2024 The Memorial Power Rankings: Top-10 Golfers To Watch (2024)

2024 The Memorial Power Rankings: Top-10 Golfers To Watch (1)

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1.No. 10 - Hideki Matsuyama

2.No. 9 - Byeong Hun An

3.No. 8 - Corey Conners

4.No. 7 - Will Zalatoris

5.No. 6 - Wyndham Clark

6.No. 5 - Viktor Hovland

7.No. 4 - Ludvig Aberg

8.No. 3 - Rory McIlroy

9.No. 2 - Scottie Scheffler

10.No. 1 - Xander Schauffele

11.Win Big With RotoBaller

13.More PGA Analysis and DFS Lineup Picks

The PGA Tour rolls right along the highway to Pinehurst, but first, they'll make the annual stop in Southern Ohio at Muirfield Village for The Memorial. It's a Signature event with a 20-million-dollar purse that features a 36-hole cut for players within 10 and inside the top 50. Eight of the top ten players in the Official Golf World Rankings are set to take on the brutal task at hand for one of the most difficult courses that players will face all season.

In 2023, Muirfield Village gave us a phenomenal playoff finish in a tournament that ranked the second-hardest event of the season in terms of scoring. Using the data from recent years since the major renovation, I've come up with my top 10 players for this week!

As always with this article, my primary goal is to provide a place to start your research and preparation for the incoming week. I have carefully evaluated the field to project course fits and past results in team golf formats. This will give you a glimpse at how my brain operates when it comes to handicapping this unique event. Here are my top 10 players to watch out for and a brief write-up of my reasons why.

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No. 10 - Hideki Matsuyama

a 16th-place finish in the 2023 Memorial Tournament was a step in the correct direction for Hideki Matsuyama after he was unfortunately disqualified from the 2022 tournament. Tournament officials gave Matsuyama the boot after having some white-out on his 3-wood that made the club non-conforming and could have been used for alignment. It was a strange circ*mstance and it was positive to see him rebound last year by gaining +2.5 strokes on both putting and approach play.

Hideki Matsuyama was just disqualified from the Memorial for having a non-confirming club.

This is a picture of his 3 wood (courtesy of https://t.co/2WaDhyjcey).

Paint above the surface of the grooves. Definitely odd. pic.twitter.com/nSDFqicFOL

— The Plugged Lie (@PluggedLiePod) June 2, 2022

Matsuyama has been back to his familiar self in 2024. There have been elite mid-iron performances on numerous occasions compiled with a bevy of consistent injury concerns. He's just one of the players that you must consider with his elite upside and ability to go nuclear with his approach play, even in the toughest of conditions. If he can play from the fairway for most of the week, his other strengths, including his premium ability around the greens, should set him up well to be in firm contention.

No. 9 - Byeong Hun An

Ben An lapping the field in strokes gained Off-The-Tee has become one of the more predictable stat outcomes of the year in the 2024 season. An is averaging 319 yards in driving distance over his last 24 rounds played. He also ranks second in total carry distance on average, which could be important this week as Muirfield Village conditions are expected to be softer than normal with rain in the forecast this week.

He nearly won this event back in 2018 when he finished runner-up. Muirfield Village has always seemed to fit his eye, even as a younger and less-skilled player. The 2023 Memorial was his worst putting performance in his career at this event and he was still able to finish inside the top-25. An has now gained strokes putting in three consecutive starts on the PGA Tour. If he can continue his confidence with the flat stick, everything else seems to check out nicely for a great week.

No. 8 - Corey Conners

Corey Conners made an impressive charge in the final round of the Canadian Open but ultimately could not catch the runaway train of Robert MacIntyre. He followed his preferred recipe for success...by crushing the field with his overall approach play. He has now gained at least three strokes on the field with his approach in ten of his last 13 starts, which is ridiculous to imagine a player with that level of consistency.

Conners is now set to return to Ohio, where he played college golf. The familiar thick rough and undulated bent grass greens are a standard theme throughout the state that helped him gain the skill and confidence to become one of the best on the PGA Tour. I feel like it's coming down the line for Conners and he is ready to pop off with the putter. If he can gain even a single stroke putting, he can win!

No. 7 - Will Zalatoris

Muirfield Village does an excellent job of separating the strong from the weak players by placing a priority on elite long-iron play. The par-5's are long and difficult by tour standards and the par-3's ranked as the MOST difficult 3-shotters of the season. Players are going to hit a ton of 175-225 yard shots. This is why you rank Will Zalatoris inside your top 10. He remains one of the best long-iron players on the planet.

The more difficult the conditions, the better Will Zalatoris seems to perform. Zalatoris missed the event last season as he was on the injured reserve, but he did finish T5 back in 2022. With his iron play continuing to gain form and consistency, I would label this a near-perfect course fit for Zalatoris. These are some of the toughest greens to hit in regulation on the PGA Tour which only exacerbates the strengths of his game.

Will Zalatoris was one of the best ball-strikers on tour. Takes some guts to change your swing, but he knew for his health, he had to.

