2008 The Memorial Tournament Review
Muirfield Village Golf Club – Dublin, OH
May 29th – June 1st
While the U.S. Open is still a few weeks away, the PGA players at The Memorial got a taste of things to come as Muirfield Village played much like a Major course would. The Nicklaus design punished wayward drives with severe rough and tested the pro’s touch with tricky pins on speedy greens. That recipe led to the Memorial posting a scoring average of 74.39, the highest on Tour this year. There were only four bogey free rounds during the entire event, with no player going unblemished on Friday, and only nine players posting under-par totals.
Kenny Perry had the solution to Muirfield’s puzzle and prevailed for the victory, his third Memorial crown to go along with his wins in ’91 and ’03. Perry and Tiger Woods sit atop the all-time wins list for the event.
Perry got off to a good start on Thursday by posting a 6-under par, 66, which was only one stroke higher than the tournament low round of 65 by Matthew Goggin, also in the first round. Perry also fired a 71 on a Friday that claimed the chances of many as the round scoring average ballooned to 75.85. A 74 on Saturday had Kenny trailing by three to Goggin, but a Sunday 69 coupled with the other contender’s struggles led to a two shot victory at 8-under and a check for $1.08 million for Perry.
There were four main contenders Sunday, but all had issues at some point in the final round and finished in a logjam at 6-under in a tie for second. Matthew Goggin gave away his three shot cushion on the first three holes and never could get it going en route to a final round 74. Jerry Kelly played alongside Perry but could never catch the leader as more than a few putts failed to find the hole, including a short birdie on 17 that would have pulled Kelly to within one. Justin Rose had a share of the lead on the front nine, but multiple bogeys on the way in left Rose chasing. Mike Weir also shared the lead on the turn, but he couldn’t avoid the bogeys on the back either, and couldn’t hole a birdie putt on 17 to pull one back. Kelly, Rose and Weir all posted one-under rounds of 71 on Sunday.
The threesome of Luke Donald, Steve Lowery and Rocco Mediate finished in a tie for 6th at 2-under with Geoff Ogilvy in solo 9th at 1-under rounding out the under-par competitors this week.
Even par was good enough to earn a top-10 this week and nine players share the spot including Robert Allenby and Matt Kuchar who slipped to even with a closing 77. Other notable finishers were Stuart Appleby and Phil Mickelson at 2-over in a tie for 20th. Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia landed in 30th, 39th and 45th respectively while all fell victim to rounds of 75 or over. Among those missing the cut were Ernie Els, Boo Weekley and Charles Howell III.
Perry fared well in the accuracy stats this week, hitting the 9th most fairways and the 7th most greens. The good ball striking along with a solid putting week sewed up the victory and gets Perry one step closer to his Ryder Cup goal. Perry has decided to skip U.S. Open qualifying, preferring to concentrate on the events that suit his game best as well as avoid the grind of the June Major.
With the win, Perry moves from 19th to 4th on the FedExCup list. Tiger still owns the top spot although the lead is dwindling as Woods rehabs and Mickelson continues his solid season. Ryuji Imada and Stewart Cink are the others in the top-5. Cink and Vijay Singh are the only players in the top-10 without a win in ’08.
Woods money list lead is down to less than a million after the Memorial, but Lefty has started eight more events to get within shouting distance. Geoff Ogilvy and Stewart Cink are three and four with Kenny Perry joining the $2 million dollar club in the fifth spot.
Let’s take a look at how we fared with our picks. Each week we pick a winner from a short, middle and long odds perspective and pick a few matches from the golf sportsbooks.
For the win
Short – Sergio Garcia 16 to 1
Garcia was going well in round one before a tough finish led to an even-par 72. The struggles continued with ensuing rounds of 77 and 75 and limped to a 45th place finish.
Middle – Anthony Kim 25 to 1
Kim was a late withdraw on Tuesday for a no action bet.
Longshot – Mike Weir 50 to 1
A heart breaker here as Weir never posted an over-par round and stood on the 10th tee with a great shot to win on Sunday. T2 at 6-under, 2 shots back.
Matches (our pick)
Stewart Cink v. Phil Mickelson (Cink) Loss
We liked Cink at +110 and this match was tied going into the final round when Phil posted 73 to Cink’s 75 to win by two.
Sergio Garcia v. Geoff Ogilvy (Garcia) Loss
Garcia looked good after the PLAYERS win, but couldn’t continue the run. Ogilvy had this one wrapped up after the first two rounds going four-under to Sergio’s five-over.
We also took Anthony Kim to win over Luke Donald, which resulted in no action with the Kim WD.
Close on the long shot again this week, but not close enough and 0-2 on the matches have us looking to next week already.