1957. That is the last time that consecutive PGA Tour events were played on the same course. In a year filled with history, most of it bad, the PGA Tour will make some this week with the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club just outside of Columbus, Ohio.
We were treated to quite a final round on Sunday…if you could find it since it wasn’t on live TV. For all of the great things that the PGA Tour has done as one of the few sports in action, their visibility has not been one of them, especially given that the GOLF CHANNEL rarely shows live golf.
Anyway, there are going to be a lot of discussions on podcasts and in articles this week about how much last week’s data points matter for this week’s event. The Workday Charity Open had a much stronger field than anticipated, given that the prize pool was about $3 million lower than the one for this week, but a lot of players looked to cash a check or at least have the opportunity to hit some balls around Jack Nicklaus’s home course.
Rather than focus on who did what, let’s focus on how the tournament played out. Three of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour – Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland – were in the final grouping and two of the three needed extra holes to decide a tournament winner. Ball striking, particularly on approach, is the most important handicapping tool that we have for the Memorial.
Justin Thomas is the +950 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook after coming up a shot short to Collin Morikawa on hole #74. Morikawa is +2200 to really make history if he can win again on this course. Thomas is +250 for a top-five finish and +138 for a top-10 finish and that seems like a pretty good return on investment. Morikawa is +550 and +275 for those two props.
The course will play different this week. The rough should be thicker than any rough we have seen since the return. That could make things interesting for second favorite Bryson DeChambeau at +1050. His driving accuracy has been fine, but he’s been content to just hit it as far as possible and then worry about his second shot whenever he sees where it lies. DeChambeau did win here in 2018.
Rory McIlroy is +1300 this week after taking last week off. Rory has shown flashes of that pre-COVID form that had him in the top five week after week, but he’s had some bad weekend rounds since the return. He actually missed the cut in this event last year. If he does that again, it would be a nice +400 cash. He is -715 to make the cut. Only Thomas and DeChambeau are at bigger prices.
One of the biggest stories this week is that Tiger Woods will be back on the prowl. He’s +2600 to win for the sixth time in this event. Who knows what kind of form the Big Cat is in, given that he hasn’t played since the return. He’s certainly a horse for course kind of candidate this week and a tremendous ball striker, even now, but he’s a hard bet to make with the uncertainty and the rust.
As far as players of interest for us at ATS this week, there are a few names. Daniel Berger is +4000 as he returns to play. Berger hasn’t played here since 2016 and has skipped the last three events, but his ball striking was elite in the Charles Schwab Challenge, which he won after the return, and the RBC Heritage the next week. Berger was fourth in SG: Total for the RBC Heritage and tied with Morikawa for first in the Charles Schwab.
BET ON DANIEL BERGER TO WIN THE MEMORIAL AT DRAFTKINGS SPORTSBOOK
He didn’t play well last week, but Matt Kuchar usually seems to be a factor here. If you don’t believe in him at +6000 to win, he’s +500 to pick up his seventh top-10 finish since 2008 at Muirfield Village. He tied for 39th last week during what was a rather unimpressive showing. He fits more of a horse for course angle than a recent form angle, but this is a big price on a past winner with eight top-15 finishes in his last 11 Memorial Tournament appearances.
This probably won’t be a week for long shots, but how is Doc Redman is +15000 at a ball striker’s course? Redman has three top-25 finishes over his last three events, was third in SG: Tee-to-Green in the Travelers and 13th in that department in the RBC Heritage. If nothing else, +2800 for a top-five finish and +1200 for a top-10 finish are pretty good bets. He’s -150 to make the cut, which he should. He’s also just -125 for his H2H matchup with Brendon Todd.
Speaking of matchups, Patrick Cantlay at +120 to Bryson DeChambeau is not a bad grab. Cantlay, who is +1650 to win the tournament, tied for seventh last week and was just outside the top five in SG: Total. He’s the reigning champ and the best player on this course over his 12 rounds per DataGolf. DeChambeau, for what it’s worth, ranks sixth on that list.
The aforementioned Berger is -120 in a H2H matchup with Patrick Reed, which seems like another good bet. Corey Conners at +110 against horse for course Kevin Streelman is interesting, given that Conners is a great ball striker with putting problems. Streelman just racked up another top-10 finish at Muirfield Village, but Conners fits the course profile well.
There are a ton of betting options for golf at DraftKings, especially for those in Colorado and Indiana, so be sure to check all of them out and also click the link above to bet on Daniel Berger with an assist from an exclusive deposit bonus.