Each week in our golf power rankings, we will highlight the top players on the PGA TOUR in order of likeliness to win the tournament.
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Factors coming into play on the rankings are (in no order):
- Recent form: How the player has performed in various aspects of his game in recent weeks.
- Course history: How the player has performed at the host course if he has previously played there.
- `Course fit: Used as a secondary or backup to course history, fit looks at certain skills that translate to success on the host course.
- Strokes gained: Strokes gained will come into play in all of the factors above. Unless otherwise noted, strokes gained stats are taken from the player’s last 50 rounds and are a way to use golf statistics relative to the field and round played.
Using the guidelines above to create a statistical model, value can be found in the betting market by highlighting players whose outlook for the tournament may be flying under the radar to the general public.
The weighted model this week includes:
- 25% SG: Approach
- 15% Greens in regulation gained
- 15% SG: Around the green
- 15% SG: Par 5
- 15% SG: Off the tee
- 10% Bogey avoidance
- 5% Par 4: 450-500 yards
This Week: Memorial Tournament
- Date: June 1-4, 2023
- Location: Dublin, Ohio
- Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
- How to watch: ESPN+, GOLF Channel, CBS
- Purse: $12,000,000
- Defending champ: Billy Horschel
Golf Power Rankings: Memorial Tournament
View golf power rankings for the Memorial Tournament below. Scroll to the bottom to find odds comparisons for every golfer in this week’s tournament.
20. Si Woo Kim +5000: Very solid history at Memorial with three straight finishes of 18th or better. That’s without his best with the irons, something that he currently has going very nicely. The short game has abandoned him in his last two starts, but it’s still been much better overall this year. Ranks 26th in the model.
19. Tom Kim +5500: I think it’s a bit silly that people are completely off Tom Kim because of some mediocre play so far this year. The ball striking has still been exceptional, but he’s fighting things a bit on the greens. Putting is volatile, so I’m willing to take a bet that Kim finds it soon. Ranks 31st in the model.
18. Sam Stevens : A true candidate for Rookie of the Year, Stevens puts on a stripe show nearly every time he tees it up. He can really struggle at times on the green, but his dependable ball striking should set him up nicely for a course like Muirfield. Gained an impressive 5.49 strokes off the tee. Ranks 15th in the model.
17. Russell Henley : Had a quiet T16 at Colonial where most facets of his game looked pretty solid. The driver has struggled a bit in his last two starts, but for someone who is usually very accurate off the tee, I wouldn’t worry about that at Muirfield. Finished T6 as a debutant here in 2013 and possesses the iron game to contend if we get the upside that has been missing a bit. Ranks 21st in the model.
16. Matt Fitzpatrick : The RBC Heritage winner hasn’t built off of that success much in his last three starts. The ball striking is stabilizing a bit, but we still aren’t seeing great results on a consistent enough basis. He did finish third here in 2020, but he’s followed it up with two missed cuts, one from poor iron play and one from disastrous putting. Ranks 22nd in the model.
15. Jordan Spieth : Spieth has been very solid and consistent at the Memorial, but he doesn’t have as much upside here as you’d maybe expect on a setup that should suit him. While some may worry about the wrist injury and recent results, the ball striking still looks fine from Spieth. It’s been the short game that has killed him since his Harbour Town runner-up and we’ve grown to get used to that from him. Ranks 13th in the model.
14. Wyndham Clark : The champion at Quail Hollow was not able to follow that up with success at the PGA Championship. But nothing went overly wrong at Oak Hill, so there’s no reason to think he won’t continue on his breakout year so far in 2023. Clark is a long driver of the ball who has always been able to putt it, but the irons have been the key. Ranks sixth in the model.
13. Justin Thomas : Thomas was posting some decent results heading into the PGA and seemed ready to finally breakout of a tough slump by his standards. But he hit it very poorly at Oak Hill and finished T65. He has three Top 10s at Muirfield, but it’s tough to see how he suddenly gets this putter going that has been ice cold all year. Ranks 20th in the model.
12. Jason Day : Day put everything he had into winning the Byron Nelson to break a long drought on the PGA Tour, but it caused the Aussie who has been through plenty of injuries to get zero practice in at Oak Hill before starting. He struggled early before getting in a rhythm on Friday and narrowly missing the cut. He should ease right back into contention this week with his wonderful form. Ranks 16th in the model.
11. Collin Morikawa : Morikawa finished second here in 2021 along with winning the one-off Workday Charity Open that was hosted here in 2020. It makes sense that he would love this course with his ability with the irons, but Morikawa has struggled to find that ceiling as of late with his ball striking. The putter has also been terrible, so I’m not as high on him this week as I’d expect to be. Ranks 14th in the model.
10. Viktor Hovland : Even after his draining runner-up finish at the PGA, Hovland managed a respectable T16 at Colonial where he didn’t have his best stuff with his irons. Despite his usual short game struggles, Hovland has become a pretty solid putter for the most part, even if volatile there. Hasn’t been good at Muirfield outside of a third in the Charity Open. Ranks 28th in the model.
