The 2023 Memorial Tournament is one that will be tricky to call, with past champions Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Cantlay 1 and 2 shots behind respectively after the second round. Tour rookie Justin Suh, looking for his first win on the PGA tour, currently leads the field at -8 after a fine round of 66 on Friday. This is uncharted territory for the world number 71 who’s best finish on tour this year being a tie for 5th at the Honda Classic.
For European fans, there have been positive performances early in this tournament from Rory McIlroy (-4) and the inform Viktor Hovland (-3), with the Norwegian coming off another strong major championship performance at the PGA Championship two weeks ago when he was tied 2nd behind eventual winner, Brooks Koepka. McIlroy was tied 7th, another strong but not strong enough performance at a Major from the Northern Irishman.
My pick for the weekend is the afore mentioned Cantlay. The two time memorial champion and current world number 4 might not be the most entertaining man on tour (massive understatement there I know) but he is one of the most consistent.
When you watch Cantlay you struggle to find a weakness in his game and you do wonder why he doesn’t find himself in the winners circle more often, with no wins on tour this year you have to feel that a player of his quality will have a win just round the corner and I think this is the week where this win will come to fruition and with his record at Muirfield Village, you wouldn’t be surprised to see him lift the trophy for the 3rd time in his career.
A player who I would look at to possibly run Cantlay close over the weekend at maybe a bigger price, would be the much liked American, Rickie Fowler. After reinventing himself at the beginning of the year, Fowler has looked like a player ready to put himself at the top of leaderboards again after 6 top 20’s in his last 7 events. The only event that broke this run was the PGA Championship, where Fowler missed the cut.
This is the best form Fowler has had in a season since 2019 and with no win since the Waste Management Phoenix Open in that season at TPC Scottsdale, I would imagine Fowler is maybe a bit rusty getting over the line back in to the winners circle, however I am encouraged by his form.
My Top 5 Prediction