Is Justin Rose underrated? It’s a question that was raised on this week’s Golf Digest Podcast following Rose’s impressive victory at the Fort Worth Invitational. Although, clearly not under-ranked — Rose moved to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking with his win at Colonial — his name probably doesn’t come up as quickly as it should when discussing the game’s best players. Well, not in this space. Rose shouldn’t only be considered a favorite to win at this week’s Memorial Tournament, but at the upcoming U.S. Open. Here’s a look at the fab foursome we’re rolling with at Muirfield Village.
Justin Rose: The talented Brit finally broke through for his first PGA Tour title in 2010 at this event. Since then, he’s come close a couple times with runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2015, the last time he teed it up at Jack’s place. And after picking up PGA Tour title No. 9 last week, we’re not overthinking this.
Rickie Fowler: Rickie was a disappointed runner-up to Rose in 2010 when he himself was looking for a maiden PGA Tour victory, but shot a Sunday 73. He’s had more struggles since — a Sunday 84 in 2012 and missed cuts in 2014, 2015 and 2016 — but he added another runner-up last year. Fowler’s strokes gained stats are down across the board this season, but that’s due in part to his best performance — a runner-up at the Masters — not counting in those categories. With major season about to kick into full gear, we expect to see Fowler at the top (Or, at least, near the top) of leader boards again.
Rory McIlroy: The four-time major champ had another disappointing Sunday last week, getting beat by Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA. But while he hasn’t been piling up wins (yet), his improved putting indicates they will come. And after winning at Arnie’s place earlier this year, he seems poised to win at Jack’s following a T-4 in his last trip to Muirfield Village. This encounter won’t hurt:
Kevin Na: Kevin might be coming off the most entertaining fourth-place finish in PGA Tour history after firing rounds of 62 and 61 at Colonial (The 61 tied the course record) and giving us this priceless exchange with his caddie:
Na has to be the most confident one-win player in PGA Tour history, and he’ll be feeling pretty good at a place where he has one of his nine career runner-ups. Also, at 50-to-1 odds, he’s probably the best value bet in the field.
And for more talk about the Memorial, Justin Rose’s U.S. Open prospects, and a chat with rising star Aaron Wise, please have a listen to this week’s Golf Digest Podcast: