Popularity Contest? Trendy pick can justify Memorial Tournament hype

Is Collin Morikawa the man to beat at this week's Memorial Tournament?
Collin Morikawa - Charles Schwab Challenge
Collin Morikawa - Charles Schwab Challenge / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

It has been a steady season for Collin Morikawa. He has five top 10s and nine top 25s thus far on the PGA Tour. He seems primed for his first victory of the year and is a favorite for the Memorial Tournament this week.

Many have predicted that Collin Morikawa could win the Memorial Tournament.

An extremely popular pick to win and do well in fantasy golf lineups this week, Collin Morikawa is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes at both the PGA Championship and Charles Schwab Challenge.

The tournament is also taking place at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Ohio, where Morikawa has had previous success. He won the 2020 Workday Charity Open in a playoff over Justin Thomas on the course. Morikawa also lost in a playoff in 2021 at the Memorial.

Coming into the week, he has averaged 4.44 birdies per round which sees him rank sixth on tour. The most important aspect of his game for this tournament and the rest of the season is how he finishes as opposed to how he starts the tournament. His round 1 scoring average is at 68.08 which has him ranked third on the PGA Tour. His round 4 scoring average, however, is 71.00. Good for 135th on tour.

After finishing the Charles Schwab Challenge, Morikawa talked to reporters about the state of his game heading into the next few events.

"I'm definitely going to look at this as a positive aspect. Look, the beginning of the year was a struggle and I had to get out of that and I did. It's just motivating to see all these other guys play well, these guys winning tournaments to be just like, okay, this is a big little stretch of golf coming up before playoffs and heading into playoffs, and we want to make a good run for it and start finishing at the end on top of the leaderboard on Sunday."

With Jack Nicklaus looking on during his tournament this weekend, this week presents Collin Morikawa with an excellent opportunity to step into the winner's circle for the first time in 2024.

Next. 2024 Memorial Tournament power rankings. 2024 Memorial Tournament power rankings. light

It could also allow him to gain momentum with the U.S. Open at Pinehurst coming up next week.