He comes with risks attached, but Tiger Woods looks great value to make a winning return to action at one of his favourite courses. Woods has won at Muirfield Village five times, most recently in 2012, and it was always going to be the likely destination for his return. He’s won after long breaks several times in the past, including as recently as last October, and the combination of wide fairways and undulating greens bring his untouchable iron play to the fore. Rust could just cost him, but don’t count on it – and take the chance.
Every player at the top of this market has an obvious chance, but few boast strike-rates comparable to that of Dustin Johnson and he could go back-to-back. Winning two titles in succession is something he’s done three times previously, and there was so much to like about the way he closed things out at the Travelers when last in action. Johnson’s ball-striking is back where it needs to be now that he’s back with his former coach, and everything points towards another big week at a course where he should’ve won in 2016 and contended in 2018.
At just 21 years of age, Joaquin Niemann is one of the brightest talents in the sport – and he could just follow 23-year-old Collin Morikawa’s lead at Muirfield Village. Niemann was fifth in this two years ago, just after he turned professional, before a top-30 finish in 2019 confirmed his love for the course. It’s not dissimilar to the one on which he won his first PGA Tour title late last year, and he wasn’t all that far away in last week’s Workday Charity Open. A quality ball-striker, he should make the weekend and can land the place money.
Nobody hit their irons better than Keegan Bradley in last week’s trial run at the same course, and if he continues in that vein he should get competitive. It’s true that issues remain with his short-game which cost him any chance in the Workday Open, but with tougher conditions expected it’s going to be even more important to hit fairways and greens. Besides, Bradley does spring to life with the putter out of seemingly nowhere, and we know this major champion excels in elite fields. He can make a run at the places at the very least.
Read Ben Coley’s full preview at Sporting Life.com
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