Expert Picks: 2015 Memorial Tournament


This week marks the 30th event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as 120 players tee it up at the Memorial Tournament. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Will Gray

Group 1: Jim Furyk: The former Memorial champ (2002) was also a runner-up in 2009 and knows his way around Muirfield Village, with five top-25 finishes in his last six starts. He is only a few weeks removed from a win at Harbour Town and a run through the bracket at TPC Harding Park.

Group 2: Matt Kuchar: Kevin Na and his consistency are tempting here, but I'll go with the player who has better course form. Kuchar has seven straight top-15 finishes at this event, highlighted by a win in 2013, and seems tailor-made for demanding layouts like Muirfield Village.

Group 3: Justin Thomas: The rookie is due to break through soon, and I don't want to miss out when he does. Thomas' length off the tee will be an asset this week and he played well last year in his Memorial debut, finishing T-37 with three rounds of par or better.

Group 4: David Hearn: The Canadian has a knack for this track, with three straight finishes of T-28 or better. His current form shows signs of promise, with a T-6 finish at Zurich followed by three strong rounds at TPC Sawgrass and bookend scores of 66 at Colonial.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: The bomber has not played Muirfield Village particularly well, he has just one top-10 finish in seven starts, but with rain in the forecast his length will be an even bigger advantage.

Group 2: Kevin Na: He’s become a leaderboard staple on the PGA Tour and came up just short last year at the Memorial with his runner-up showing.

Group 3: Robert StrebHe’s been playing consistent golf this season, with a victory last fall and six top-10 finishes, and was solid in his first start at Jack’s Place last year with a tie for 28th.

Group 4: Colt KnostIn his last four starts he’s finished T-65 (Zurich Classic), T-66 (Wells Fargo Championship), T-10 (Crowne Plaza Invitational) and T-10 (AT&T Byron Nelson). We see where this is heading.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Hideki Matsuyama: Going with the defending champ. With all that talent, he’s due to make another impression state side, especially a place he’s obviously comfortable.

Group 2: Matt Kuchar: He won the Memorial two years ago, but he plays well there just about every year.

Group 3: Steve Stricker: Going with another past Memorial champ who has a good history at Muirfield Village. Stricker won there four years ago and was T-6 last year.

Group 4: Tony Finau: It’s his first time playing the Memorial, but he’s on a nice little run with three consecutive top-20 finishes.