Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio
Par 72 7,392 yards
The Memorial Tournament was founded 39 years ago in 1976 by Jack Nicklaus. It is played on the Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb north of his home town of Columbus. Muirfield is the only course to host all three of US professional golf’s teaam matchplay. The Ryder Cup was played there in 1987, The Solheim Cup in 1998 and The Presidents Cup in 2013. One of the main features of the tournament is a yearly induction ceremony honoring past golfers. A plaque for each honoree is installed near the clubhouse at Muirfield.
The course has pretty generous tree lined fairways with deep, penal rough. It has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. There are roughly 70 bunkers with water coming into play on 11 holes. The greens are bentgrass and are smaller than average, but tend to be lightning fast. Over the last few years, the par 5’s have been where the players are scoring so there will be a particular emphasis on par 5 scoring. The par 3’s have also proven quite tricky over the last few years so par 3 scoring will also be worth checking. The main areas of focus for me this week are current/previous form, par 3,par 4 and par 5 scoring, GIR, accurate iron play and strokes gained putting.
Jordan Spieth 7/1
There is no player that is in better form at the moment than Jordan Spieth. Every time he tees it up he looks a serious threat. He made his second appearance at this event last year and finished in a respectable T19. He started the tournament with a 67 and followed that with a 72 in R2 and a 67 in R3. Unfortunately he played poorly on the Sunday shooting a 75 in R4 that took him out of contention. However, I don’t see that happening this time around. Spieth comes here this week in great form with two wins, three top 5’s, a top 15 and a top 20 in his last nine starts.
Jordan ranks fifth in strokes gained tee to green, 14th in strokes gained putting and first in approaches from 100 yards. He also ranks 16th in par 3 scoring, first in par 4 scoring and 39th in par 5 scoring. Given his current run of form and respectable finish last year, Jordan Spieth is a worthy favorite this week and cannot be ruled out.
Justin Rose 20/1
Justin Rose is your typical horse for the course here at Miurfield with a win, four top 10’s and a top 15 in his last 10 appearances. Despite an MC here last year, he finished T8 in 2013, T8 in 2012, win in 2010, T2 in 2008, T14 in 2006 and a T4 in 2004. He has shown some good form so far this year with a win in New Orleans, T2 at The Masters and a T17 at The WGC Matchplay. He also showed good early season form with a T12 in Abu Dhabi and a T13 in Qatar.
Rose also seems to fit the bill statswise ranking 33rd in driving distance, 32nd in GIR, ninth in approaches from 225-250 and second in approaches from 200+, which are two good stats for approaches into the par 5’s. He also ranks 35th in par 3 scoring, 11th in par 5 scoring and fifth in putts from 10-15 feet. With great previous form here and good current form, Rose could have his second victory of the season here in Ohio.
Chris Kirk 28/1
Kirk has been showing great form over the last couple of months since finishing T8 at The Valero Texas Open back at the end of March. He followed that with a T17 at The WGC Matchplay and a T13 at The Players, which included two 68’s in R2 and R3. He shot a disappointing final round 75 to take him out of the running, but overall had a good week. Most recently, he had a super performance at Colonial winning The Crowne Plaza Invitational shooting 68,69,65,66 on his way to a 12 under par total. He has played well here at Miurfield in the past finishing T4 last year and T25 in 2012.
Kirk ranks first in sand saves, fifth in approaches from 125-150 and 27th in approaches from 175-200. He also ranks 10th in putts from 10-15 feet, 39th in par 3 scoring and 22nd in par 5 scoring. With great current form and a top 5 here last year, Kirk could be another danger man here this week.
Bill Haas 33/1
Bill Haas is another player showing some good form lately and has played well here in the past with two top 10’s in his last two appearances finishing T8 last year and T4 in 2013. He has been playing well over the last few weeks with a T7 at The WGC Cadillac, T12 at The Masters and a T4 at The Players, which included a 67 in R2 and a 68 in R3 to finish on 11 under in total.
Statswise, Bill ranks 44th in strokes gained tee to green, 16th in approaches from 225-250, third approaches from 50-125 and fifth in approaches from 125-150. He also ranks 25th in scrambling and 22nd in par 5 scoring. With good finishes at the bigger events so far this season, Haas could have another good week here.
Kevin Na 40/1
Kevin Na has been super consistent over the last couple of months recording five top 10’s and two top 20’s in his last eight starts. He was leading after three rounds in Colonial a couple of weeks ago and shot a disappointing 72 in the final round to finish -9 for the tournament. His good form began back at The WGC Cadillac, where he finished T9 and followed that with a T10 at The Valspar, T6 at Bay Hill, T20 in Texas, T12 at The Masters, T6 at The Players and a T10 at Colonial. Na was beaten by Matsuyama in a playoff last year and comes here in much better form this time around.
Statswise, he ranks 21st in strokes gained tee to green, fifth in sand saves, 12th in approaches from 100-125, eighth in par 3 scoring and 17th in par 4 scoring. After coming close to winning last year, Na comes here in great form and looks to be a big price this week.
Final Selections –
Jordan Spieth 7/1 2 pts EW
Justin Rose 20/1 2 pts EW
Chris Kirk 28/1 1 pt EW
Bill Haas 33/1 1 pt EW
Kevin Na 40/1 1 pt EW
Total staked = 14 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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