The Memorial Tournament: Odds, Picks and Betting Preview
After landing a +3500 pick last week, our Golf expert, Niall Lyons, brings us his tips for the Memorial.
We're back at Muirfield Village Golf Club for the second week in a row for this weekend's Memorial Tournament.
Last weekend, it was Collin Morikawa topping Justin Thomas in a thrilling back-and-forth playoff for his second ever PGA Tour victory in just 24 events started. Morikawa came into the tournament at +3500 and Thomas was the favorite at +1200.
The logical thing to do would be to back Morikawa and Thomas to be at the top again this week, but the field looks much different now than it did for the Workday Charity Open. For starters, the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Wodds, is making his post-break debut (+2700). On top of that, this week's favorite, Bryson DeChambeau (+1000), was absent from the field, along with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, to name a few.
Where is the 2020 Memorial Tournament?
Muirfield Village Golf Club, Par 72
First Tee: Thursday, July 16, 6:50 a.m. ET
Field: 133 Golfers
What can we expect of Muirfield Village Golf Club? What attributes do the players need?
You can expect the same types of players that did well last week to succeed again this week. Muirfield Village GC is a course that rewards accuracy off the tee. The fairways are often lined with trees, streams and bunkers that will need to be avoided. The course is also known for relatively quick greens and plays at 7,392 yards.
The Memorial Tournament – Betting Picks
With the focus so much on tee to green, I feel Rory McIlroy is the play at the top of the market. He hasn't been at his best since the return but I don't feel the tracks were set up perfect for him. This time, Muirfield Village should be perfect. He has a host of top-10 finishes here without ever getting the job done but looks set to capitalize upon the setup of the course.
McIlroy continually tops the strokes gained tee to green stats and if he turns up with his driver purring it's hard to see him out of the argument. His previous top 10s here were when his putter was a problem in his game, but he has sorted a lot of things out with that club and should be ready to shoot one of his best scores here.
I was of the opinion that the winner would come from those who played last week, but it was a gruelling enough week for most and the course landed some blows despite being a much easier week than anticipated this time around. Rahm endured some hardship, as did Cantlay before rallying on Sunday. Thomas has some physical scars also, and Matusyama was ultimately disappointing. McIlroy comes in fresh and I'm sure one of his remaining ambitions on the regular tour would be to win Jack's event. Whenever you see +1400 around for the best golfer in the world, you have to take another glance.
Less than average putters with a super tee-to-green game go well here down the years, and I'll be adding a few who fit that bracket. Sergio Garcia is the first. At the Heritage a few weeks back he blew the field away tee to green, topping the strokes gained tee to green and second in shots gained approach. Only a cold putter stood in his way from getting closer to Simpson.
Cold putters often heat up here at Muirfield Village, and Garcia can be expected to contend should he produce a similar tee-to-green game to that at the Heritage. He hasn't played here since 2008, with his best result coming back in 2001, finishing second, 7 shots back of Tiger Woods.
At the Travelers it was his flatstick causing the main problems again. Overall his tee-to-green game can rise above the majority of the field here and his lack of firepower on the greens is of less importance than the tour average. This renders the +7500 more than backable.
Jason Day is very interesting, having gone well last week. He sits at a tempting price but I'm worried slightly about missing too many fairways at the business end. One golfer that has improvement in him after last week is Rickie Fowler.
Fowler played some great golf in spurts during the week but was incredibly sloppy at periods from prime positions. He finished with 0.3 strokes gained putting for the week and we all know he is capable of so much more than that. Given he lost two strokes approaching the greens also, a top-25 finish can be considered somewhat a success and a sign that there is a fair amount of improvement in there.
I'd expect him to be working on those aspects in between the two events and even though I don't think he sits at a particularly pretty price, I'll have a few dollars on him anyway in the hope he sorts his approach game. I'd be extremely surprised if he didn't improve those putting stats.
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