Projecting Friday’s Memorial Cutline: World No.1 in Trouble?

Scottie Scheffler, 2023 Memorial Tournament,(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler, 2023 Memorial Tournament,(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Projecting Friday’s Cutline at the 2023 Memorial Tournament. Is the World No. 1 in danger of missing the weekend?

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the season, the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, is underway and with big stars emerging early in the week and others faltering it is all set up perfectly for another dramatic Friday.

Amongst the big stars at the top, one of the bright young talents in the sport emerged from the pack after day one. Young, Davis Riley, sits alone at the top after an extremely impressive 5-under 67 on Thursday on a day when Muirfield showed its teeth and even the best of the best struggled to go low.

Riley, alongside playing partner Nick Hardy, earned his first PGA Tour win at this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April. Though a win this week technically wouldn’t be his first, it could potentially be Riley’s first solo win out on tour at an event that has seen a host of first-time winners breakthrough over the years.

The 26-year-old will have his work cut out for him if he is to go wire-to-wire at Muirfield Village this week, however, with some of the game’s biggest stars and major champions lurking in the rearview mirror.

Matt Wallace claimed his own first PGA Tour win earlier this year as well at the Corales Puntacana Championship at the end of March. The Englishman got off to a flying start on Thursday at this year’s Memorial Tournament with an opening round of 68, a tally that leaves him one shot adrift of Riley heading into Friday’s second round.

Meanwhile, major champions Jordan Spieth (69) and Shane Lowry (69) are also in a great position after day one. As has been the case with most of the newly designated events in 2023 the big names in golf continue to show up when the lights are the brightest.

2023 Masters Champion, Jon Rahm (-2), 2013 Masters winner, Adam Scott (-2), two-time major champion, Collin Morikawa (-1), two-time Memorial Tournament winner, Patrick Cantlay (-1), Viktor Hovland (-1), Tyrrell Hatton (-1), and Sam Burns (-1), are just several of the big name stars who recorded opening rounds under-par on Thursday.

World No. 1 in danger of missing the cut at Memorial Tournament?

You have to go all the way back to last August’s FedEx St. Jude Championship to find the last time that world number one Scottie Scheffler missed the cut.

Scheffler comes into this year’s Memorial Tournament on an incredible run having finished no worse than 12th in any event since the CJ Cup last October. He has three top 5 finishes in his last three starts coming into the week but following an opening round of 74, at least momentarily, Scheffler is potentially in danger of seeing his incredible run come to an end this week in Ohio.

Last year’s Masters Champion and this year’s Players Champion will certainly back himself to turn things around on Friday, but where exactly does his opening round leave him in terms of the 2023 Memorial Tournament projected cutline?

What will the cutline be at the 2023 Memorial Tournament?

Jack’s Place was always going to provide a true test for the world’s best this week and that is exactly what is playing out at Muirfield Village. As such, we can expect a relatively high cutline for this week’s elevated event.

The fine folks at Data Golf currently have Friday’s projected cutline at +3 with around a 40% chance of that being the mark come the halfway point of this year’s Memorial Tournament. It’s currently a toss-up as to which direction that mark moves if at all on Friday with +2 (23.5%) and +4 (24.6%).

As things currently stand, the projected cutline of +3 would leave the world number one on the right side of the cutline with Scheffler heading into Friday’s second round sitting at two over par. However, with little margin for error, Scottie would need a 71 or better during his round two to truly feel safe, never mind getting back into contention this weekend.

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A projected cutline of +3 would see players such as Scheffler, Cameron Young, and Justin Thomas make the weekend while big names including Jason Day (+4), Matt Fitzpatrick (+4), Xander Schauffele (+5), and others would all be left on the outside looking in.

Friday’s second-round action gets underway at 7:00 a.m. EST on ESPN+