The PGA Tour stays in Dublin, Ohio this week as Murefield Village Golf Course hosts its second straight event. After a successful week at the Workday Charity Open, the Memorial Tournament will take centre stage this week and the $9+ million purse has attracted a strong field.
Check out our full preview, power rankings and betting tips for the event, which gets underway Thursday night, below!
It was young gun Colin Morikawa who won last week at the Workday Charity Open, defeating Justin Thomas in a playoff to claim his second PGA Tour title. Thomas was the top ranked player in our power rankings for the event while four of our top five picks made the cut.
The return of Tiger Woods headlines the field notes for the Memorial this week and it has got the golf world buzzing. Tiger will play his first PGA Tour event since a 68th place finish at the Genesis Open all the way back in February. In that break, we saw him play quite well in the charity match alongside Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but apart from that, Tiger has been in hiatus.
The No.1 ranked player in the world, Rory McIlroy, will also return to action after missing the Workday last weekend. Outside of the 10th ranked player in Adam Scott, every player in the OWGR top 10 will be teeing it up on Thursday, which will no doubt provide some fantastic feature groups on Thursday and Friday.
Past winners at the Memorial include Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Dufnet, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama and of course, Woods, who has won the event five times.
We might be repeating ourselves after last week, but that’s what happens when you play back to back tournaments at the same course. Murefield Village GC plays as a Par 72 at just over 7,400 yards. Some of the main defences at Murefield include the thick rough and treacherous greens and surrounding areas.
Colin Morikawa was fantastic around and on the greens last weekend, having his second best putting tournament of the season and hitting over 70% of greens in regulation. Thomas was also solid in the GIR department, hitting over 72% and finishing the week -11 on the Par 5s.
The course shouldn’t play much differently than it did last week. Expect the players who played in the Workday Charity Open to have a slight advantage over some of the big names returning to action this week.
Hard not to have JT at the top of the pile again this week after impressing as the No.1 ranked player last week. JT shot four scores in the 60s on his way to a tough playoff loss against Colin Morikawa and will no doubt be back for blood this week. Any notions of Thomas’ woes at Murefield after three missed cuts in the last five Memorial Tournaments are surely quelled now.
The Hulk will be fired up to perform this week after Brooks Koepka fired off a controversial tweet following DeChambeau’s win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a few weeks ago. Bryson is without doubt on par with Justin Thomas as the in-form golfer in the world at the moment, boasting results of 3rd, 8th, 6th and 1st since the PGA Tour returned over a month ago. Is a previous winner at Murefield and HAS to be respected this week.
Rory had a bit of a sluggish restart to the PGA Tour season, finishing 32nd and 41st in the first two events back. He stepped it up in the Travelers a few weeks ago though, finishing 11th before taking a two week break to rest and regroup for the Memorial. While he has never won at Murefield, he has racked up four top 10 finishes in eight trips to the Memorial, including two of his last three. The toughest part about Rory is that you know he is going to fire at some point, it’s just tough to predict when.
One out of left field here but really like the look of Finau in the lead up to the Memorial this season. He has played at Murefield for the last five years straight, missing just one cut and finishing 26th, 29th, 57th and 8th in the other four seasons. Didn’t play the Workday Charity Open, instead, he broke the course record at Victory Ranch Golf Club in Utah, shooting a ridiculous 59 in which he was, at one point, 14 under through 16 holes.
How can you not have the Big Cat in your top five at Murefield this week. If the course didn’t already have a name, the great Jack Nicklaus might petition to have it renamed after Woods. He has won the Memorial Tournament on five different occasions, including back-to-back-to-back wins in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the last of which he won by an incredible 7 strokes. Won most recently in 2012 and had his first top 10 finish since then last year when he placed 9th.
Bryson DeChambeau hasn’t missed a top 10 since the resumption of the PGA Tour and his amazing body transformation. He is hitting the ball further than anyone on tour and has nearly every aspect of his game completely dialled in. He finished 3rd in the Charles Schwab Challenge, 8th in the RBC Heritage and 6th in the Travelers before finally catching that elusive win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Is on an absolute heater at the moment, soaring into 7th place on the OWGR and first overall in the FedEx Cup. Should be in the mix again and is decent value for another top 10 finish.
Ian Poulter ($81) Should have really had Poults in our dark horse selections last week. We knew that his world class putting would have him right in the mix at Murefield, but having not played there since 2009, we weren’t 100% sure. After a 5th place finish at the Workday, there’s no question marks over him now.
Kevin Streelman ($71) Putting together a 2020 resume that can match it with the best of them. Currently ranks 18th in the FedEx Cup despite not winning a tournament yet. Misses the cut a lot (10 times in 18 events) but when he plays on the weekend, he usually plays well, racking up four top 10s in those eight made cuts. Finished T7 at the Workday Charity Open and 4th at the Memorial last season.
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