Betting on Golf: the Memorial

Betting on Golf: the Memorial

This article is part of our Golf Picks series.

Memorial Tournament Betting Strategy

We head north for the first time this year for one of the most anticipated non-major events of the season – the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. 

Host Jack Nicklaus' event is one of five invitational tournaments on the schedule, and it features an elite field that features seven of the top 10 players in the world. Muirfield Village Golf Club hosted back-to-back events last year, with the Workday Charity Open – which was won by Collin Morikawa – being added to the schedule as a first-time event in advance of the Memorial. Jon Rahm is the defending champion of this week's event after coasting to a three-shot win at 22-1 odds over Ryan Palmer.

Muirfield Village typically plays as a stern, but fair, test with tree-lined fairways, many bunkers surrounding the greens and water in play on about half the holes. That will put a premium on driving accuracy rather than distance as well as approach play and scrambling. It will truly test all facets of a player's game. As such, it should come as little surprise that the winner ranked top-3 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green in each of the last three tournaments held here. The back nine is set up for action, as a pair of gettable par-5s and two shorter, downhill par-4s precede two long and difficult par-4s to finish the round.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 2:00 ET Tuesday.

Course History

The following five players have the lowest scoring average at Muirfield Village since 2017:

Although Scott has yet to win at Muirfield Village and did not participate in either event last year, he's the only player with a scoring average beneath 70 over the last five tournaments held at the course. His last event here resulted in a runner-up finish in which he led the field in both SG: Approach and Tee-to-Green, and he has made seven consecutive cuts at the Memorial. His lackluster recent form has him priced down to 75-1 odds, and if there's a place for him to snap out of his slump this is it. Another golfer who has played well at this course but is struggling a bit is Thomas, who has not recorded a top-10 in six events since his win at THE PLAYERS. Thomas lost in a playoff at the Workday Charity Open last year and followed that up with a T18 in trickier conditions at the Memorial the following week. Despite the lack of recent high finishes, Thomas' strong tee-to-green game makes him worthy of being the oddsmakers' second choice at 15-1.

Tee-to-Green Excellence

These golfers gained the most strokes per round from tee to green over their last five tournaments:

One of the hottest golfers on Tour in recent months has been Bradley, who has made eight straight cuts. Over that span he notched a runner-up and finished outside the top 30 only once. Much like Morikawa, Bradley has been striking it beautifully but has been held back a bit by his putter. If the flat stick is in form, there's no reason to think that Bradley – who checks in at 50-1 – won't be in contention this week. He has already come close in this event, posting a pair of top-10s here in 2015 and 2016. Speaking of consecutive cuts made, Conners' only missed cut this year came 11 starts ago at Riviera. His accuracy off the tee – he ranks 12th in that category this season – will certainly come in handy this week. With four top-10s since the start of March, it's seemingly only a matter of time before he picks up his second PGA Tour victory.

Outright Picks

Viktor Hovland (15-1)

Hovland was two back of the lead heading into the final round of the Workday Charity Open last year, and he led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green for the week and ultimately finished third. Since then he has picked up his second Tour victory, and he also picked up a pair of T3 results over his last three starts. The 23-year-old has quickly become one of the best players in the game, and after struggling with his short game in his first two seasons, he's gained strokes on the field in both around-the-green play and putting this season.

Matt Fitzpatrick (30-1)

Fitzpatrick may be the best player still searching for his first Tour win, and with three top-10s over his last seven events he appears to be closer than ever. He tends to his play his best golf when the tournaments aren't birdie-fests, so it's not surprising that he finished third in this event last year while being the only player to crack 70 in the final round. His well-rounded game and accuracy off the tee make him a great fit for this course.

Cameron Tringale (85-1)

Speaking of players still searching for that first win, Tringale has found himself in the mix often this season, with four top-10s over his last 14 events. He doesn't have much recent event history having last played the Memorial in 2016, but he fits the mold of what I'm looking for this week – someone who can succeed across the board. His ability to avoid bogeys – he ranks fifth in that department this season – should also be an important factor.

Top-10 Wagers

Stewart Cink (13-2)

Cink has been a model of consistency with five straight top-40 results. That includes his RBC Heritage win at Sea Island, which grades as a similar course to Muirfield Village. These are pretty generous odds considering how often he's been in the top-10 mix this season and the six career top-10s he has recorded in the Memorial.

Doug Ghim (15-2)

After pegging Patton Kizzire's two top-10s in recent weeks I'll look to keep the ball rolling with Ghim. The youngster is coming off his second-best result of the season, posting a T14 finish at Colonial. He ranks top-20 this season in SG: Approach and Tee-to-Green – two key stats for success this week.

Richy Werenski (14-1)

Werenski is making his first start in this event, but he did get some course experience last year while finishing T35 in the Workday Charity Open. He went through a lull recently, missing four cuts in a row, but bounced back over his last three tournaments. Werenski has shown he can step up in this type of event, posting a T4 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That makes him worth a wager despite the long odds.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Patrick Reed (-120) over Scottie Scheffler

Reed missed the cut last week, but don't fret: he has followed up his three other missed cuts this season with a win, a T22 and a T6. Plus, he's coming off a top-10 at this event last year. I like him over Scheffler, whose level of play has dipped a bit recently and is losing strokes on approach this season.

Russell Henley (-106) over Gary Woodland

Henley has had good success at Muirfield Village with a T7 finish last year and a best result of T6 in 2013. Woodland is having his worst year by far in terms of driving accuracy – he is down from 66th three seasons ago to 178th this season – which will get him into a lot of trouble here. Although Woodland tends to have more upside when he's on, Henley has been the more consistent of the two and is a better play in this matchup as the underdog.

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Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle breaks down golf bets and covers college basketball for RotoWire.
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