Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Emiliano Grillo
With the U.S. Open just two weeks away, the Memorial represents the final warmup for many of the star players.
The Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village presents a stern test where accuracy with the driver matters a little more than distance thanks to difficult rough. If a bomber is on with the driver, he can take this course apart. But the last three winners here are Jason Dufner, William McGirt and David Lingmerth, so 325 yards off the tee isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for a champion.
Muirfield Village measures 7,392 yards for a par-72 where a score in the low-to-mid teens under par is usually good enough to hoist the trophy. The course has water in play on 11 holes and nearly 80 bunkers, so trouble awaits for any player who strays off line.
Par-4 scoring and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green are the key stats for me this week. Nine of the past 10 winners entered the week inside the top 50 in both of those areas.