We’re back at Jack’s Place. It’s time for the Memorial Tournament, and since Jon Rahm’s victory last year, there have been a lot of changes to the golf course. An extra 100 yards have been added, greens/fairways/tee boxes have all been re-grassed, and bunkers have been changed.
It’ll be interesting to see if these changes effect the winning score come Sunday afternoon. Last year Rahm won at -9, but the golf course was playing impossible. It was completely burnt out, and Jack didn’t care because renovations were starting right after the tourney. Actually, if you guys remember, they started before the final putt even went in. But, usually, the winning score is in the low-mid teens.
Let’s take a look at the field.
Defending champion Jon Rahm returns to Muirfield Village as the betting favorite. The last time we saw the World No. 3, he finished inside the Top 10 at the PGA Championship. Aside from his win, he doesn’t have great history at the Memorial.
Jordan Spieth, fresh off his 6th Top 5 this season, is tied for 2nd in betting odds this week. Fanduel has him at +1400, and I understand why. He’s been incredible since Torrey, and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. In 2020, he finished T13 here.
Our guy is back this week. Rory McIlory finished T49 at the PGA, and that was really due to his finish on Friday. He got it all the way back to E and was right in the thick of the tournament. He would go on to bogey 16, 17, and 18, and enter the weekend at +3. He was 32nd here last season, but grabbed a Top 10 in 2018.
Other big names in the field include Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland, and Xander Schauffele.
This is a TRUE second shot golf course. We’re looking for ball-strikers this week. On top of that, there’s a lot of longer Par 4s, so guys good from 175-200 are gonna thrive.
Gotta bring your short game to Muirfield. It was 1st and 2nd in the most difficult scrambling category last season on Tour.
Course Fit: 1. Innisbrook (Copperhead), 2. Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, 3. TPC Twin Cities
Trending (of the players in the field): 1. Jordan Spieth (Last 3 starts: T9, T30, 2), 2. Abraham Ancer (2, T8, T14), 3. Charley Hoffman (T18, T17, T3)
% Chance to Win (Baseline, Course History and Fit): 1. Jon Rahm (5.9%), 2. Collin Morikawa (4.8%), 3. Viktor Hovland (4.2%)
Best Bets for the Memorial Tournament
Gonna start with the guy that keeps winning us money, Mr. Charley Hoffman.
Over his last 36 rounds he’s 3rd in SG: APP, 3rd in SG: Ball-Striking, while also being solid off the tee, 35th in SG: OTT.
Since missing the cut in Phoenix, he has 9 Top 20s – which includes 4 Top 10s, and 2 Top 5s.
You have to go back to 2017 for the last time Charley made the cut at this event, but I like is current form over history at Muirfield.
Top 30 (+125) Fanduel
Corey Connors came up a few shots short of cashing us a Top 10 last week, but in a stronger field at Muirfield, you can get good value on him for a Top 20.
His SG numbers over the last 36 rounds are ridiculous: 4th APP, 7th OTT, 2nd Ball-Striking, 3rd in TOT and T2G. His short game isn’t great, 130th over his last 36, but on the season he’s hit over 71% of greens, so that doesn’t affect his score too much.
He’s also just due. His last win came in 2019 at the Valero Texas Open, and since his last MC (Genesis), Connors has 7 Top 20s (9 stroke-play starts).
Top 20 (+140) Fanduel
We’re gonna put Max Homa back on the card this week, which may be a bit risky.
He’s in a little slump right now, missing 2 straight cuts at the Wells Fargo and PGA Championship. But the last time be played over the weekend was a T6 at the Valspar.
He’s 20th on Tour over his last 36 rounds in SG: APP, which is beneficial at a second shot course like Muirfield.
He missed the cut last year at this event, but grabbed a Top 40 in 2019.
Top 40 (+160) Fanduel
Doug Ghim may be a target for us in the Top 40 range.
He’s one of the guys that’s inside the Top 30 in both SG: APP and scrambling (Hoffman, Henley, and Cantlay are the other 3).
He’s great from 175-200, ranking 2nd on Tour over his last 36 rounds – behind only Collin Morikawa.
He averages 294 of the tee which is good enough around Muirfield, as accuracy is a bit more important around this track – he’s 37th in FIR.
Top 40 (+160) Fanduel
I wouldn’t say he’s coming in under the radar, but I think Collin Morikawa has been playing sneaky good golf over the last month +.
Since the Match Play he’s made 4 solo starts, all of them are Top 20s – 2 of them are Top 10s.
Over his last 36 rounds, he’s 1st in SG: APP, Ball-Striking, and T2G.
He’s 90th on Tour this season in SG: ATG, but he’s 1st in GIR, so it doesn’t get tested too much. The real test will be the putter, where he ranks 180th in SG: Putting.
He won the Workday at Muirfield last year.
Top 10 (+175) Fanduel
Another young stud, Viktor Hovland, is due for a win.
He recently had back-to-back T3 finishes at the Wells Fargo and Valspar, and his last appearance was a T30 at the PGA.
His SG numbers over his last 36 are wicked good…
Also over his last 36 rounds, he’s 11th in proximity from 175-200.
His short game used to be a major problem, but has improved dramatically.
Top 10 (+190) Fanduel
And finally, our guy. Have to bet on Rory somewhere this week, because we always do.
His SG numbers over his last 36…
He was -2 going into Sunday at the Memorial last year, but shot a final round 78 and finished T32.
He’s 38th in his last 36 rounds from 175-200, but I’m more impressed by his 100-125 ranking, as he’s 13th. Cowen has improved his wedge play greatly since they began working together.
Top 20 (-130) Fanduel
Cover via GolfMagic.com