It’s an extra special week, as the PGA Tour travels to Dublin, Ohio, for its annual visit to Muirfield Village – home of Jack Nicklaus – for the Memorial Tournament.
Headlining the field is five-time tournament winner Tiger Woods, who will be seeking his 82nd career PGA Tour record, which would tie Sam Snead for most all time.
If he’s to do that, however, Woods will have his work cut out. The Memorial always boasts one of the stronger non-major fields of the season and this year is no different. Defending champ Bryson DeChambeau will be there, as well Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and more.
Along with the players mentioned, who else should you be keeping an eye on this week?
That’s the question we posed to three caddies on the ground. To protect their identity, they made their respective picks anonymously. Here are the players they like and why…
- Matt Kuchar. “I’m using the same logic for all my picks this week because it holds true for all three. Driving isn’t at a premium at Muirfield, hitting fairways is pretty straight forward. It’s not tricked up, so Kuchar – a former champ (2013) – should fare well.”
- Jason Dufner. “The challenge here is usually putting and approach shots. With the greens being crappy this week — slow and a ton of poa annua grass — it’s not going to be a battle of navigating super-fast, super-pure greens. The 2017 Memorial champ has done it before and, with the way he’s been playing, I think he could do it again this week.”
- Xander Shauffele. “It’ll be a battle of the approach shots. It can be tough to hit your approaches close with the tricky green complexes. All three of these guys are great iron players with exceptional distance control. This is key. And with wind in the forecast, controlling your trajectory is a must. These guys do it better than most. Since winning the Tour Championship in his rookie season, Xander hasn’t showed much signs of slowing down anytime soon.”
- Justin Rose. “Gareth Lord is back on the bag. They won together earlier this year at Torrey Pines and I think they’ll do it again this week.”
- Tiger Woods. “He loves the place! This will be win No. 82 on the PGA Tour before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach being No. 83.”
- Peter Uilhein. “He’s coming off two good weeks with a T5 at the Nelson, followed by a T13 at Colonial. When confidence kicks in, he gets in the hunt. I feel like the next time that kicks in, he will get it done and clinch his first win on the PGA Tour… that might be this week.”
- Jason Dufner. “He has a laid-back pairing with Pat Perez and Max Homa the first two days that will fit his vibe. He came close recently with a T4 at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship.”
- Tony Finau. “Big Tony is a threat with the long ball… his laid back vibe will prove positive on a track like this with all its rough.. but soft greens.”
- Jordan Spieth. “The boy wonder hasn’t won in over a year, so he has victory lane in his sights and his caddie Greller has shaved off his beard… so they are definitely looking for voodoo magic this week!”