The Memorial experts' picks

May, 28, 2013

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: The Memorial at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Justin Rose. A winner here in 2008, he missed the cut in 2009 and 2011 but otherwise has finished outside the top 14 only once since 2004. So far this year, Justin has missed only one cut on the PGA Tour (The Players) and has five finishes inside the top 20, including three top-10s.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Tiger Woods. He is the defending champion and a five-time winner of the tournament. He's won four of his seven events on tour this season.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Tiger Woods. A four-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, Woods returns after a two-week break following his lastest win at The Players Championship. Woods is the defending champion at Muirfield Village, where he has won five times.

Birdie Buster

Michael Collins: Rickie Fowler. Other than a horrific Sunday 84 last year (at least he got to watch Tiger up close), Fowler has found a course that seems to fit his eye. He's quietly putting together a solid year with 10 of 12 cuts made and three top-10s; you should expect a top-10 finish this week in Dublin.

Farrell Evans: Keegan Bradley I'm getting tired of putting Bradley in this category. But he does share the lead with Brandt Snedeker for most top-10s this season with six. In his last start, the Byron Nelson, he finished second after a first-round 60.

Bob Harig: Ernie Els. The Big Easy has been mostly quiet this year, but the reigning Open champion is coming off a tie for fourth at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour.

Super Sleeper

Michael Collins: Matt Every. He's missed almost as many cuts this year (seven) as he did all of last year (nine). But that's what should make him the sleeper this week, isn't it? What you probably didn't know was in his last four events he's hitting around 75 percent of his greens in regulation, meaning he'll have plenty of birdie chances this week.

Farrell Evans: Matt Every. In 2012, the 29-year-old former Florida Gator had a tie for sixth at the Memorial. Last week, he had his best finish of the season with a tie for fourth at the Colonial.

Bob Harig: Jordan Spieth. The 19-year-old rookie is coming off another strong week at the Colonial and looks to keep building on a strong first professional season.


Michael Collins: Tiger Woods. Crying shame it doesn't matter what anyone else does on the golf course nowadays. Not when "the man" is back to being "the man." This will be his sixth win at this event and wrap up player of the year before the second major of the year is even played. I'd wave the white flag, but it wouldn't matter.

Farrell Evans: Rory McIlroy. As much as Tiger is the obvious choice to win for his sixth time at Jack's place, the 24-year-old Northern Irishman is going to have a breakthrough this week, despite coming off a missed cut at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. Last year at Muirfield Village, McIlroy shot rounds of 71 and 79 to easily miss the cut. He doesn't want to embarrass himself in front of Jack like that again.

Bob Harig: Rickie Fowler. A year ago he witnessed Tiger Woods' come-from-behind victory while failing to break 80. This time, Fowler gets that elusive second PGA Tour victory.


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