For most, it's a final tune-up before the U.S. Open at Shinnecock in a few weeks, and because of that the field at the 2018 Memorial Tournament is absolutely stacked with top 10 players in the world. In all, eight of the world's best will tee it up this week as Jack Nicklaus plays host at Muirfield Village.
Let's take a look at this week's contest.
What: the Memorial Tournamnet | Where: Dublin, Ohio | When: May 31 - June 3
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Field and odds
- Justin Thomas: 12-1
- Dustin Johnson: 14-1
- Jason Day: 14-1
- Justin Rose: 14-1
- Rory McIlroy: 14-1
- Jordan Spieth: 16-1
- Tiger Woods: 16-1
- Rickie Fowler: 20-1
Field strength: A
I did not think I would see an event this year in which Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods had the exact same odds to win a golf tournament. And yet here we are.
Three stories to watch
1. J.T. takes No. 1: For the first time in his life (but certainly not the last) Thomas will tee it up at an event as the No. 1 player on the planet. If he's not careful, though, he could get the position swiped by Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth or even Justin Rose. Still, Thomas is an alpha, and he won't go down without a fight. His play at Muirfield Village this week is going to be fascinating.
2. Beware the injured golfer? Jason Day won earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open after missing the pro-am with a sickness. That's not the first time in his career that's happened, and it probably won't be the last. After Day withdrew from the pro-am on Wednesday, I started wondering if this week might be the latest example., and it's not even really close.
3. What to expect from Tiger: Big Cat has a pretty interesting history here. He's won five times and has eight top-five finishes in his 15 appearances, but he also shot an 85 last time he played here in 2015. Obviously he's a different golfer than he was three years ago, but he's also not the golfer he was in the early to mid-2000s when he was winning this tournament multiple times. Translation: I have absolutely no idea what to expect when.
Kuchar gained 4.23 strokes on the field per round in 2013 when he won, which is the most in the last seven years at this tournament. That was an elite performance.
|Winner: Leishman could have and maybe should have won the Byron Nelson a few weeks ago. He has three top-15 finishes at Muirfield Village in the last three years, and Muirfield is a place that rewards ball-striking more than the average PGA Tour course. That's good news for Leish. Odds: 28-1
|Top 10: Justin Rose feels like a lock here, which means he's probably not. Rose is coming off a win at the Fort Worth Invitational and has six top 10s at this ball-striking wonderland. He might be one of the top three favorites for Shinnecock. Odds: 14-1
|Sleeper: Grillo is one of just three golfers in the top 10 in strokes gained on the PGA Tour without a win. I love him at this 45-1 number here given how he's been playing all season. Odds: 45-1
|Tiger watch: Woods has been statistically impressive throughout the season, and his long history here bodes well. I'd be surprised if he missed the cut, but I would also be mildly surprised if he won considering the quality of this field. Odds: 16-1