The Memorial Tournament beginning Thursday will be missing Tigers Woods, but the field is still ablaze with six of the top-10 players in the world.
Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio is the site of the annual event. Woods is recovering from knee and Achilles injuries, but is planning to play in the U.S. Open in just over two weeks.
This is a course designed by Jack Nicklaus and this is his tournament outside of his hometown of Columbus. It will feature a smaller field of 120 players, with this the final warmup for most of them before the Open.
Woods has won this event a record four times, the most recently in 2009. It has been won by an American 27 of the 35 years played, but only twice in the last five.
England’s Justin Rose won last year with a -18 final score. He sits at +3000 odds this year, behind several favorites who are detailed below.
Luke Donald (+750) is the favorite and the No. 1 player in the world after winning the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship last week. The other top-10 players in this event are Phil Mickelson (fourth), Rory McIlroy (sixth), Matt Kuchar (seventh), Steve Stricker (eighth) and Charl Schwartzel (10th).
Donald last played at the Memorial in 2009, finishing tied for 14th. He was tied for sixth the year before. Donald has been red-hot in PGA Tour events this year, top-10 finishes in his last seven, including winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Mickelson (+900) has never won this tournament, although he did finish tied for fifth last year. He has four, top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this year, winning the Shell Houston Open back in early April.
Kuchar (+1800) has finished in the top-10 the last three years at the Memorial. He has some confidence heading in after a tie for sixth at the HP Byron Nelson Championship last week.
Nick Watney (+2000) missed the cut here last year after opening round scores of 74 and 82 (combined +12). However, he has seven, top-10’s finishes in his 11 PGA Tour starts this year, including his last two.
McIlroy (+2200) is still trying to recover from his final-day collapse (80 score) at the Masters after leading heading into Sunday. His finished tied for 24th last week at the BMW PGA Championship.
Dustin Johnson (+2200) has played in this tournament three times with the best finish a tie for 14th in 2009. He has three top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events this year, but none since mid-March.
Hunter Mahan (+2500) missed the cut here last year, with his best finish ever a tie for 14th in 2009. He has no wins this year, but seven, top-10 finishes including a second at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
K.J. Choi (+2500) won this tournament in 2007. His finishes the last three years have been tied for 52nd, 13th and tied for 53rd. He’s looking for more magic this year after winning The Players Championship in a playoff over David Toms.
Stricker (+2500) has skipped tournaments the last two weeks, last playing at The Players Championship. His tie for 17th at the Memorial last year was one of his better finishes here.