Last week, none of the three guys I gave you, who admittedly were all longer shots, did very much to get anyone excited. But Jim Furyk, who I tossed in as a bonus at 80-1, was only three back on the final nine Sunday before fading down the stretch. At least hopefully it gave you something to root for, at least for awhile.
Now it’s on to the Memorial, hosted of course by Jack Nicklaus in suburban Columbus, Ohio. It’s one of those non-majors that carries a lot more meaning than just your normal weekly PGA Tour stop, for obvious reasons. Yet in the last four years your winners have been Jason Dufner, William McGirt, David Lingmerth and Bryson DeChambeau. Hardly a Mount Rushmore.
Neither Brooks Keopka or Dustin Johnson are teeing it up this week. But seven of the top 10 players in the world rankings, and 33 of the top 50, are. That of course includes Tiger Woods, who missed the cut two weeks at the PGA Championship in his first start since winning the Masters in April. He’s won this tourney five times, just not recently.
The favorite is Rory McIlroy, who won the Players Championship in March, at 10-1. Next is Tiger, at 12-1, followed by Justin Rose, who didn’t play well last week, at 16-1. He, by the way, is my choice in my yearlong pool that I have to select in December. I just put that out there as a warning. Justin Thomas, who missed the PGA with a wrist injury, is 18-1, along with Rickie Fowler (who missed the cut last week as my pool pick), Matt Kuchar (the 2013 champion) and Patrick Cantlay, who missed the playoff there last year by one and has had a third-place finish in each of his last two events.
Jason Day is 20-1, as are Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama, who won it in 2014. Xander Schauffele and Adam Scott are 25-1. DeChambeau and Gary Woodland are 30-1.
I really don’t know how to go, but I’ll give it the old Michael Jack effort. Remember that the U.S. Open is two weeks away, so I’m not sure how much the top blokes are truly going to put into this as opposed to getting ready for that. I guess we’ll find out.
For starters I’m going with Tony Finau, who had it going last week. As he often does. He just doesn’t get it done. And that’s a problem But he has to finally win again one of these years, doesn’t he?
Second I’ll try Cantlay, although I was seriously thinking about Fowler coming off that brutal performance. Because that’s the way golf works sometimes, especially when my opinion is involved.
And for a longshot I’ll give you not one but two, just because. Rory Sabbatini has been no worse than 18th in his last five appearances. That includes a sixth, fifth and third. So maybe he’s due. And he’s listed at 50-1. Or maybe he’s just due to get another top 10. So check out those prop bets and also see what you can get on him if he just does that. Then there’s Byeong-Hun An, who’s at 100-1. He lost in the playoff a year ago. Which might mean he’ll be nowhere to be found this time. But he’s tied for 11th and 25th in his last two times out, so that big of a number might be worth a shekel or two just in case. Because you really don’t ever know.