2017 Memorial Tournament - Predictions

Who will win the 2017 Memorial Tournament? Our research staff offers previews and predictions. This event is hosted by Jack Nicklaus and is one of the PGA Tour's premier stops. The 2017 Memorial Tournament is scheduled for June 1-4 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.


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The Favorite 

Dustin Johnson
Best Result: 3rd (2016)
GIR: 1st
Outlook: Johnson has all the ingredients needed to win The Memorial. The world's no. 1 player currently ranks among the best on tour in greens hit in regulation (1st) and proximity to the hole (11th). The South Carolina native is on a hot streak, finishing inside the top 15 for seven straight starts. He is a big favorite to win this week.

The Contenders 

Hideki Matsuyama
Best Result: Win (2014)
GIR: 7th
Outlook: Matsuyama won this tournament on his debut three years ago. Since then, he has become one of the world's best players. He followed the winning effort with a T5 in 2015, so his game is undoubtedly a good fit for the course. After an incredible start to the season, the Japanese star has cooled off considerably in recent months. However, his form is trending upward with solid finishes at the Masters and Players Championship. If he could get his iron game back to where it was at the beginning of the season, a second title at Jack Nicklaus's place is a real possibility.

Jordan Spieth
Best Result: T3 (2015)
GIR: 4th
Outlook: There are a lot of similarities between this course and the Augusta National. Players with a lot of success at the Masters tend to do well here. Spieth is one of these players. He has never missed a cut here (four starts) and finished third two years ago. Spieth is coming off a strong performance in Colonial, though fatigue could be an issue as this would be his fourth straight week playing.

Jon Rahm
Best Result: Debut
GIR: 12th
Outlook: Rahm is enjoying a historic rookie season in which he contends nearly every week. He has yet to miss a cut this season, despite playing most of these courses for the first time. If he could add a Memorial trophy to his suitcase, that would be another exclamation on an already strong season. Incidentally, Rahm always seems to perform well at events Dustin Johnson also plays well. You could say he is Johnson 2.0. There is no reason to believe he won't extend his terrific form to Muirfield Village.

Matt Kuchar
Best Result: Win (2013)
GIR: 65th
Outlook: It's hard to believe that Kuchar has not won since April 2014. The 2013 champion regularly contends on the PGA Tour but just could not get over the final hurdle. He will have another chance to bury his title slump at a place where he enjoys so much success. Kuchar has finished in the top 20 at The Memorial eight times--that would be a career year for a lot of players. His biggest issue this year has been an inability to hit greens on a consistent basis. That could be a big problem on a second-shot golf course like Muirfield Village.

Jason Day
Best Result: T27 (2009, 2016)
GIR: 115th
Outlook: Day's record at The Memorial is pretty dismal with his best effort being a T27 (twice). He has many missed cuts and poor performances here. This is a surprise considering his game should, at least on paper, suit this course; he is an excellent iron player and is one of the best putters on tour. After a poor start to the season, Day appears to have found his form with a runner-up finish at the Byron Nelson. Maybe he will finally be able to improve upon his below-average record here this week.

Players to Watch 

Rickie Fowler
Best Result: 2nd (2010)
GIR: 29th
Outlook: After finishing second on his Memorial debut in 2010, Fowler has not recorded a top 10 since. In fact, he has missed the last three cuts here. However, Rickie does have a reputation of being unpredictable. No one expected that he would win the 2015 Players Championship, but he did it. Fowler has performed exceptionally this season, ranking third in SG Total and 7th in SG Putting.

Justin Thomas
Best Result: 37th (2014)
GIR: 14th
Outlook: Muirfield Village is the type of course Thomas is expected to excel. The generous fairways mean he could just crush his drives to set up shorter second shots. Similar to Matsuyama, Thomas has been struggling with form after an explosive start to the season. He missed three cuts and had a MDF in his last nine starts. His mediocre putting could be a liability on Muirfield's fast greens.

Kevin Chappell
Best Result: 2nd (2013)
GIR: 70th
Outlook: Few players have a game better suited for Muirfield Village than Chappell. He is solid from tee to green and his scrambling skills are excellent. His record on this course is mediocre (despite a runner-up finish), but he is a much better player now than two years ago.

Dark Horses 

Brooks Koepka
Best Result: 52nd (2015)
GIR: 162nd
Outlook: In a normal PGA Tour event, a player of Koepka's caliber would never be considered a dark horse. But in this field of top players, he could be marginally classified as one. On paper, Koepka is a poor fit for this course. He currently ranks 162nd in GIR, hitting on average about 11 greens per round. This is a huge liability on a course where missing the green is penal. However, much of his problems stem from inaccuracy off the tee. The fairways in Muirfield are relatively generous, so driving accuracy is not too much of a factor. Koepka enters The Memorial in good form with five top-20s in his last six starts.

Kyle Stanley
Best Result: 3rd (2013)
GIR: 2nd
Outlook: Stanley ranks among the tour leaders in every major statistical category except scrambling and putting. Indeed, his weakness in these two areas has turned a potentially great season into an average one. However, all it really takes for Stanley to contend and perhaps win again is a good putting week. We saw this at The Players, where the 29-year-old had a solid putting week and ended up with a T4.


Winner: Dustin Johnson. Modeled after Jack Nicklaus's game, the Muirfield Village Golf Club is one of the better venues on the PGA Tour schedule. The difficulty of the course comes in the second shot, as the greens are reasonably sized and well-guarded by a multitude of hazards -- bunkers, thick rough, water, false fronts. I believe Dustin Johnson has all the ingredients needed to win here. His great length off the tee should help to ease the difficulty of the second shot. The world's no. 1 player currently ranks among the best on tour in greens hit in regulation (1st) and proximity to the hole (11th). He has been putting solidly as well. The South Carolina native is on a hot streak in which he finishes inside the top 15 for seven straight starts.

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