The Memorial Tournament Golf Tips
Memorial - @fordysgolfpicks
What a huge week we just had. After landing Brooks at the PGA, we have just landed Emiliano Grillo at a huge 80/1, also subsided with a win on Larrazabal 55/1 across the Atlantic, the likes of which were not likely to see again. But despite those huge odds which I don’t expect to see again, especially not in an elevated event, we go for three in a row in what is another great test on the PGA Tour, really excited to get this week going.
Over to Jacks place then, and Muirfield brings one of the truer tests of a golfers all round game again. Actually thinking about it if you had a spectrum from our two majors so far this year with Augusta being on one end and Oak Hill on the other, this course would sit nicely smack bang in the middle of that spectrum somewhere.
7,500 yards, longer in length again this year and it is long, but Nicklaus has redesigned this place a few times in recent years and the emphasis is much more on accuracy than it has been say so a decade ago. Par 72, fairly classical design with tough Par 5’s and bentgrass greens. The rough won’t be as punishing as Oak Hill but with the strategically placed bunkers and sloped greens, this will test your game around the greens and putting the ball back in play.
I’m expecting a winning score to reach around 12/13 under, but don’t be surprised if its lower, just because of how hard and fast Jack will have this place set up this year. It’s the 7th hardest on tour so that tells you all in you need to know in terms of the calibre of player to win this, of course we haven’t had this event elevated before, but we always seem to get the best of the best at the top, come Sunday.
Forecasts is saying we are likely to get another Dry week with some gusts of wind up to 15mph, not actually that dissimilar to what we had last week. It will be really interesting what they decide to do on the greens with their sub air system which I seem to mention every week right now, but they can really decide day to day how hard and fast they want to make this course, that can separate the good from the bad very quickly.
Memorial Tournament Winners: 2022: Billy Horschel (-13); 2021: Patrick Cantlay (-13); 2020: Jon Rahm (-9); 2019: Patrick Cantlay (-19); 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-15); 2017: Jason Dufner (-13); 2016: William McGirt (-15); 2015: David Lingmerth (-15); 2014: Hideki Matsuyama (-13); 2013: Matt Kuchar (-12); 2012: Tiger Woods (-8); 2011: Steve Stricker (-16); 2010: Justin Rose (-18)
My Memorial Model and Winner …
Murifield Village has become more of a 2nd shot golf course than any on the PGA Tour. Nicklaus’s redesign a couple of years ago, carefully placed bunkers at 300 yards, and ran out fairways to allow those who drove it well the opportunity to really dictate where their 2nd shot was going to be on the green. You will not be surprised this week to see Green in Regulation as one of the most important stats, of course with Driving accuracy, but that’s not without relation into some length, total driving many would call it.
Its wide off the tee, actually one of the widest, however if you miss the fairways here, you are almost guaranteed to be trying to save par. I would be weighting my model this week on total driving and SG Approach as a whole piece of data for sure. I also like my winner this week to be able to move the ball around in the wind, work it both ways, and consistently be able to scramble their way out of trouble if need be.
Another interesting aspect which will impact the models here I believe will be Par 5 Scoring. Par 5’s are large at average of 570 yards, and have plenty of water in play. Those players who are good at getting there ball on the green in two on par 5’s are already at a huge advantage. Those Birdie or better percentages on Par 5’s which are high for players we are seeing the likes of Cantlay, Finau, Im, Scott, Rory, these players are likely to be high on the model because of this.
Valhalla, in Kentucky, where we have seen US and PGA Championships tends to trend here with Jack’s place and that’s not just because they are both Nicklaus’ designs but I believe because the style of big elevated tee boxes and big contoured fairways have a real impact on a golfers knowledge of their own game. You have to be strategic, you have to know your yardages but you also have to know the yardages and the fairways and the tee boxes of Muirfield itself, this means you have to have the experience. This will be clear again on the model this week.
This Memorial Model;
SG : Approach
Par 5 performance
Greens in Regulation
Green in Reg
Prox. to Hole
Top 25 players in the model and my thoughts on each:
1 Jon Rahm 7/1
2 Patrick Cantlay 10/1
3 Scottie Scheffler 13/2
4 Xander Schauffele 12/1
5 Collin Morikawa 22/1
6 Hideki Matsuyama 35/1
7 Rory McIlroy 12/1
8 Sungjae Im 30/1
9 Viktor Hovland 20/1
10 Russell Henley 70/1
11 Brian Harman 100/1
12 Tyrrell Hatton 28/1
13 Jason Day 25/1
14 Wyndham Clark 50/1
15 Matt Kuchar 90/1
16 Adam Hadwin 125/1
17 Tom Kim 50/1
18 Gary Woodland 90/1
19 Justin Thomas 25/1
20 Rickie Fowler 45/1
21 Corey Conners 45/1
22 Shane Lowry 45/1
23 Denny McCarthy 90/1
24 SiWoo Kim 70/1
25 Matthew Fitzpatrick 33/1
This is a great week to win, not least for three in a row, but I really feel you can narrow this week down on your shortlist to just those few that have great chances. I don’t see many surprises this week, and I can guarantee you whoever wins, they are going to be popular winners that’s for sure.
I hope I have at least given you a few hinters again and feel free to interact and get involved with my picks and my card published this week. I will be on Chasing Pars podcast on Tuesday and will have updates throughout on my twitter below.
As always if you want to be part of my weekly fantasy competition, look out for my updates on my twitter and my site www.drawshankgolf.com.
Xander Schauffele – 16/1 2pt Win
All round game suits Muirfield more than anyone, hence his price can be even single digits leading up to the week, he’s certainly a better pick than Rory and Hovland. Pushing numbers putting, we know he’s long and he will have a solid advantage over most of the field.
Tyrrell Hatton - 34/1 2pt Win
Tyrell just keeps playing well, in previous years you would see a bad week and wouldn’t know which Tyrell would show up, but my god he is due a big win, let's hope it's this week. 3rd in the field for Strokes gained total, says it all really.
Hideki Matsuyama - 35/1 1pt E/W (8 Places)
I’m over the injury issues, if he thought it was bad he wouldn’t turn up every week. Course experience, previous winner and only hitting the numbers we expect from Hideki, this could be the under-the-radar pick of the week, why pick Cantlay when Hideki is this price.
Corey Conners - 45/1 1pt E/W (8 Places)
It could very well be the most popular pick of the week. What was seen at Oak Hill was enough to impress anyone, not least this is the type of course you need someone to just plot their way round without mistakes. Best in the field for Greens in regulation last few events, due something big.
Adam Scott – 50/1 1pt E/W (8 Places)
It’s the par 5 percentages more than anything, he eagles two holes this week and he’s already 5 strokes better than the field, his par 5 scoring is incredible. We know how good his ball striking can be and an upturn in putting last few weeks is reflected in the price, keep riding this wave while it lasts I think.