It has been 63 years since the PGA played the same golf course on back-to-back weekends, but that streak will end tomorrow during the first round of Jack Nicklaus’ tournament, The Memorial.
The setup this week should be tougher, and the -19 winning score Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas shot last week will be merely a dream most likely. The rough will be higher, the greens a bit slicker, and the pins tucked in more challenging positions. Oh, and the tee boxes will be back too.
There are four rounds, but the Showdown Challenge is just the scores from Round 1 of the event. Something to keep in mind here is it’s supposed to pour tomorrow in Dublin, Ohio, and thundershowers are expected. Taking golfers with late tee times might mean they get a softer course they can attack.
We make some picks for Round 1 below. Enter your lineups here.
Rory McIlroy ($10,000)
The Northern Irishman knows how to attack bad weather on a course as well as anyone in the world, and he’s got a 1:17 p.m. tee time that’s likely to be delayed. The track should be nice and soaked to let him pin-fire at will. The only problem is he’ll have to keep waiting for his playing partners, a couple of scrubs named Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. Did we mention he leads the PGA Tour in DFS points per round this year? His bomb and gouge game sets up perfectly for both fantasy and this course.
Collin Morikawa ($9,500)
Fantasy golf doesn’t always have to be so complicated. Yes it’s a tougher setup this weekend, but the confidence of the 23-year-old has to be sky high after taking home the trophy in a playoff. Plus he tends to struggle on the weekend, as many newer PGA Tour players do. He opened with a 64 at the Charles Schwab (finished second), a 68 at the RBC Heritage, a 72 at the Travelers (cut), and a 65 on this same course one week ago.
We wish he wasn’t teeing off at 8:06 a.m., but it’s a price worth paying.
Sergio Garcia ($7,600)
A 12:55 tee time, and T5 two tournaments ago, and a 64 to open at The Travelers two weeks ago. He hasn’t played Muirfield Village since 2008, but his game has changed and so has the course. A soft track and plenty of opportunity for the guy that is #1 on tour on approach shots from over 200 yards to use his iron play.
Sepp Straka ($7,300)
The Austrian is quietly putting some good rounds together after a rough start to the season. He’s only made seven of 20 cuts, but has gone T8 and T14 the last two weeks. Posted 21 birdies on this same course last week, and has had a Thursday round in the 60’s in the last five tournaments he’s entered. Very much a value play here, despite the 7:00 a.m. tee time.