Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Memorial
FanDuel has revamped its PGA format, and now there's no longer a rounds split for your rosters. That means all eight of your golfers will be in action from their opening tee times through (hopefully) the final hole.
That'll change the way you play a bit, and safety and cuts will be vitally important, but that doesn't account for the course.
This week, we're breaking down Muirfield Village, host of the Memorial. Here's what you should know about it.
Course and Tournament Overview
Muirfield Village is a 7,392-yard par 72. Over the past 10 years, the course has been one of the absolute toughest courses on the PGA Tour, though that's changed a bit in recent years.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Avg O/U Par|
Bunkers litter the course, the roughs are thick, and golfers can be punished for mistakes. Avoiding implosions is something we need to do this week.
The field comprises 120 players, with the top 70 plus ties making the cut. That increases odds that our golfers make it through, and that'll be vital with the eight-man lineup on FanDuel.
Recent Tournament History
Last year, William McGirt defeated Jon Curran in a playoff, as they edged out Dustin Johnson (-14) by a stroke. Four players tied for fourth: J.B Holmes, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, and Gary Woodland. All were -13.
In 2015, David Lingmerth topped Justin Rose in a playoff, and both players were -15 through 72 holes. Francesco Molinari and Jordan Spieth (-13) tied for third, with Jim Furyk, Marc Leishman, and Hideki Matsuyama tying for fifth at -12.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee to green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at Muirfield Village.
|Key Stats for the Memorial at Muirfield Village|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Greens in Regulation Percentage|
Driving accuracy and driving distance have each correlated strongly with finishing position in prior years, but they tend to alternate. Really, you can dig up good drive percentage if you want to account for off the tee play. Alternatively (or additionally), you can look to strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: off the tee for this week at Muirfield.
With the roughs and bunkers, scrambling and sand save percentage is pretty vital. Getting greens in regulation (GIR) avoids the headache, but pars after landing in the hazards or missing GIRs can really save your lineups this week.
Birdie or better rate always has a strong tie to FanDuel points, but we're elevating safety here even with the smaller field and honing in on bogey avoidance. Playing it safe isn't a guarantee, but with the lack of strong value plays in the field, the balanced approach could prove best.
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson did miss the cut at Muirfield in 2013 but has strong finishes other than that season. Trending back from last year, he has finished 3, T13, T46, missed cut, T19, 4, T33, T14, 68. That's eight of nine made cuts, five top 25s, and two top 10s. As if you needed more reason to consider DJ.
Matt Kuchar has just one missed cut here, and that came all the way back in 2003. Since 2002, Kuchar has made 10 of 11 cuts with a whopping 8 top-25 finishes and 6 top-10s. Since 2016, Kuchar finished T4, T26, T15, 1, T2, T8, T5, T10, and T13 in 2007.
Hideki Matsuyama shot a 74 and 73 last year, missing the cut, but he was tied for fifth in 2015 and won in 2014. The all-around setup looks promising for him this week. The putting is always the issue for Matsuyama, but we could be getting wet weather and slow greens on the weekend.
Tony Finau has short history here, but it's good. He was T8 in 2015 and T11 in 2016. Just one of his rounds (73 in round three in 2015) was over par.
Lingmerth finished T27 last year after winning in 2015. He had low-end finishes the two years prior (T49 and T57) but is four for four with cuts in his career at Muirfield.
Charl Schwartzel is eight for nine with cuts at Muirfield, the missed cut coming in 2015. He was T11 last season and T8 in 2013 and 2014. Schwartzel has finished top 25 in five of the past six events here.