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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Twofer Tuesday: The Memorial

It's back to Jack's Place for this week's PGA Tour event... and for my next futile attempt at Twofer Tuesday picks.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau

Muirfield Village is a par-72 venue measuring just under 7400 yards, and it routinely gives the participants all they can handle. It's not just the layout of Jack's Place from tee to green; the green complexes themselves are tricky and fast. Add in Jack's constant 'adjustments' to the course, made to keep up with modern technology, and you get just what you'd expect from a Nicklaus design.

The defending champion is Bryson DeChambeau, and this is the event that kicked off Bryson's mind-boggling run of five worldwide victories in the last twelve months. DeChambeau has struggled since February, however, and will have his hands full at Muirfield this week. Familiarity with the course has always been a help, but certainly no guarantee that you'll have a good week. Only Tiger has managed to successfully defend a title here (he did it back-to-back-to-back, from 1999-2001).

It's with that knowledge that I make my picks for the week. No matter what a player's record is at Muirfield, that's no guarantee that he'll put in a good showing. And after a strong start to the year with my own picks, I've found no methodology that guarantees a decent showing for myself either. So let's see if I can catch some lightning in a bottle, why don't we?
  • My Top10er this week is Matt Kuchar. After a lull in his game during February and March, he's come back strong -- in five starts, he has two runner-up finishes and nothing worse than a T12. He's also #2 on Memorial's all-time money list (one guess who #1 is), having one win and ten Top15s. While I'm unwilling to pick him as the winner, he's the closest thing to a sure thing I can think of.
  • And my winner is Tony Finau. Everybody keeps saying Tony needs to win, he needs to win... but his game has been somewhat up-and-down this year, almost as if he tires himself out and needs to catch his breath before making another run. After his runner-up last week at the Schwab, and his record of consistently good play at Memorial, I'm willing to gamble this could be the week he breaks through for his second Tour win.
Of course, my picks have taken a perverse delight in crushing my optimism over the last few months. But I continue to believe; eventually somebody has to get lucky and actually close the deal. Why not this week?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 2:30pm ET. PGA TOUR LIVE's streaming starts at the unbelievably early hour of 7:15am ET that morning. Let's see if the desire to win Jack's tournament convinces my picks to get it done!

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