2015 The Memorial Tournament picks + predictions, plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

In the professional golfing world it’s the four majors, then everything else.  Perched atop that leftover list is the PLAYERS Championship, aka the “fifth major,” followed by a select few prime rib choices that draw top notch fields to complement a high quality course.  This week’s Memorial at Muirfield Village is definitely one of the premiere non-major tourneys that the PGA Tour visits each year.

Muirfield Village is of course Jack’s place, as like Arnold Palmer’s treasure Bay Hill, this is Jack’s pride and joy.  Muirfield is a gorgeous, lush 7,353 yard track in Dublin, OH, which is heavily tree-lined and has deep bunkers and water hazards galore.  The par 72 layout is annually the toughest non-major on the PGA Tour, typically playing to a stroke average of between 73-74.  It demands extreme accuracy off the tee and a high-level of precision around the blazing fast greens, which average less than 5,000 square feet in size.

A shoddy week for my picks last week at the Byron Nelson Championship as my Lockzilla Dustin Johnson went all snowmany on Sunday and faded to a t-8th finish, and Keegan and Graham DeLaet didn’t do anything overly stellar in their t-22nd place finishes.  Also, my Hosel Rocket-BUST pick on Brandt Snedeker went all sorts of wrong when he decided to bust out of his bumpy start by going 64-64 on the weekend to snake a t-6th finish.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Keegan t-22nd, Dustin t-8th)

Bill Haas
Bill Haas
– Always seems to fly under the proverbial radar in nearly every event he tees it up in, but the Wake Forest alumni can flat out golf his ball.  Haas is 6 for his last 7 here at Memorial, including finishes of t-4th and t-8th the past two years.  He is a very low risk, high reward play as he very rarely misses a cut (only one MC all of last year, only two this year) and has sky high potential.  Haas finished a sneaky solid t-4th at the PLAYERS just a few weeks ago for his fourth top 15 of the season.  Look for another solid finish from Haas again this week.

Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed
– I really have no reason to put PReed in this spot, none whatsoever, except for the fact that he’s one of the most consistent players on Tour, he’s a great scrambler and iron player, which fits the Memorial mold perfectly. He’s a first-timer at Muirfield in a stacked field, so there’s some definite risk here, but call it a gut feeling then that the man who loves to fist pump in a red shirt will fare mighty well in his first dance at a track where his elder red shirt (Eldrick) used to dominate whilst clad in similar attire.  Oh yeah, speaking of Tiger, PReed is paired with him in rounds 1 + 2.  Talk about extra motivation.  I think Mr Top 5 makes a statement this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: DeLaet t-22nd)

Jason Dufner
Jason Dufner
– It was good to see the Duf seemingly find his strides last week at the Byron Nelson, as he notched a t-8th finish, which was his first top 10 since November.  Sadly, it’s been a tough year both on and off the course for the 38-year-old, but we all know what he’s capable of on the links.  Duf finished t-19th here last year and is extremely accurate off the tee, which is certainly required at Muirfield.  As long as his putter cooperates this week, look for the skinny Duf to make some more positive noise.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Snedeker t-6th)

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama
– Defending champ who is in prime form and has missed only one cut all season = automatic play, right?  Well for most, yes.  But, FTP (fade the public) is how I roll, so I’m sticking with my gut and fading the young Japanese super talent this week.  I was wrong on fading Sneds last week, but trust me on Hideki…then thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Hoffmann MC)

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland
– Going extra bold this week, as Gary let a lot of gamers down last week at the Byron Nelson in fading to a t-60th finish (despite a hole-in-one during his 2nd round 63), which means that many will be hesitant to back the beastly Kansas native this week.  All that screams is more opportunity here, as he’s still in good form and has a solid track record at Muirfield, including a t-16th in ’13 and a solo 6th in ’11.  Muirfield is akin to Quail Hollow in that it’s long, with deep rough, lush and tree-lined—and Gary finished t-4th at Quail Hollow just two weeks ago.  Look for some serious noise from GW this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Speak Your Mind

*