The most common question I fielded during the week of the PGA Championship was if Tiger Woods' break since the Masters was an issue. Well, he missed the cut at Bethpage, so he proved me wrong.
Regrouping for this week's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide where Woods is a five-time winner, he makes more sense for One & Doners in pursuit than for front-runners. With Pebble Beach on deck in two weeks and with more FedExCup points and the heftiest prize fund waiting at the U.S. Open, leaders can slow-play the 43-year-old.
Like all things fantasy sports, holstering a haymaker is relative. If you're pacing, it doesn't mean that you should ease up on your opposition at Muirfield Village. Everything but.
This field is as stacked as any to which we've been treated all season. Your first thought should for which talent on the top shelf you reach. Everyone else available will remain there, anyway.
Matt Kuchar earned the perch atop my Power Rankings. He's a former champion (2013) who also happens to sit No. 1 in the FedExCup standings. Oh, and look, the Memorial is No. 1 on his bevy of Future Possibilities because of his phenomenal record overall in the tournament.
The only reason you consider pivoting is if you're chasing. Then give surging Patrick Cantlay the longest look. The best endorsement that I can attach is that you can't provide a reason why you shouldn't burn him right now.
Given that we're deep into the season, usage is thinning, so turn to Tony Finau, if necessary. He found something with his putting for a mini-slump-busting solo second at Colonial. For the record, Kuchar, Cantlay and Finau all are available to me, and my confidence is equally strong with each, but my position dictated my decision.
Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Hideki Matsuyama will contribute, but only McIlroy should be considered and only if you have to swing for the fence. Don't waste any more time. Each of the other three will present as strongly at least once later.
The sneakiest play on the board is Justin Thomas for chasers. League leaders won't touch him in the wake of his injured right wrist, and that makes him even more dangerous to make a dent into deficits. Trust in his decision to return now. If you wait, you'll miss this window of a precious opportunity.
Adam Scott presents similarly to post a crooked number given recent form, so if JT is gone, go all-in on the Aussie.
Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth also are in the field, but both will look even better at Pebble Beach in two weeks.
Two-man gamers need to get on Rory Sabbatini's bandwagon at Muirfield Village. Look into seats for Emiliano Grillo, Peter Uihlein and Byeong Hun An as well.
Rank Expert Pick Comment 38th
Matt Kuchar Loving how my options are lining up lately, and I'm sleeping easy with more than enough possibilities for the remainder of the season. 78th
Tony Finau The big hitter stopped the rot with a solo second last week and he'll be happy to see two additional par-5 holes this week. Get hot, stay hot! 81st
On the Mark
Matt Kuchar All just part of my season-long plan. Fortunately Kuch is playing really nicely. With no apparent weakness in his arsenal, he is the perfect choice for Muirfield Village. 113th
Tiger Woods He’s my best option this week. I’m not too worried by what we saw at Bethpage. 176th
Matt Kuchar The FedExCup leader should be a reliable choice here. Soon I’m going to need to take bigger risks, but not this week. 701st
Five-time Memorial champ will get his 82nd TOUR title this week.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2018-19. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Byeong Hun An … Memorial (1)
Keegan Bradley … Memorial (5); Travelers (4)
Rafa Cabrera Bello … Wyndham (4)
Patrick Cantlay … Memorial (3)
Jason Day … U.S. Open (10); Open Championship (9)
Bryson DeChambeau … Travelers (4); John Deere (7)
Jason Dufner … Memorial (5); U.S. Open (2); Wyndham (8); TOUR Championship (10)
Tony Finau … Memorial (2)
Rickie Fowler … Memorial (5); U.S. Open (10)
Branden Grace … U.S. Open (4)
Bill Haas … Wyndham (6)
Adam Hadwin … John Deere (5)
Brian Harman … Travelers (5); John Deere (4)
Charley Hoffman … Travelers (1)
Billy Horschel … Wyndham (6); TOUR Championship (1)
Kevin Kisner … Memorial (6)
Matt Kuchar … Memorial (1); Open Championship (8)
Marc Leishman … Memorial (4); Travelers (3); Open Championship (8)
Hideki Matsuyama … Memorial (8); U.S. Open (14); Wyndham (7); TOUR Championship (5)
Rory McIlroy … Memorial (5); Travelers (8); Open Championship (1); TOUR Championship (6)
Phil Mickelson … U.S. Open (6); Open Championship (9); WGC-St. Jude (3)
Ryan Moore … Memorial (11); Travelers (6); John Deere (8); Wyndham (2); TOUR Championship (9)
Justin Rose … Memorial (4); Open Championship (8); TOUR Championship (2)
Xander Schauffele … Open Championship (4); TOUR Championship (1)
Adam Scott … U.S. Open (9); Open Championship (7); TOUR Championship (3)
Cameron Smith … Wyndham (3)
Jordan Spieth … Memorial (13); U.S. Open (4); Travelers (9); Open Championship (6); TOUR Championship (8)
Henrik Stenson … Open Championship (6); Wyndham (8); TOUR Championship (7)
Kevin Streelman … Memorial (4); Travelers (7)
Justin Thomas … Memorial (8); TOUR Championship (3)
Gary Woodland … Memorial (4)
Tiger Woods … Memorial (4); THE NORTHERN TRUST (7); TOUR Championship (5; defending)