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Who will win the 2024 Memorial Tournament? Experts can’t agree amid stacked field

By admin Jun8,2024

Scottie Scheffler is the hottest golfer on the planet. Rory McIlroy is playing well, too. Neither has won the Memorial. Is this the year? We think so, but which multiple-major championship winner will it be?

In three starts at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Scheffler has finished third twice: last year and in 2021. He did not play the PGA Tour event in 2022. McIlroy’s best finish in 12 starts is a tie for fourth in 2016, but he has five top-10s since he first teed it up in Dublin in 2010.

Something’s gotta give. Or maybe Xander Schauffele ends up shaking Jack’s hand instead? Or perhaps his friend, two-time Memorial winner Patrick Cantlay, picks up his third Memorial title? One thing we know for sure is that neither 2020 winner Jon Rahm or 2018 winner Bryson DeChambeau will collect the $4 million first prize. As LIV Golf members they are on the outside looking in.

Here are our Memorial predictions:

June 4, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA;  Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. June 4, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA;  Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

June 4, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch

Pick to win: Rory McIlroy

Why he’ll win: Go down the list of golf’s best players over the past 50 years and only a handful have failed to win the Memorial. (We’re looking at you, Phil Mickelson). McIlroy owns 26 PGA Tour wins and four major championship victories. He’s due. It’s actually surprising the 35-year-old has been skunked at Muirfield Village, considering his length off the tee — he leads the tour with a 317-5-yard average — puts him at an advantage, especially with Muirfield’s wider fairways allowing him to bomb it with minimal worry of finding trouble. Then again, Muirfield is a second-shot course, and you better be putting well when arriving in Dublin. McIlroy can be streaky with the blade. He ranks 61st in strokes gained: putting. I’m betting his putter catches fire this week, or at least warms enough to finally get that special handshake from the Golden Bear.

Others to watch: Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Sepp Straka

Cantlay has two wins among his four top-5 finishes in seven appearances. Yes, he likes Jack’s place. His game has not been up to snuff since finishing third at Hilton Head six weeks ago. But he’s still No. 8 in the world. Underestimate him at your own risk. Schauffele has never lit up Muirfield Village, but he’s never flamed out, either. He has four top-20s at the Memorial in six visits. And his confidence is sky high after winning the PGA Championship two weeks ago. Straka is my darkhorse pick, He’s done nothing in three appearances here to justify taking a flier on (T16 last year was by far his best finish in four starts) but the Austrian-born 31-year-old is ranked 21st in the world. He’s no super longshot. Plus, golf is a game of hot-cold, and with three top-10s in his last five events his value is trending up.

Jun 4, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Scottie Scheffler hits out of a bunker on No. 1 during a practice round for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.Jun 4, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Scottie Scheffler hits out of a bunker on No. 1 during a practice round for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Jun 4, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Scottie Scheffler hits out of a bunker on No. 1 during a practice round for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch

Pick to win: Scottie Scheffler

Why he’ll win: No need to make it more complicated than it is. He’s the best golfer in the world, and he’ll be hungry to win one of the tournaments he hasn’t. Scheffler has played Muirfield Village only three times and finished third in 2021 and 2023, so he’s been on the cusp. When Scheffler is on his game, particularly with the putter, he’s hard to beat. After the little skirmish with the law in Louisville at the PGA Championship, my sense is Scheffler will come to the Memorial with even more focus to put that behind him.

Others to watch: Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Sahith Theegala

Morikawa has played superbly at Muirfield Village. He won there at the Workday Charity Open in 2020 during the pandemic and lost in a Memorial playoff in 2021. If he can find the putting touch that deserted him in the final round of the PGA Championship, he should be in the hunt. Defending Memorial champion Hovland found his game at the PGA after an extended slump. We’ll see whether that carries over this week. Theegala is a bit of a shot in the dark. He was in contention at the PGA before fading, but has the game to get his second PGA tour win. He did finish tied for fifth in the 2022 Memorial.

Ludvig Aberg tees off on the 5th hole during the first day of play in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Ky. on May. 16, 2024.Ludvig Aberg tees off on the 5th hole during the first day of play in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Ky. on May. 16, 2024.

Ludvig Aberg tees off on the 5th hole during the first day of play in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Ky. on May. 16, 2024.

Adam Schupak, Golfweek

Pick to win: Ludvig Aberg

Why he’ll win: If you aren’t familiar with this Swedish sensation yet, you may be by the trophy ceremony on Sunday. Aberg is the complete package. He contended at the Masters in his first go-round so why not at Muirfield Village too? He won the RSM Classic in the fall and finished second at Pebble Beach earlier this year too. He was dealing with a knee issue ahead of the PGA Championship and missed the cut but I expect him to bounce back in a big way at Jack’s Place.

Others to watch: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa

It’s hard to pick against Scheffler who has already won the Masters, Players and two more Signature events. As Tiger Woods put it, Scheffler, the world No. 1, wins if he putts decently. But Jack’s greens baffled him last year so maybe the rest of the field has a chance. Patrick Cantlay is perennially a factor at Muirfield Village and he’s due to have a good week. He’s winless in more than a year and has been invisible since failing to close as the 54-hole leader at the Genesis Invitational in February. Collin Morikawa won a PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village during COVID. After a sluggish start and coaching change, he’s been playing some of the best golf since the Masters. All that’s been missing is a victory.

June 2, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA;  Collin Morikawa tees off on the first hole during the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. June 2, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA;  Collin Morikawa tees off on the first hole during the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

June 2, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Collin Morikawa tees off on the first hole during the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Tim Schmitt, Golfweek

Pick to win: Collin Morikawa

Why he’ll win: After a few tweaks to both his swing and his team, Morikawa is playing like it’s 2020 again, when he won his first major, the PGA Championship at Harding Park. Oh, remember what else he won that year? The Workday Charity Open at Muirfield, which filled in for the John Deere Classic during Covid. And of course, Morikawa also lost a playoff to Patrick Cantlay in 2021 at the Memorial in which Jon Rahm was pulled off the course for testing positive. His game is primed and it’s a course he clearly enjoys playing.

Others to watch: Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa and Tony Finau

Scheffler is still the favorite as long as he’s in the field, no matter what happens prior to his arrival. Homa missed the cut in his last start at the Charles Schwab Challenge, but he rarely does so and should be rated up and ready. Finau finished tied for sixth at the Farmers then six starts later finished tied for second at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. This marks his sixth start since Houston and it could be another high finish.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Memorial golf tournament: Experts predict 2024 winner

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