The Memorial Tournament: Best Bets, Daily Fantasy Golf Picks, Course Key Stats, and Win Simulations
A small, invite-only field awaits us this week on the PGA Tour for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Any time we get such a strong field, it's hard to go against the favorites, but of course, we'll need value plays to round out our daily fantasy lineups.
Who stands out, then, at Muirfield Village?
Let's dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Course Information and Key Stats
Daily Fantasy Picks
Muirfield Village Golf Club Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,543 (long: ~170 yards longer than the average par 72)
Fairway Acres/Yard: 3.2 (narrow: PGA average is 4.1)
Average Green Size: 5,000 square feet (small: ~83% of PGA average)
Green Type: Bentgrass
Past 5 Winning Scores: -13, -9, -19, -15, -13
Past 5 Cut Lines: +2, +3, +1, E, +3
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (emphasis on Driving Accuracy), Strokes Gained: Around the Green, Birdie or Better Rate
The small, bentgrass green trend continues for a third straight week at Muirfield Village, and like we saw last week, fairways are narrow. The added test, though, is some extra length, as Muirfield Village tacks on a few extra yards compared to the average par 72 on the PGA Tour.
We see an emphasis on short game at Muirfield Village. The correlation between strokes gained: around the green and total strokes gained here is 27% stronger than at the average Tour course; off-the-tee play is just 78% as strong. The course table from data golf shows Muirfield Village as a top-five test in terms of around-the-green play, too, so it's not easy to pick up strokes there. (Iron play is still 12th.)
It's penal to miss the fairways, so driving accuracy has more value this week than most others. Overall, it's not that different from what we sought last week. In fact, Colonial is inside the top 20 in course comps, via data golf.
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their Golf odds win odds.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets
Starting at the top, both Cameron Smith and Patrick Cantlay are showing some value at their respective numbers. The model also has value on Daniel Berger at 50/1 and Sungjae Im at 37/1.
Personally, I like all of them just fine but am building around Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, and Smith at the top of the board.
Long shots and top-10s that jump off the page to me are Max Homa, Chris Kirk, Adam Hadwin, Keegan Bradley, and Tom Hoge.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Memorial Tournament
All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $11,900 | Golf odds Win Odds: +1000) - You can't really go wrong with Rahm at Muirfield Village. He nearly went back-to-back last year but had to withdraw before closing out an inevitable win. The main issue with him right now is a weaker short game (specifically the wedges). No stud at the top is flawless right now, however, and the course form makes Rahm stand out.
Xander Schauffele ($11,000 | +1700) - Schauffele has reeled off three straight top-15s at this event and sits in the 97th percentile in adjusted tee to green play over the past year. He's also in the 83rd percentile in adjusted short game. I just said nobody is flawless, and while Schauffele doesn't have many issues, the only real one is sheer upside.
Others to Consider:
Cameron Smith ($11,100 | +1900)
Shane Lowry ($10,800 | +2200)
Cameron Young ($10,200 | +3500)
Mito Pereira ($9,900 | +5000) - The near major winner has a lot of promising stats for a course like this. He's an 87th-percentile golfer in adjusted tee to green play and has some expected putting regression coming his way, too. He should be able to get up and down well.
Chris Kirk ($9,200 | +6500) - Kirk is one of the best tee-to-green players in the field (90th percentile) when adjusting for field strength. His putter can be an issue, of course. Kirk was 26th here last year.
Others to Consider:
Daniel Berger ($10,000 | +5000)
Tom Hoge ($9,600 | +7500)
Keegan Bradley ($9,200 | +6500)
Aaron Wise ($8,800 | +7000) - Coming off of a 0th here last year, Wise is building on his Rookie of the Year potential at the moment. Wise is in the 82nd percentile in adjusted tee-to-green play and in the 88th percentile in adjusted approach play. The putting regression splits suggest an improvement upcoming.
Adam Hadwin ($8,700 | +15000) - Hadwin has a spotty history here but has made three of four cuts since 2018. The irons have cooled off in recent events, yet we shouldn't buy into the small-sample blip. He's a plus iron player long-term and has an 81st-percentile adjusted short game.
Others to Consider:
Alexander Noren ($9,000 | +7500)
Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($8,400 | +13000)
Cameron Davis ($8,200 | +11000)