Memorial Tournament picks: Who experts (and golf fans!) think will win

Patrick Cantlay, a winner a year ago at the Memorial, is back in the field this week.

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A year ago this week, Jon Rahm walked off the 18th green at Muirfield Village with the 2021 Memorial all but in the bag.

Holding a six-shot lead through three rounds, the Spaniard showed no signs of slowing. The tournament was his. Until it wasn’t.

What should have been a victory march turned into a WD for Rahm, who was forced to the sidelines by a positive Covid test.

Patrick Cantlay went on to win.

Now, both men are back in Ohio, among the favorites in a field that includes the likes of Jordan Spieth, Cameron Smith, Collin Morikawa and past Memorial champ Hideki Matsuyama.

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There are many big names to consider.

But your mission — should you choose to accept it — is to pick just three as you join the fun on Chirp Golf.

An affiliate of GOLF.com, Chirp is a free-to-play mobile game that features weekly contests including a $5,000 Jackpot Pick ‘Em and other live shot-by-shot prediction games. The game we’re playing here is a Trifecta contest that calls for users to select three players: a favorite, a contender and a long shot.

Nearly 1,000 users have already signed up for this week’s Trifecta, a healthy sample size that gives us a sense of where public opinion is leaning.

In the favorite’s category, (players ranked 1-20 in the world), Rahm has the strongest backing so far, with 25.84 percent of the vote. Rory McIlroy is the next most popular pick, at 17.66 percent, followed by Smith and Spieth, at 11.95 percent each.

Among the contenders (ranked 21-60 in the world), Patrick Reed leads the way with 28.96 of the votes, giving him a healthy edge over Adam Scott, who ranks second at 12.47 percent. Mito Pereira is in third place, at 8.44 percent.

As for the long shots, Rickie Fowler (27.40 percent), Jason Day (18.96 percent) and Joel Dahmen (11.69) rank 1, 2 and 3.

If you’d like to play, you can download the Chirp App here.

And if you’re looking for insights from our experts, here are Memorial Trifecta picks from three GOLF.com staffers.

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Jessica Marksbury, senior editor:

Favorite: Jon Rahm (rank: 2nd)

Will redeem the victory that should have been his last year.

Contender: Max Homa (rank: 28th)

He has been on a tear. Ten top 25s in 16 events this season. Plus, he was T6 here last year.

Long Shot: Si Woo Kim (rank: 60th)

T9 at the Memorial last year, and he’s made 17 of 20 cuts this year. The guy is a grinder.

Is it Max Homa’s week? getty images

Josh Sens, senior writer:

Favorite: Patrick Cantlay (rank: 6th)

Coming off an awful showing at Southern Hills, Cantlay should be playing with some extra fire on a course where he has won twice before.

Contender: Cameron Young (rank: 30th)

The secret’s out on Young. An absolute stud of a ball-striker on a course that seems to get beefier by the year.

Long Shot: Davis Riley (rank: 93rd)

Alan Bastable, executive editor:

Favorite: Xander Schauffele (rank: 11th)

Coming into Dublin off three straight top-15. In form, as they say.

Contender: Patrick Reed (rank: 36th)

5th place here a year ago, plus game trending with a 7th-place finish at Colonial last week.

Long Shot: Cameron Champ (rank: 108th)

Muirfield Village requires some muscle to take down, but Champ is long enough to outmuscle it.

josh sens

Josh Sens

Golf.com Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.