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Former Ohio State golfer Bo Hoag is part of this year’s field at The Memorial Tournament

The annual event at Muirfield Golf Village hosted by Jack Nicklaus is always one of the best tournaments of the PGA Tour season.

Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament - Final Round Photo by Rankin White/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Today the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday kicks off at Muirfield Golf Village in Dublin. The tournament is hosted by Jack Nicklaus, who is one of the most famous Ohio State alums. 120 golfers will be vying for the $20 million prize purse this weekend. This year’s tournament will be of even more importance to me, as I’ll be at Muirfield today attending the event for the first time.

The Masters - Round One Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

One of those golfers is former Ohio State golfer Bo Hoag, who will be making his fifth appearance at Jack’s Place. After finishing 13th in 2021, Hoag had a little more trouble navigating Muirfield last year, as he failed to make the cut. The season as a whole was a disappointment for Hoag, who only made seven cuts in the 20 tournaments he played, finishing 195th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Things haven’t gotten much better for Hoag this year, who is now playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the golf equivalent of the minors. Hoag has only made the cut four times in the 11 tournaments he has played in, with his best finishing being 11th in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay in early January. Hoag played golf at Ohio State from 2008-11.

The field for The Memorial is usually one of the strongest of the year on the PGA Tour, and this year is no different. The top-five golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings will be teeing it up this week at Muirfield. Of the top-10 in the OWGR, the only ones who won’t be playing are Cameron Smith, Will Zalatoris, and Max Homa. Smith is a LIV golfer, Zalatoris is out for the season after back surgery, and Homa will be attending his sister’s wedding.

U.S. Open - Final Round Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Jon Rahm enters this week’s tournament on top of the FedEx Cup standings. Rahm has won four times so far this season, with his biggest win coming in April when he won The Masters. The Spaniard has taken a liking to Muirfield over the last few years. Not only did Rahm win back in 2020, he held the 54-hole lead in 2021 before being forced to withdraw from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. Rahm will be looking to put together a strong performance ahead of the US Open in two weeks out in Los Angeles.

While Rahm is the leader of the FedEx Cup standings heading into this week’s tournament, Scottie Scheffler leads the OWGR. Following a 2021-22 season that saw him win four times, Scheffler has won twice already this season. The Texas alum has played at The Memorial twice, with his best showing coming in 2021 when he finished third.

Wells Fargo Championship - Round One Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

The only two-time winner of The Memorial that will be in the field this week is Patrick Cantlay. The UCLA product won in 2019 and capitalized on the positive COVID test that knocked Rahm out of the field in 2021, winning the tournament in a playoff. Along with his two victories at Muirfield, Cantlay finished fourth in 2018, and tied for third in 2022. Even though Cantlay has eight PGA Tour wins under his belt, he is still searching for his first win at a major tournament.

Along with Bo Hoag, another fan favorite this week will be Jason Day, who makes his home in Westerville. After struggling with injuries for a number of years, a few weeks ago Day earned his first win since 2018 when he won the AT&T Byron Nelson. The Australian has been one of the best golfers on tour this year, posting 12 top-25 finishes in the 17 events he has entered, with seven of those finishes being inside the top-10. Day currently is fifth in the FedEx Cup standings after not even cracking the top-100 the last two seasons.

With all the talk about fan favorites and past champions, we still haven’t even mentioned last year’s winner, Billy Horschel. This year has been a struggle for the former Florida Gator, as he has just two top-10 finishes and is 108th in the FedEx Cup standings. Horschel is hoping that a strong performance as defending champion at Muirfield will propel him to a stronger second half of the PGA Tour season.

B-Leez’s pick to win The Memorial

So who am I taking this weekend to win at Muirfield? While it’s tempting to take Rahm or Scheffler to win, I think Patrick Cantlay wins his third Memorial title.

Not only is Cantlay always a threat to win at Jack’s Place anytime he tees it there, last month he teamed with caddie Joe LaCava, who used to carry the sticks for Tiger Woods. Cantlay might not be a bomber like Rahm or Rory McIlroy, but what he does is play smart golf, which is why he has been able to have so much success at the golf course in Dublin.

It looks like a $10 bet on Cantlay to win the tournament would net you $100, which are the third-lowest odds behind Rahm and Scheffler.