The Tour heads to Jack’s Place this week for the Memorial. This is one of the best fields in a non-major, non-WGC event this year, as it fits conveniently in players’ schedules between the PGA and U.S. Open.
Muirfield Village is often a demanding test. Players will face lightning-fast greens with difficult surrounds. The course rewards elite iron players, specifically those who excel in the 150- to 200-yard range. The ability to hit solid shots from those distances is key, as it allows a player to putt from the correct side of the hole and avoid the treacherous areas around the greens.
Let’s look at some players who have had success with their irons of late:
Henrik Stenson $8,500
Stenson has been on fire with his irons recently but has been held back by a balky short game. Over his last three events, he has gained a massive 18 shots on approach. This course should suit him well, as driver is not required on many holes and players see an abundance of approach shots from 150-200 yards.
Jason Kokrak $8,200
Kokrak is hitting the ball arguably better than anyone in the field right now. In his last 10 events, he gained an astonishing 39 strokes on approach. During that same stretch, he gained strokes off the tee in all but two events. Plenty of below-average putters have won or contended at Memorial, so don’t be surprised to see Kokrak in contention on the back nine on Sunday.
Cantlay has been trending in the right direction since his ninth-place finish at the Masters, taking third at both the Heritage and the PGA Championship. In his last 12 starts on Tour, Cantlay has 10 top-17 finishes, including eight top 10s. He now returns to an event where he finished fourth a year ago on a course that suits his game perfectly.
Matsuyama won here in 2014 and enters this week a bit under the radar. He has quietly finished 33rd or better in each of his last 10 starts, and he has racked up three top 10s. He has gained strokes on approach in every event he has played going all the way back to the 2018 PGA Championship.