Expert Picks: the Memorial Tournament

May 29, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to Muirfield Village for the the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at Muirfield Village?
Expert picks: the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance
Pick orderPlayer selected
LUKE DONALD. I had to go with World No. 1 Donald. He won in Europe last week and has finished in the top 10 in his last two TOUR events. Plus, his record at the Memorial is also stellar, earning top 15s in his last three starts.
PHIL MICKELSON. His first five starts at Muirfield Village were fairly forgettable, but Lefty has figured something out in his seven starts since then, with six top-20 finishes (and one WD). He's never won this event, so consider that extra incentive.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Mickelson
RICKIE FOWLER. He's had four consecutive top 10s, including the breakthrough at Wells Fargo, and was second at Jack's place two years ago. Hard to imagine he won't finish this season with multiple wins on TOUR, so why not get No. 2 this week?
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Fowler
TIGER WOODS. We call this pick "The Tiger Zone." For the second time in four weeks, I am in it. This is one of Tiger's favorite courses, but do I really want to leave him on the board with no clear favorite? It was either Tiger, Furyk or Stricker.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Donald
JUSTIN ROSE. The 2010 Memorial champion is coming off a second-place finish at the tough BMW PGA Championship. Hopefully he brings that momentum back to this side of the pond for what would be his second PGA TOUR win of the season.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Donald
ADAM SCOTT. The Aussie is making just his seventh start on TOUR this week but he's mostly played well when he has played with five finishes in the top 20. He doesn't have a long or great track record at Muirfield Village, but he did tie for fifth in 2007.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Woods
RORY MCILROY. I know, I know. He has missed the past two cuts but this is not a player that stays down long. The young star will be looking to bounce back stateside after his missed cut at THE PLAYERS and at Wentworth.
If Balionis had the top pick ... McIlroy
JIM FURYK. On a run of nice form, with five top-15 finishes in his last seven starts (others were T25 and T26), including a fourth at Colonial last week. Strong record at Muirfield Village for the 2002 champion, who was also runner-up in 2009.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Rose
STEVE STRICKER. It's been six weeks since a reigning champ was a factor but I look for Stricker to buck that trend. He's got nine straight sub-par rounds here and has finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four title defenses.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Stricker
ERNIE ELS. He comes to Ohio with confidence after a tie for seventh at Wentworth, which is his fourth top-10 of the year. The Big Easy hasn't missed a Memorial sine 1994 and he has a great affection for Muirfield Village after a win in 2004 and six other top-10s.
If Ross had the top pick ... Donald
RYAN MOORE.You might think I'm taking a flier here on Moore. But look closer and you'll see that he has three top 10s and four top 25s in six events at Memorial. He's playing well and I'm surprised he's still available. Great value pick.
If Cooney had the top pick ... Stricker
Standings after 21 events
LAST WEEK: New kid on the block Bill Cooney picked up the victory, as Zach Johnson captured the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. In only two events this season, Cooney is already closing in on John Schwarb in the standings.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
3 7 8 13 2 2451.75
2 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
2 3 6 11 2 1964.74
3 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 6 10 13 5 1922.25
4 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
2 4 5 9 3 1685.59
5 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 4 4 12 3 1494.20
6 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 3 5 9 2 1461.85
7 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 3 5 10 3 1366.91
8 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 3 8 9 5 1235.24
9 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 2 7 13 0 1095.83
10 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 2 3 11 3 842.65
11 *Bill Cooney
Site Producer
1 1 1 1 1 500.00
*First event in Week 19 at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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