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The Memorial Tournament: Expert Picks

Hideki Matsuyama has one of the best track records recently at Muirfield, is that enough to outlast Rory, Jordan, Mickelson, Day and Bubba?

The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

The Memorial Tournament
When: June 2nd -€” 5th

Where: Muirfield Village Golf
2015 Winner: David Lingmerth (-15)


The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.

Muirfield Village -€” Designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1974, this course is very much a living being. Being one of Jack's favorite creations, he comes back each year to use the latest technology and make small tweaks and adjustments to update the course as players games develop. Most recently he felt players were able to cheat areas with long drives so he lengthened the course and added bunkers. The course has the Nicklaus bowl feature with the fairways playing the low spot, a few water hazards lie throughout but the course guides the players more than vice versa. If the players can hit the shots, they can succeed.


A: 
Dustin Johnson -€” This is a fun tournament as the "big three" will be there (and yes, I did pick one of them below) but behind that noise, Dustin is putting together an all-star year. He has yet to miss a cut this year and his last 10 tournaments have been Hyundai Tournament (10th), Farmers Insurance (18th), AT&T Pebble Beach (41st), Northern Trust (4th), Cadillac Championship (14th), Dell-Match (5th), Shell Houston (3rd), Masters (4th), Players Championship (28th), AT&T Byron Nelson (12th). That is 8 top 20 finishes and 5 top ten finishes. His last 5 times here: 2015 (13th), 2014 (46th), 2013 (Cut), 2012 19th), and 2011 (4th).

B: 
Hideki Matsuyama -€” The two B picks are rather easy as both Hideki and Rory have had success at Muirfield. He has 5 straight top 20 finishes, on top of that, his only two appearances here were top 5 finishes. He's quite comfortable with the course layout.

Rory McIlroy -€” Coming off a win at the Irish Open, Rory has had a solid season and has a good track record at Muirfield. His last PGA tour performances were Players Championship (12th), Wells Fargo Championship (4th), Masters (10th), Dell Match Play (4th), Arnold Palmer Invitational (27th) and Cadillac Championship (3rd). At Muirfield he's finished 2014 (15th), 2013 (57th), 2012 (MC) and 2011 (5th). The other B player I toyed with: I think Patrick Reed is playing well but when all of the big names have shown up lately (Players Championship, Masters etc..) he's struggled.

C:
Matt Kuchar -€” After a strong 6th place finish, I'm riding Kuchar again at a venue where he's quite comfortable. For those keeping track that is now 3 straight top ten finishes, going further its top ten in 4 out of the last 5 tournaments and 5 of the last 7 tournaments. Add in the fact that he has a great track record at Muirfield: 2015 (26th), 2014 (15th), 2013 (1st), 2011 (2nd).

Sleeper Pick:

Kyle Reifers -€” A 10 year vet out of Wake Forest, he's a local guy, he grew up caddying at Muirfield. Add to that, he's had back to back top ten finishes. He has a decent drive that is accurate and he can get to the greens quickly in regulation, his putting tends to be his downfall so hopefully he can curb that at a course where he is familiar with the grass and greens. He missed the cut here last year but finished 25thin 2012

Last tournament results -€” Dean and Deluca Invitational (121 total) -€” Picks: Spieth, Chappel, Knost, Kuchar, and Grillo
A: 1st place
B: 71st place; 67th place
C: 6th place
Dark Horse: 55th place

YTD Avg: (Average field of 130 people)
A: 37th place 
B: 36th place
C: 58stplace
Dark Horse: 47th place

Fun factoid about this tournament: Muirfield Village was named after Muirfield, Scotland where Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three British Open titles.