31st May Axe's Tips Memorial Tournament

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    It’s on to ‘Jack’s Place’, (Muirfield Village CG) this week for the PGATour where a top field turns up to take part in the Memorial Tournament. Muirfield is named after the Golden Bear’s favourite Open Championship venue. Still playing to the original Jack Nicklaus design, the club has hosted the Ryder Cup (1987) and the Presidents Cup (2013) and features tree lined fairways, 73 bunkers and 11 holes with water in play. Nicklaus is renowned for tinkering with the course every year but this year it has been left alone.

    COURSE: Muirfield Village CG, Dublin, Ohio: 7,392 yards, PAR 72

    I tipped Reed as one to watch at the beginning of the year and then didn’t back him in the Masters so when he won at Augusta it was a sore one to take. However this week could redeem the situation. If you ignore The Players Championship (T41) a couple of weeks ago, he has been in really good form. Including the Masters win he has had six top ten finishes in a row. I’m surprised that he doesn’t seem be one of the favourites, although I’ll not complain if he wins. Always thought he had a great all round game for Muirfield and although his other two appearances aren’t that great he did finish eighth two years ago.
    Strokes Gained Approach: .501 (33rd) Scrambling: 63.9% (21st) Putting Average: 1.741 (T22)

    Argentinian Grillo is another of my favourite players. He is having a great season with four top tens, including two third place finishes, one of which was last week at Fort Worth. He has already qualified for the US Open and will be focussing in getting back into the OWGR which he did in 2015 and 2016. Played here the last two years with an 11th and 40th place finish. Muirfield is a course you have to get to know and with the form he is in Emiliano can certainly be in contention over the weekend.
    Strokes Gained Approach: .627 (17th) Scrambling: 62.35 (T39) Putting Average: 1.746 (T30)

    Don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting the feeling it’s getting close to ‘McIlroy Time’. After a good start to the year in January on the European Tour (T3 and 2nd) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, February was a disaster on the PGA Tour. He also missed the cut at the Valspar before finding form and winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A T5 finish in the Masters was a good finish but a final round 74 let him down. He missed the cut at The Players but a second place finish at the weekend shows he isn’t far away from his second win of the season.
    Strokes Gained: Approach: .305 (52nd) Scrambling: 62.70% (34th) Putting Average: 1.754 (T42)

    1.50 ew Patrick Reed (PaddyPower 33-1) Pays 8
    1.50 ew Emiliano Grillo (Corals 40-1) Pays 7
    1.50 ew Rory McIlroy (Betfred 16-1) Pays 6

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