Memorial Tournament Preview: Who’s Hot? Who’s Not?

June 2, 2015

Forget the World Ranking for a moment. According to our calculations (see below), these are the hottest players on Tour heading into the Memorial Tournament and Nordea Masters.

1. Rory McIlroy – 342.33 points

Missed the cut in his last two events at the Irish Open and BMW PGA, but with a pair of Tour wins at the Match Play and Wells Fargo, he still leads our list. McIlroy will take the next two weeks off in Orlando, fly to Wisconsin for Media Day on June 12th, then spend the weekend in Tacoma getting ready for the U.S. Open.

2. Byeong-Hun An – 293.66 points

Three top-25 finishes in his last three events including a win at the BMW PGA, which got him into the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. In the last three weeks, he has risen from 132nd to 52nd in World Ranking, which just about guarantees him a spot in the PGA Championship. After a T21 at the Irish Open, he is taking two weeks off and will play next at the U.S. Open.

3. Miguel Angel Jimenez – 266.33 points

Notched a pair of runner-up finishes at the Open de Espana and the BMW PGA before finishing T43rd at the Irish Open. Jimenez got back into the top 50 in the World Ranking just in time for an exemption to play the U.S. Open. Look for him to continue his good play at the Nordea Masters.

4. Jordan Spieth – 244 points

Finished T30 at the Byron Nelson after missing the cut at Players, so his game has cooled off from his hot streak, which included wins at Valspar and Masters. Spieth will play Memorial then take the next week off before the U.S. Open. He has struggled in his two Memorial starts as the course demands more than good putting, so I don’t see him contending this week.  

5. Soren Kjeldsen – 234.34 points

Won the Irish Open, ending his six-year victory drought on the European Tour. The win set him up for a joyful return home to Sweden and makes him one of the favorites this week at Nordea Masters, but I don’t see him contending because in 14 starts in this event, he only has one top 10, a 7th place finish in 2008.  

6. Kevin Kisner – 230 points

Took last week off, but Kisner returns to the Memorial were he finished T46 in his debut last year. In our nine week cycle, he has three top-fives including losing two playoffs at RBC Heritage and the Players. His T5 finish at Colonial shows that he can play on courses that demand good shotmaking as he ranks 34th in driving accuracy and 84th in greens hit, so look for him to contend at Memorial.  

7. Tommy Fleetwood – 229.33 points

Will play Memorial for the first time. In the last nine weeks, he has three top-six finishes, including a T6 at the BMW PGA and quarterfinal appearance at the Match Play. His game isn’t suited for Muirfield Village, but he could be a long shot pick at the U.S. Open since Fleetwood has had success on links courses.  

8. Charley Hoffman – 223 points

Finished runner-up at the Byron Nelson and T10 at Colonial. His game is firing despite ranking 134th in driving accuracy and 135th in strokes gained putting.  

9. Francesco Molinari – 221 points

Has had a productive last three weeks with runner-up finishes at the Open de Espana, fifth at BMW PGA and T51 at the Irish Open. The Italian has shown his game can work in America and he plays great on tough courses. He’s playing at Memorial for the first time, so he won’t win, but could notch a top-25 finish.  

10. Rickie Fowler – 215.66 points

His Players victory is still fresh in our minds, and he plays best on tough courses and against great fields. He hasn’t played well in his last four starts at Memorial but was runner-up in 2010. Let’s hope his poor play in Ireland fighting against rough conditions with high winds doesn’t have any lingering effects.  

Here’s how the system works:

*The GOLFstats player rankings provides a method of determining the hottest players based on the last nine weeks on the PGA and European Tours.

*132 points for a regular Tour win. All finishers in top-50 get points via a declining scale.

*198 points for a win in WGC events, Players and BMW PGA.

*264 points for a win in a major championship.

*Points are lost for miss cut, DQ or WD: 10 for regular events, 15 for WGC, Players & BMW PGA, 20 for majors.

*All points get degraded 1/3 after weeks 4, 5 & 6, then degraded 2/3 for weeks 7, 8 & 9.

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