DUBLIN, Ohio – If you go to the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club this weekend, you’ll be handed a pamphlet that lists all of the pairings and tee times for that day’s round when you walk through the security gate at the main entrance.
Open up the pamphlet and take a look at the players’ names and residences. Ryan Armour’s listed residence should stand out to you.
Next to every other player’s name in the pamphlet, you will find a city – or in the case of some international players, just a country – where they currently live or where they grew up.
Armour’s listing, however, pays homage to where he went to college: “THE Ohio State University.”
That’s just one way Armour is showing his Buckeye pride while playing in this week’s PGA Tour event, at a course less than a 30-minute drive away from his alma mater.
Armour’s golf bag has an Ohio State logo on it, and so do his shoes, which he had specially made just to wear in the Memorial each year. He also wore a scarlet shirt on Friday.
For Armour, it’s important to show how much his alma mater means to him when he returns to Central Ohio each year for the Memorial, a tournament hosted by Ohio State great Jack Nicklaus.
“It’s such a great school, and being a former athlete, the sense of belonging to something bigger than you is amazing,” Armour told Eleven Warriors on Friday. “I saw Coach Meyer Tuesday night, and I’ve seen other athletes here – (former Ohio State football player) Jeff Logan is a starter on No. 1 – and once you go through the program and have success, to be welcomed back all the time; I live in Jupiter, Florida, I’m here once a year, they love it when I come back and I love being here, so it’s awesome.”
Armour has now played in the Memorial Tournament for three straight years, and he prioritizes it more than almost any other PGA Tour event. The World Golf Championship Invitational was played in his hometown of Akron until last year, but that event has now moved to Memphis, Tennessee, leaving the Memorial as the only tournament in his home state of Ohio on the current Tour schedule.
“Outside of the majors and the Players, this is it for me,” said Armour, who tied for 23rd in last year’s Memorial. “Where I grew up, this is important. What Mr. and Mrs. Nicklaus do here, any time you can put on a good face and raise some money for their charities, it’s awesome.”
There are always plenty of Ohio State fans in the galleries at the Memorial, and Armour felt the love from them – with screams of “O-H” along the way – through the first two rounds of the tournament.
“I wish I could respond to them all, but it’s impossible to,” Armour said.
Armour participated in a Q&A session for Ohio State IMG Sports Marketing on Tuesday night with former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, who lives at Muirfield Village and played in this year’s Memorial Tournament pro-am, and that made the week back in Ohio even more special for Armour.
“I had met Urban before, but not in that intimate of a setting,” Armour said. “Coaches like him, coaches like (Alabama coach Nick) Saban and (New England Patriots coach Bill) Belichick, their attention to detail, so any time you can get around them or (former Indiana coach Bob) Knight, I remember speaking to Coach Knight when I was in school from over at Indiana because him and (former Ohio State men’s golf coach Jim Brown) were friends, and any time you can just hear their wisdom, you got to absorb as much as you can.”
Armour, who earned his only PGA Tour win at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2017, had hoped to play better than he did in his first two rounds but made the cut at 2-under-par and will be in one of the most high-profile pairings of the day on Saturday, when he will tee off at 10:35 a.m. alongside Tiger Woods. He and Woods are currently tied for 33rd in the tournament entering Saturday’s third round.
Armour, who played for the Buckeyes from 1995-98, is the only Ohio State alumnus who made the cut at this year’s Memorial; fellow former Ohio State golfer Will Grimmer, who played in the first two rounds of the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption after finishing his Ohio State career earlier this week, missed the cut at 8-over-par.
Update: Armour shot a 1-under 71 for the third straight round to move to 3-under-par with one round to go in the tournament. After the round, Armour said he thought he played "all right," but said he did enjoy having the opportunity to play with Woods, which meant being surrounded by a huge and boisterous gallery of fans throughout Saturday's round.
"It's fun playing with Tiger," Armour said. "It's a lot better to play with him than the group in front of him. Any time you're playing with him, you can look back and say at least I was doing something right that week."