For the second time in as many weeks the PGA tour sets up at Muirfield Village Golf Club for this week’s annual The Memorial Tournament. Compared to last week, the field is smaller by 20 players and the course is expected to play much harder.
Jon Rahm was quoted saying he expects Muirfield to play like a U.S. Open with how difficult it could be.
There have been some stacked fields since the PGA tour restarted one month ago, but this field is historically good and it has a major-tournament type of vibe.
Tiger Woods is back, and that’s the main reason why this tournament is getting extra buzz. He’s won at Muirfield Village five times yet he’s the 13th highest priced player this week in the betting markets. That’s how stacked this field is.
Three players are making their first start after a win. Bryson Dechambeau, Dustin Johnson and last week’s winner, Collin Morikawa, are all teeing it up. There will be a major-like feeling with the amount of talent playing this weekend.
My betting strategy won’t change dramatically from last week as I will still be targeting great approach players for this second shot course. With the sped up greens and grown out roughs, accuracy will be even more important this week than last.
Let’s get into some of the bets I like:
The Memorial Best Prop Bets
Winning score 273 or higher (+145)
This bet has hit six of the last eight times played at Muirfield and in one of those occasions where it didn’t hit was with last week’s easier conditions. Winning scores since 2013: 276, 275, 273, 273, 275, 273, 269, and a 269 last week.
I’ll side with history on this one. It took a much easier Muirfield last week to get to 269. I don’t expect any player to shoot under 273 unless they get insanely hot and shoot low all four days.
Jon Rahm thinks it could play like a US open, which have often finished with the winning score *over* par.
72-hole Head to Head matchup – Daniel Berger (-118) over Rickie Fowler
Berger has been in unbelievable form of late. The last time he didn’t finish top-10 was all the way back in January and he has played 5 events since then. With a win and a 3rd since the restart, I don’t see any reason to fade him. He also fits this course extremely well with a stellar approach game and around the green game.
Rickie has played pretty decent lately after missing the cut in the first two events after the restart. He finished 22nd last week here at The Workday but he lost two strokes in approach. He was saved by his around the green game which I don’t think he’ll be able to rely on as much with grown out roughs this week.
Top South African – Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+400)
The two players with better odds than Christiaan are Erik Van Rooyen and Louis Oosthuizen and both of them aren’t playing the best golf right now.
Bezuidenhout didn’t play well either, missing the cut last week, but he only lost strokes in approach which is normally the strongest part of his game. If he bounces back to his regularly stellar iron play I think he has a shot to finish as the top South African.
Bezuidenhout may not be the most well-known name but he has success at majors and this event his the buzz of a major so I like the value in Bezuidenhout here.
Outright Winner – Dustin Johnson (+1800)
Whatever Dustin figured out with his putter at the RBC Heritage, I’m buying. DJ has been extremely volatile with his putter over the last year but when he’s putting well, he contends. After gaining some confidence finishing 17th at the RBC, he went on to win Travelers Open the next weekend. Hmm, easy game isn’t it DJ?
Here are Dustin’s recent results in his first start after a win: 5, 3, 3, 2, 18, 1, 2, 6, and 1. Yes that is two wins in a start coming off a win.
He’s already had some decent finishes at The Memorial with three top-10s. He plays this tournament annually so he must not hate the course.
When DJ is playing well he’s an auto bet and we’re getting a pretty good number on him here. You can also get him at (+300) for a top-5, or (+162) for a top-10. Both I think are good bets.