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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Tournament - Power Rankings

I'm glad the Memorial Tournament has arrived. Not because I love Muirfield Village - it's fine - but because the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial was a total disaster for me in just about every gaming format imaginable. I hope your week was better than mine. The best thing about the PGA TOUR is that there's almost always next week.

Let's get back on the horse!

We actually came close to nailing it by leading off last week's power rankings with Zach Johnson. The only problem is, we went against the chalk and only plugged him into our Yahoo! lineup. That won't be the case with this week's number one.

The Dandy Dozen:
  1. Tiger Woods - A five-time winner and defending champ in this event, he's coming off a win at THE PLAYERS where his resume isn't nearly as good.
  2. Justin Rose - While no one's record is as good as Woods' at Muirfield Village, Rose is about as close is it comes. He's 6/8 with a win, a runner-up and four top 10s (five top 25s). It's been a good year for the Englishman, but not yet a great year. He's coming off a pedestrian finish at Wentworth last week, but he did much better than guys like Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy who missed the cut.
  3. Matt Kuchar - This one's a tough call. He's coming off a runner-up at Colonial where he fell one stroke shy of the victory. He led most of the way and was in the heat of contention all week. I worry that it's hard to get back into the mix this quickly, but we'll see. His record here is great; with four top 10s in seven starts and only one missed cut. That includes a runner-up in 2011.
  4. Luke Donald - He's 7/8 here and finished inside the top 15 in each of his last four starts at Muirfield Village. The pause for concern is his performance in his title defense at Wentworth last week, where he missed the cut badly. I'm willing to give him a pass because the pre-cut weather was not good. It will be tough to figure out what to do with Donald in weekly games, but if you own him in a season-long format this tournament will excite you.
  5. Jim Furyk - Furyk is a rock in this event. He's 16/17 including a win, two runner-ups and 12 top 25s. He's not a bad guy to look at for a one-and-done and should garner plenty of consideration to fill a roster spot in Yahoo!. It's getting tougher to figure out when Furyk's going to contend and when he's just going to mess around and get a 35th, but he's probably worth a risk in most formats this week.
  6. Rory McIlroy - His record at Muirfield Village is a pretty good snapshot of his current state. He's 2/3 with two top 10s, and that's about what we've seen from Rory in 2013. He's about equally likely to miss a cut as he is to nab a top 10. I lean towards this being a place where he could be dangerous because it can be appealing to long but wayward drivers at times. It also has four par 5s, so he could pick off some easy birdies. We'll see.
  7. Lee Westwood - Westy is a sneaky option this week, in part due to his major boost in scrambling ability in 2013. He had a nice week at Wentworth last week, but has only played here one time. It was a T29 in 2003. That really doesn't tell us much 10 years later. Understand the risk associated with his lack of recent course history, but realize that there is some significant reward possibilities in the right formats.
  8. Dustin Johnson - He's done well here regardless of his current form. You'll remember that he tied for 19th here last season after a lengthy layoff due to a freak injury from lifting a jet ski. In all, he's 5/5 with two top 10s. Things seem to come down to motivation with DJ. Remember that he was posting some terrible finishes until just before the Masters, but focused himself for a few good tournaments. With the U.S. Open two weeks out, he could actually care about golf this week and show up.
  9. Charl Schwartzel - Missed his first cut in forever last week at Colonial, but it was his first trip there. He's 5/5 at Muirfield Village with two top 25s, so don't be surprised to see him get back on his feet this week. 
  10. Adam Scott - He's 6/7 with a couple of top 5s, but the last one was back in 2007. Since then, he doesn't have a top 30. Still, he's the Masters champ and has been playing a light schedule for a while now. He can't fall any lower than this.
  11. K.J. Choi - Choi is a past champion in this event, and owns a 12/13 record with three top 10s, eight top 25s and a T19 last year. He's also had a bit of a bounce-back 2013 after a weak 2012. In a field this deep, he may be considered a flier. If so, take him. 
  12. Matt Every - He tied for fourth at Colonial last week and tied for sixth in his only trip to Muirfield Village in 2012. That seems like an incredible formula for success. Be careful. He has a history of laying an egg the week after a top 10. My theory is that he likes to over-celebrate the good weeks. We'll see what happens this week when form meets history.
Next 5: Brendon de Jonge, Ryan Moore, Bo Van Pelt, Kevin Streelman, Scott Stallings

Feeling Risky?:
  • Jonathan Byrd - Incredible recent record in this event, with top 10s in three of the last four years including a T3 in 2009. Why isn't he in the Dandy Dozen? Since his return from injury he has not found any success. This could be the place he gets well, but there's plenty of risk.
  • Brandt Jobe - He was T2 in 2011 at this event and finished off his week at Colonial with a 4-under 66. In all, he had three rounds in the 60s, with a third-round 75 the tournament killer.
  • Daniel Summerhays - Tied for fourth here last year and enters off three consecutive made cuts. He narrowly missed a top 25 at THE PLAYERS (T26) and posted a T35 at Colonial. He could be a savvy investment.
We'll be back tomorrow to look at some games. Until then, happy research and best of luck!

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