A year off, a visit to @MyTPI, then lots of work with his swing coach Troy Denton, and the results are coming...pic.twitter.com/oCe0qzOqqn

— LKD (@LukeKerrDineen) March 8, 2024

No. 6 - Wyndham Clark

He's in the midst of a rough patch in his season, but it feels like this is the type of golf course where Wyndham Clark can really accentuate his best attributes. He's a top-5 player in the field in terms of driving distance and carry distance off the tee and is set to tackle one of the longest golf courses that we will see all season long. His power will be an asset, but he has to turn things around with his iron play if he wants to contend.

Clark has failed to gain +0.5 strokes on approach in any of his last five starts. He missed the cut at both the PGA Championship and The Masters. Clark has now had three weeks off to figure out his swing, and this is a great fit for his game if he can get back in rhythm. Clark finished in a tie for 12th place last season. It's a big week for Clark who is looking to regain some form the week before defending his US Open Championship at Pinehurst.

No. 5 - Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland was able to chase down a scorching Denny McCarthy putting performance on Sunday of last season's Memorial Tournament to force a playoff, before ultimately prevailing in extra holes to win the biggest event of his career at the time. It felt like the catalyst for what was an amazing couple of months for Hovland that ultimately ended with a few more wins and the Tour Championship.

Are we willing to write off his season-long struggles after one solid week at Valhalla? I think so. He looked like his old self, dismantling the course from tee to green and rolling a confident putter. The other noticeable difference...Hovland gained 1.4 strokes ARG. That doesn't sound like a lot, but for Hovland, that is a big step in the right direction. A recent rekindling of his old swing coach relationship appears to have Hovland back in the correct headspace to compete at the highest level.

Viktor Hovland 📈

It was reported earlier last week the Hovland flew to Vegas to see his former coach Joe Mayo

Well, that decision paid off

He finished solo third, gaining 12 strokes from T2G

It's great to see Hovland playing good golf again


— Josh Segal (@Josh_Segal8) May 20, 2024

No. 4 - Ludvig Aberg

It has been four weeks since Ludvig Aberg's "minor" knee injury was reported before the Wells Fargo Championship, forcing him to withdraw from the field. While he put to rest many of the concerns in his pre-tournament media sessions before the PGA Championship, his performance that week left many wondering if the injury was more serious than we initially thought. He's set to compete this week at Muirfield Village to record his third round in the last six weeks.

Many hope that Aberg can get off to a good start on Thursday because the course is the perfect fit for his game. What course isn't? Aberg has the lethal combination of total driving that makes him a contender at any course. Muirfield Village has long been known as a stepping stone for supreme talent in their journey to being viewed as an elite player. Aberg is ready for that next step...if he's healthy.

No. 3 - Rory McIlroy

1st, 1st, 12th. 4th. That is the result of Rory McIlroy's last four PGA Tour starts. It's the run that he's been waiting for as he gears up for the final two majors of the season. There are not many boxes left to check in regards to the career of Rory McIlroy, but winning at Muirfield Village and taking home the crystal in Jack's event is certainly one of the big ones left. He's been great here, recording five top-18 finishes in his last seven starts at the Memorial.

McIlroy has also managed to putt the greens at Muirfield Village particularly well which could be a problem for the rest of the field. His tee-to-green game has been absolutely dialed in ever since the slightly shortened swing which was recently brought to life after a visit to Butch Harmon was enacted. He's in form, confident, and still one of the best Drivers of a golf ball in the world. A win this week would put an exclamation point on the summer of Rory.

No. 2 - Scottie Scheffler

Yes, I know. I had to change things up a bit. There has been plenty of breaking news regarding Scottie Scheffler over the past three weeks, so I hardly expect a No. 2 ranking to make too many headlines. Is he still the best in the world? Most definitely. All that said, it's hard to imagine any player having to deal with as many emotional swings in the last four weeks as Scheffler has had on his plate.

Three of his last six rounds played have been some of the worst performances of the season. Sure, there are still flashes of brilliance and dominance to a level that no player can match, but we have seen rare moments of slippage lately. He had an amazing performance at this event last year, despite not making a single putt over 10 feet through his first 70 holes. It was one of the most lopsided statistical performances of all time. He's going to be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday, but I just feel like this week...and this moment belongs to someone else.

Scottie Scheffler sets up a tap-in birdie at the difficult par-3 16th at Muirfield Village.

He’s tied for the lead at Memorial despite losing more than 8 strokes putting and not making a single putt over 10 feet this week. pic.twitter.com/hmYdXl1kor

— Underdog Golf (@Underdog__Golf) June 4, 2023

No. 1 - Xander Schauffele

Rule #1: You never, ever, leave the table on a heater. Some players are prone to ride a hot streak when they finally bust open the floodgates, and Xander Schauffele has shown that he is one of those players. Besides Scheffler, Schauffele has easily been the most consistently great player this entire season. He has seemingly breezed his way inside the top 10 every week. The combination of a newer, more powerful swing off the tee slong with his surgical iron play has made life easy in 2024 for Schauffele.

Schauffele has recorded a top-25 finish in each of his last five starts around Muirfield Village. He has been playing so incredibly well for so long that it's hard to believe that he went nearly two full seasons without a single victory. That said, the last time he won a tournament, he also won the following week. We could be in for that once again. The monkey is off his back, there does not seem to be many distractions around him, and Schauffle is playing with passion and confidence at the moment. I think he will go out and win again! Light the candle!

Enjoy the Memorial and best of luck this week, RotoBaller family!

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