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This week’s Memorial Tournament will be the PGA Tour’s sixth since the season restarted back in June and while the first five have delivered in a major way, this week’s tournament should take things to a whole new level thanks to one man: Tiger Woods.
Woods will be making his first start on Tour since the Genesis Invitational in mid-February. He managed to make the cut that week but finished dead last after a rocky weekend. Woods headlines an extremely strong field alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Thomas.
Patrick Cantlay will defend his title this week after winning last year’s event by two shots at 19-under.
Last week’s picks: Pick to Win, Brooks Koepka (MC); Pick to Contend, Matt Kuchar (T-39); Pick to Fade, Justin Thomas (lost in playoff).
Muirfield Village is the host for the second consecutive week. While this is the same course we saw a week ago, it will play slightly different, and longer, compared to what we saw during the Workday Charity Open.
The rough is expected to be at least a half-inch longer and the greens are set to be rolling much faster at around 13-feet on the Stimpmeter. Interestingly enough, 19-under got into a playoff in last week’s event which was the winning score for Cantlay a week ago, so scores around the 20-under mark are very much in play.
The Par 72 track will stretch to just under 7,500 yards this week giving a slight edge to the longer hitters compared to what we saw last week. Strokes gained: approach is still the top stat to look at just as it was a week ago.
Pick To Win
Statistically speaking, Matsuyama had an outstanding week at the Workday but only managed to finish T-22 thanks to a cold putter, which is far too often the case with Matsuyama.
He led last week’s field in total driving and greens in regulation while also ranking fourth in proximity, but lost nearly 2.5 shots on the green. It’s become the classic ‘what if’ every time Matsuyama tees it up, but if he can figure out the greens this week there’s no reason to think he won’t have a legitimate shot at winning come Sunday.
Pick To Contend (Top 10 Finish)
It would just stupid not to circle Morikawa’s name this week seeing as how he won last week’s tournament on this exact same course. He’s known as a ball-striking machine, but the putter cooperated last week as well and if that continues he should be in contention yet again on Sunday.
Don’t let the fact that he’s ranked 122nd on Tour in strokes gained: around the green fool you. It’s tough to be great in that category when you rank first on Tour in strokes gained: approach.
Pick To Fade
The Spaniard was able to finish T-27 last week thanks to a solid final round 64, but even despite the impressive final round he hasn’t been too consistent since the restart with a missed cut and zero Top 25 finishes in his four starts back. All things will click for Rahm sooner rather than later, but I don’t see it happening this week.
He missed the cut at this event in 2017.