philadelphia that he was hoping to play despite an injury to his neck that forced him to withdraw from THE PLAYERS Championship.

"I want to come back and obviously defend at Memorial and play the U.S. Open (next month)," Woods said. "It's up in the air right now."

Woods, who has entered only three tournaments this year in the wake of revelations involving extramarital affairs, shot a 12-under 276 at last year's Memorial to defeat Furyk by one stroke. Woods finished with back-to-back birdies on Sunday on the two most difficult holes at Muirfield Village, winning the Memorial for the first time since he rattled off consecutive wins from 1999-2001.

Last year's television ratings were the Memorial's highest since 2005 when journeyman Bart Bryant won and Woods tied for third, CBS officials announced. The ratings were about twice what they were when Kenny Perry won his third title in 2008 and Woods didn't play.

Sullivan chalked that up the "the power of Tiger Woods." Still, there's little reason to doubt that this year's Memorial will be short on compelling story lines, with or without the world's top-ranked player.
"It's always one of the top tournaments on the PGA Tour," Dublin City Manager Terry Foegler said. "And with this being an anniversary year for the tournament and a big year, obviously, for the entire city, I think it's safe to say everyone's putting their best foot forward."