Expert Picks: the Memorial Tournament
The Memorial Tournament was founded 39 years ago by Jack Nicklaus, and is played at the Jack Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The Memorial is a restricted field event on the PGA TOUR, with only the first 75 players on the previous year’s money list are guaranteed invitations. Each year the tournament has a yearly induction ceremony honoring past golfers, and this year see’s Sir Nick Faldo inducted.
Of the 120 players total, 69 have won a PGA TOUR event, 15 have won a Major, and combined they have 399 Tour wins.
Phil Mickelson isn’t having a great start to the year by his standards, but of late has shown signs of form. In 10 starts Mickelson has recorded 2 top-10, these came from a T-2nd finish at Augusta and T-4th in his last start at the Wells Fargo. Never a winner here at Muirfield, Mickelson finished T-49th last year. Currently ranked No.19 in the world, Mickelson is good value at 25/1 to capture his PGA TOUR title in nearly two years.
I picked Brooks Koepka last week, and he managed a very respectable T-16th finish, but expect him to better that this week. Although this is his first start at Memorial, Koepka was also a winner in his first start at the Waste Management back in February. Koepka currently ranks 8th on tour for all around rankings, and 9th on total driving. The world No.23 is paying generous odds of 50/1 for victory this week.
Justin Rose is fresh off his European Tour commitment where he finished T-34th at the BMW PGA Championship. Muirfield is a special place for Rose, a place that saw him lift his first PGA TOUR title back in the 2010 edition of the event. He did however miss the cut at last year’s Memorial Tournament. Like Koepka, Rose is a winner this year having lifted the Zurich Classic in April. Rose, the third highest ranked player in the field is paying decent odds at 18/1.
Russell Henley Is having another very solid year on the PGA TOUR. In 15 starts on tour, Henley has picked up 3 top-10’s including a T-3rd finish at the Hyundai Champions event. Last week Henley finished a respectable T-22 at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Henley’s best finish here came in 2013, finishing T-6th in his first start at the Memorial. Currently ranked No.53 in the world, Henley is great value at 50/1 to capture his PGA TOUR title of the year.