The PGA Tour is headed up North after a couple weeks in Texas for the 2013 Memorial Tournament. The event is held at the famous Muirfield Village Golf Club that was designed by Jack Nicklaus in the early 1970’s. The course has been the host of this event since it first began back in 1976.
Unlike last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational, where precision off the tee was of great importance, finding the fairway in regulation isn’t a must to score well at Muirfield Village. That’s because it’s pretty difficult to miss them. Where the players on top the leaderboard separate themselves from the rest of the pack is on their second shots and around the greens. Those that can find the greens in regulation and scramble for par when needed have the best chance of winning. It’s also important to avoid a big number on the four challenging par-3s. At last year’s event, the field averaged 3.24 on the par 3s.
Tiger Woods comes in as the defending champion and his victory here in 2012 marked the fifth time that he has won this event in his career. As many of you might recall, Woods won three straight at the event from 1999-2001. While the field is absolutely loaded with the best players in the world, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see Woods listed as the favorite to win.
Need some help picking a winner? Here’s a quick look at the three golfers I will be backing at the Memorial Tournament.
Tiger Woods (+225)
I don’t know how you can go against Woods given how he’s been playing and his incredible history at this course. Of the active players in the field, his 69.66 scoring average is almost a full stroke better than the next closest player (Kuchar, 70.54). With his win at The Players Championship, he’s now won three times in his last four starts. If it wasn’t for an unfortunate bounce at the Masters, we could be talking about four straight wins. It won’t be a huge payday, but he’s worth a play almost every time he steps on the course.
Brandt Snedeker (+3300)
Snedeker hasn’t exactly played well at this event over his career, but he’s been swinging the stick as good as anyone not named Tiger Woods in 2013. He finished 8th in his last start at The Players Championship, giving him six Top 10 finishes in 10 starts. He’s certainly got the iron game to score well on this course. He comes in ranked 12th overall in greens in regulation and 14th in strokes gained-putting.
Webb Simpson (+5500)
Here’s another player that will be making his first start since a strong showing at The Players Championship. Simpson finished the Players in a T-15, which was a career-best. He’s just a couple starts removed from his runner-up at the RBC Heritage (lost in playoff). He’s got three Top 10 finishes so far in 2013. He’s never won this event, but he has played well in the past, including a T7th here back in 2011. Definitely worth a gamble at this price.