Top 3 Groups to Watch at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday: A Fan’s Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

With Zach Johnson getting his first win on the PGA Tour this year at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, the Tour now moves to Ohio for The Memorial Tournament. What follows are the top three groups to watch when the event kicks off on Thursday.

Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson

It is difficult to find a better group to watch at this week's event (or any event on Tour for that matter) than the one containing Fowler, Watson, and Mickelson. All three players have wins on the year, with Watson's being a major. I think all of them have a great chance to win this week's event, but if I had pick one out of the three it would have to be Watson. The golf course favors longer hitters who can take advantage of the par 5s, and that is something Bubba is accustomed to doing ever since he got on the PGA Tour.

Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, and Steve Stricker

Like the previous group, all three of these players have also won on Tour this year, with Mahan being the only one who has gotten multiple victories. This is a more important event for Justin Rose more than anyone else in the group in my view. He is coming off of a T51 at the Players Championship a little while back with a 75-71 finish, and will need to rebound with a solid event this week to gain confidence heading into the U.S. Open in a matter of weeks.

Tiger Woods, Bill Haas, Fred Couples

Last but not least, there is the group with Tiger Woods in it (not to slight Haas or Couples in any way). Woods' last event was the Players Championship as well, where he finished T40 with 72-73 on the weekend. He didn't do terrible at the event by any means, but he ranked in the middle of the field in driving accuracy and putts per round, which really prevented him from finishing high. The driving accuracy is to be expected out of Tiger, as he has had problems with that for years now, but he will definitely need to improve his putting to have a chance this week.

Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade.

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