This week marks the 29th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads to Jack's Place for the Memorial Tournament. A field of 120 players will tee it up this week at Muirfield Village Golf Club, where several of the game's best will look to pick up some momentum with the U.S. Open on the horizon.
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Matt Kuchar returns to defend the title he won here a year ago by two shots over Kevin Chappell. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Columbus:
1. Matt Kuchar: Don't sweat the missed cut at Colonial. Kuchar returns as the defending champ and has five straight top-10 finishes at Muirfield Village, a streak that dates back to 2008. He's been a top-10 machine this season, with nine top-10s in 14 starts and his 69.4 scoring average is currently tops on Tour for 2013-14.
2. Rory McIlroy: Single life appears to suit him. McIlroy has shown this year that he can contend without his A-game, but last week he erased a seven-shot deficit en route to victory at Wentworth. McIlroy is riding a string of four straight top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour dating back to the Shell Houston Open, and he currently leads the Tour with a 4.75 birdie average.
3. Adam Scott: Scott appears eager to remain atop the world rankings, especially after last week's comeback win at Colonial. The Aussie went 66-66 over the weekend to grab the trophy in Fort Worth, and seems to have worked through whatever issues plagued him at TPC Sawgrass. Scott tied for 13th here last year and had back-to-back top-5 finishes at Muirfield Village in 2006 and 2007.
4. Justin Rose: A winner here in 2010, Rose quietly notched a top-25 finish last week in Wentworth, and in the U.S. the Englishman has cracked the top 15 in each of his last four events dating back to the Masters. Rose is clearly comfortable in Columbus, having finished second here in 2008 and eighth each of the last two years. Expect another top finish as he prepares to defend his U.S. Open title next month at Pinehurst.
5. Luke Donald: Donald challenged last week in England before finding the water on the 72nd hole at Wentworth, but he continues to show signs of progress. In addition to last week's T-3 result, the Englishman was also a runner-up last month at Harbour Town and tied for fourth in Tampa. Each of Donald's last five trips to Columbus have netted top-25 results, including a tie for seventh in 2011.
6. Dustin Johnson: Johnson had bookend rounds of 65 and 66 last week at Colonial and would have contended if not for a third-round 74. He has three top-20 finishes in his last five starts at Muirfield Village, including a fourth-place showing in 2011. Johnson has six top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season, including a win in China in October, and carries with him some serious momentum from his two-week run in Texas.
7. Jim Furyk: Furyk saw his top-20 streak end last week at Colonial, but he has still been playing some great golf in recent weeks and certainly knows his way around Colonial. Furyk leads the Tour in scrambling this season and ranks 14th in scoring average, and he boasts four top-25 results in his last five Memorial appearances, highlighted by his runner-up finish in 2009.
8. Bubba Watson: Watson has two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last seven overall starts - a pretty decent run. Watson hasn't had a ton of success at Muirfield Village - his best result in eight career appearances is T-23 - but he leads the PGA Tour in driving distance, ranks seventh in GIR percentage and eighth in birdie average. A rather potent combination, regardless of venue.
9. Brendon Todd: Followed up his first career PGA Tour win in Dallas with a T-5 showing at Colonial. While Todd has never played in this event before, he has eight straight sub-70 rounds - the third time this season that he has eight or more consecutive rounds in the 60s - and currently sits seventh on Tour this season in strokes gained putting. Having just punched his ticket to the U.S. Open via the OWGR, he's playing with house money right now.
10. Stewart Cink: The veteran has shown signs of life this year, notably with a T-14 showing at Augusta National, and he tends to bring his best to Columbus. The former Open champion has cracked the top 30 each of the last eight years at the Memorial, with three top-10 finishes across that stretch. Cink has made 12 of 15 cuts this season and remained in contention at TPC Sawgrass in his most recent start before a Sunday 76.