Sleeper Picks: the Memorialtext sizeMay 29, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
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Note: Fantasy expert Rob Bolton provides his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses his below-the-radar selections for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance:
Branden Grace ... The South African is a sleeper only because he's not a member of the PGA TOUR and he doesn't sit inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. However, he's a three-time winner on the European Tour this season alone. He's also coming off a solo fifth at the BMW PGA Championship. Overall, he ranks 32nd on his home circuit in distance off the tee, 48th in greens in regulation, 31st in putting and 10th in scoring average. While he's a first-timer at Muirfield Village, he illustrated that he's a quick study when he posted an 8-under 64 in his third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at TPC Blue Monster at Doral in March.
Scott Piercy ... Projects a career-best finish at Muirfield Village; that is, if he makes the cut. He's 1-for-2 at the Memorial with a T42 last year. However, of nine cuts made in 15 starts this season, he's posted eight top 25s, including in his last start at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (T15). Long off the tee (17th on TOUR in distance), his game is sharp all the way to the cup, ranking 57th in greens hit and 26th in Strokes Gained-Putting. Also owns the 17th-lowest final-round scoring average (70.11).
D.A. Points ... The forgotten man in the three-way playoff at Quail Hollow four weeks ago. After he withdrew from THE PLAYERS at the last possible minute with a back injury, he rebounded with a share of 19th place the following week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He ranks 41st on TOUR in greens in regulation and 34th in birdie average. Top 25s in his last two trips to Muirfield Village.
Ricky Barnes ... While his solo third at Pebble Beach still accounts for nearly three-quarters of his season's earnings, he's survived nine other cuts. He's 71st on the PGA TOUR in greens hit and 79th in birdie average. In two appearances at the Memorial, he's finished T3 (2010) and T18 (2011). Challenged the course record in his third round here two years ago, but parred the final two holes to "settle" for a 62. (John Huston's 61 has held since 1996.)
David Hearn ... Snapped out of a three-month slump with five consecutive cuts made running, three of which have gone for top 25s. That includes a T13 last week at Colonial where he ranked inside the top 10 in fairways, greens, Strokes Gained-Putting and birdies. He's a first-timer at Muirfield Village, but he cannot be ruled out given his recent form.