After celebrating Memorial day, it’s time as usual to turn our attention to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. The Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, hosts the 37th Memorial Tournament on the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. It’s one of the moset well-known course on the PGA Tour and one of the better attended invitational events on tour.
Last week’s tournament was also an invitational at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth as Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner ran away from the field with Zach getting the win and the 20-point fantasy golf bonus. Johnson was the right pick, but he wasn’t necessarily a surprise as 14 of the 15 players in the FantasyCPR Group had Johnson on the roster. FIGJAM and Cracker Woods took the win for the week with 218. My entry was just behind at 214 tied with Tin Cup, and “Boss of the Moss” had 212 to take over the lead for this segment as he passed up “Not at the table Carlos!” With a more star-filled field this week, there’s not a clear-cut pick like ZJ was last week, so it should make for a great weekend.Steve Stricker is the defending champion and will be a popular pick to repeat.
Here’s my picks for the week:
Luke Donald: Donald played the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in his native England last week and won the tournament for the second year in a row which moved him back to number one in the World Golf Ranking. He had top 15’s in his last three trips to Dublin (not the one in Ireland), and tied for seventh last year.
Jim Furyk: He’s a returning champion at the Memorial (2002) and has made the cut every time he’s played here since then except for one. He finished runner up in 2009 and is coming off a solo fourth last week and five top 15’s in his last seven starts.
Justin Rose: At the BMW last week, Rose finished second to Luke Donald and could once again be dueling his countryman at the top of the leaderboard this weekend. He won this event two years ago and has two other top fives since 2004. He’s been around the leaderboard in seemingly every event he’s been in this year with six top 10’s coming into the Memorial.
Rickie Fowler: Four straight top 10’s for Fowler and he did finish runner-up here in 2009. Can the orange one get his second PGA Tour win of the year here?
Rory McIlroy: I don’t want to burn a Rory start here as he’s been struggling with two straight missed cuts after an impressive start to the season. He’s been in the top 10 the last two years, and is obviously one of the world’s best when he’s on. I’ll start him on my bench in case he can get it back together, but try to save the start in case he struggles.
Tiger Woods: The most difficult decision on the board this week is what to do with Woods. He could easily win this tournament as he’s done four previous times, or he could struggle and not crack the top 40 like he has his last three starts since winning at Bay Hill. With his history, I cannot leave him off my team, but I’ll wait to see how his first day goes before putting him over Rose or Fowler.
Jonathan Byrd: Byrd’s collected top tens at Muirfield Village in 2009 and 2011 and is coming off three straight top 12’s. Without Jason Dufner in the C Group, Byrd’s the best bet.
Branden Grace: Another South African who’s coming to the States to play in this tournament, Grace is not a well-known name in the US yet, but could change that if he keeps playing like he has been internationally. He’s won already this year at the Joburg Open, the Volvo Golf Chamions, and the Volve China Open on the European Tour. He finished t35 in his first trip across the Ocean at the WGC-Cadillac earlier this season.