PGA Betting Guide for the Memorial Tournament
The Memorial Tournament certainly isn't a major, and it's not even a WGC event, but it's about as good as a PGA Tour event can get.
The field is absolutely loaded -- but smallish at around 120 golfers -- and the course -- Muirfield Village GC -- can be a tricky one, with easy-to-hit fairways but penalizing rough and small greens that require precision tee-to-green.
Let's dig into the field and see what stands out and which golfers might fit your eye to back this week. (All stats come from FantasyNational.com and cover the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour, unless otherwise noted.)
Picks to Consider
At the Top
Justin Rose (FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1700) - Rose will be without his longtime caddie this week, but he did win at Torrey Pines with the man who will be on the bag this week. Rose also has had success at Muirfield Village in the past, including a win in 2010. In all, he has played this course eight times in the past 10 years and has finished top-eight five times with three missed cuts. After a two-year hiatus, Rose finished sixth here last year and has gained strokes: tee to green in his past three tries at Muirfield Village. Over the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour, Rose ranks top-15 in all three tee-to-green strokes gained stats (15th off the tee, 14th in approach, and 14th around the green), and he's accurate (51st) enough to avoid some trouble. With Rory McIlroy (+950), Tiger Woods (+1000), and Patrick Cantlay (+1500) nearly priced out, I'd rather bump down to Rose.
Matt Kuchar (+1900) - Kuchar is another former winner here (2013) and has finished top-26 in all nine tries at Muirfield Village over the past 10 years, including three straight top-13s. Kuchar putts well on bentgrass and is the most accurate golfer with odds shorter than +3700. He ranks 12th in strokes gained: approach over the past 100 rounds, too, making the case for Kuchar pretty straightforward.
In the Middle
Gary Woodland (+3700) - Woodland's stats have been stellar for most of the last two years or so. The big hitter (6th in distance over the past 100 rounds) is actually 36th in fairways gained. Only McIlroy has gained more strokes off the tee over the past 100 rounds than Woodland. Woodland can score well on the par 4s and par 5s, which could be crucial to keep him in contention with how the winner's score often goes low (eight of the past nine champs were at least 12 under). The big question mark for Woodland is always the putter. He's done well to shore up that part of his game at Muirfield Village, finishing top-25 in three of eight tries at this course.
Henrik Stenson (+5000) - Muirfield Village requires accuracy and approach play, and that's what Stenson does best. Stenson grades out third in strokes gained: approach in our sample as well as fourth in fairways gained and first in greens in regulation. Over his past 24 measured rounds, Stenson has picked up 32.6 strokes via his approach shots. Only one other golfer has more than 26.2 in that span (we'll get to him soon). He should have ample chances to club down, which should suit him well for sure. Stenson finished 13th here last year and has played Muirfield from 2010 through 2013, too, to give him some familiarity.
Jason Kokrak (+6500) - Kokrak has certainly solidified himself as one of the Tour's best ball-strikers over the past year. He has lost strokes on approach shots in just two of his past 20 measured events -- and never more than -0.4. He's dialed in with his irons, and that's about all we can ask for from a predictability standpoint. Kokrak isn't a great putter on bentgrass, and that's a concern. It's also a concern that he's missed three of the past four cuts here while totaling -6.3 strokes on approach shots. That shouldn't happen this week, and there's value on his name.
Emiliano Grillo (+8000) - Grillo ranks 27th off the tee and 10th in approach, giving him the ball-striking we need to consider him. He's also 11th in fairways gained and 22nd in greens in regulation gained in our sample. He's finished 11th, 40th, and 23rd here in his three tries, and statistically, he fits what we'd be looking for from a value bet.
Keegan Bradley (+9000) - Bradley leads the entire field in strokes gained: approach over the past 100 rounds. To put a number on it, he's picked up 91.7 strokes via approach play in that span. Only Justin Thomas (90.3) and Stenson (88) have more than 77.7 in that split. Bradley is also still doing well with the irons overall and ranks second in strokes gained: approach over the past 24 rounds. Typical for Bradley, he's been erratic at Muirfield village in his eight tries, missing three cuts. However, the past six have been strong enough -- 50th, 37th, 8th, 8th, cut, and 23rd -- and bentgrass is his only positive putting surface.
Aaron Wise (+10000) - Wise, similar to Woodland, is more accurate than we may think for such a long driver (20th in distance, 56th in fairways gained). Wise also grades out 12th in birdie or better rate among the field over the past 100 rounds and is 13th in strokes gained: off the tee. The approach is worse (81st) over that full sample, but he is 40th over the past 12 rounds, a small sample where he has posted positive approach numbers in each event. It's a small field, so longshots will have to fend off a higher percentage of studs who make the cut than normal. Wise has the game to get hot and post a low number, making him an option at long odds.