9. Rory McIlroy : While Rory does have four Top 10s at Memorial, it’s definitely not been his best course by his standards … especially as of late. He hasn’t finished better than 18th since 2018, and he’s struggled on and around these greens. Considering the inconsistencies of his game right now, this is as low as you’ll ever find him in my rankings. Ranks 43rd in my model.
8. Corey Conners : The 36-hole leader at the PGA Championship eventually dropped back to T12 on Sunday. But after winning the Valero Texas Open in early April, the Canadian has been in superb form. The real key has been on the greens, as the once horrible putter has settled into some decent numbers of late. Ranks 10th in the model.
7. Hideki Matsuyama : It’s been a quiet 2023 for Matsuyama as he’s still dealt with some injuries, but he’s been settling in himself and posting some intriguing numbers. The 2014 Memorial champion is hitting it quite nicely and seems to even be getting the driver going. I think he could really be in contention here with a good putting week. Ranks seventh in the model.
6. Tyrrell Hatton : Hatton is in the midst of a great year on the PGA Tour, and he should be excited about a forecast that is showing firm and fast conditions at Muirfield this week. As we know, the Englishman loves those conditions, and it’s where he won at a Bay Hill course that has shown some crossover to here. Fought back from a disastrous opening round at the PGA to finish T15. Ranks ninth in the model.
5. Rickie Fowler : Fowler had a quiet week at Colonial but still managed a great Sunday to charge into T6 for the week. It continued what has been a renaissance year for him, and you have to feel like a win is in his near future. He has a pair of runner-ups at Muirfield and even finished T11 here in 2021 in the midst of his worst struggles. Ranks an impressive third in the model.
4. Xander Schauffele : In his last five starts at Muirfield, Schauffele hasn’t finished worse than his T18 in 2023, but he also hasn’t finished better than T11. That’s a decent summary for much of his career in recent years outside of his back-to-back wins last summer. But Schauffele is hitting very well right now, and the short game is mostly keeping pace. Could be a real threat this week. Ranks second in the model.
3. Jon Rahm : Rahm won here in 2020 and was more than on his way to another victory in 2021 before he had to withdraw prior to the final round because of COVID-19. The Spaniard clearly possesses the ball striking to light Muirfield up and has been in more great form in 2023 as a 4-time winner. I do think he’s a bit more prone to errant tee shots than the two I have above him which is the reason for this third-place spot. Ranks fifth in the model.
2. Patrick Cantlay : There’s likely nobody who loves Muirfield as much as Patrick Cantlay. He’s finished in the Top seven here in five of his last six starts, including two victories, a T3 and a fourth. The ball striking numbers are outrageous overall, and he also putts it light out on these Bent greens that he loves. When you also consider that his current form is great, it’s hard not to love Cantlay this week. Ranks fourth in the model.
1. Scottie Scheffler : It’s getting ridiculous from Scheffler. His ball striking in his last 10 starts have never been rivaled by another player in the history of the strokes gained era … not even Tiger Woods. When you consider how important it is to stripe it here, it’s hard not to think Scheffler will keep it going this week. Finished third here in 2021. Ranks first in the model.
Course Preview: Muirfield Village Golf Club
Muirfield Village is Jack Nicklaus’ most famous course and has hosted the Memorial Tournament since he founded the event in 1976. It’s also hosted a Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. The course plays as a Par 72 at around 7,500 yards after Nicklaus lengthened it nearly 200 yards to continue to test the game’s best. A lot of the yardage was put on the Par 5s, which now play as three-shot holes for many players when the tees are all the way back.
Muirfield is another classical track with tree-lined fairways and tricky greens. As with most Nicklaus courses, there’s a lot of trouble to be found with water hazards on 11 holes and deep bunkers spread across the layout. The redesign has tightened up the fairways the further a player hits it, and it has added even more nightmarish pin locations to challenge the world’s best players. The greens were changed from a Poa Annua and Bent mix to pure Bent, which has made some of the fastest greens on Tour even faster.
It should come as no surprise on Nicklaus’ pride and joy that approach play is far and away the biggest factor in contending for a victory. Recent winners like William McGirt and Jason Dufner should showcase that you can get it done at Memorial with elite ball striking alone. Collin Morikawa has quickly taken a liking to the track. We’ll use SG: Approach and Greens in Regulations Gained this week as we tend to do on harder courses.
Driving Distance will once again be mostly ignored this week, but the entire picture of SG: Off the Tee has been more predictive of success than you’d expect at Memorial. The last seven winners have averaged around 7th in SG: OTT for the week, and it’s been with a mix of accuracy and distance. I used to lean toward accuracy here, but with the fairways even more pinched, you could argue that hitting it hard and accepting the consequences could be more beneficial.
With the toughened contours on and around the greens, SG: Around the Green continues to be incredibly important around Memorial. Putting hasn’t been very predictive of success here with plenty of poor putters managing to get the job done. But with tough greens to hit and some tricky grass all around, you’re going to need to scramble well. Bogeys Avoided and SG: Par 5 are another couple of stats that have been predictive around Muirfield.
MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT ODDS
View the Memorial Tournament odds below.