Memorial Tournament: Predictions and Equipment Round-Up
Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village GC is one of the more prestigious non-majors in the schedule, and is played on what might be the most well-kept course. The conditioning at Muirfield Village has often drawn comparisons to that of Augusta National and the event has produced many high-profile champions through the years.
The course itself has favored the tour’s best ball-strikers in the past. Since 2007 all but one winner of the Memorial Tournament has finished the week in the top five in strokes gained/tee-to-green. Justin Rose won in 2010 and finished ninth in that stat. Hideki Matsuyama in 2014 and Tiger Woods in 2012 and 2009 each led the field in strokes gained/tee-to-green en route to victory.
With strokes gained/tee-to-green as our main focus, along with past finishes and recent form, here are the picks for the Memorial. Also included are a look into each players’ bag and odds from GolfOdds.com.
Bill Haas 30/1
Haas finished T8 at Muirfield Village in 2014 and T4 in 2013. He’s already broken the seal this season with a win at the Humana Challenge in January, and has proven his ability to win at tough courses (East Lake, Riviera, Congressional). Haas is 44th on tour in strokes gained/tee-to-green and finished T4 at the Players Championship last month, a tournament that also prioritizes ball striking.
Haas is playing an 8.5° Titleist 915 D2 driver and Titleist 714 AP2 irons (3-PW).
Kevin Na 30/1
Kevin Na has played solid golf over the past year, and he did everything BUT win last year’s Memorial Tournament, losing to Matsuyama in a playoff. Na has six top-10 finishes in his last eight events, including a T6 at the Players. The 31-year-old ranks 21st in strokes gained/tee-to-green this season.
In Na’s bag is a 9.5° Titleist 915 D3 driver and Titleist 714 AP2 irons (4-PW). See above photo for irons.
Jordan Spieth 7/1
Spieth has managed to shoot 64 or lower in four of his last five stroke-play events. He’s fifth on tour in strokes gained/tee-to-green. A Memorial victory really depends on his putting performance, as his ball striking is as consistent as anyone out there. Spieth finished T19 at Muirfield Village last year after a final round 75; he was T5 after 54 holes.
The Masters champ has a 9.5° Titleist 915 D2 driver and (above) Titleist 714 AP2 irons (4-9).
Check back next week to see how our picks fared and which club(s) played the biggest role in determining victory at Muirfield Village.