Memorial Tournament Golf Betting Preview

Memorial Tournament Betting Preview

This week players will stay at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial. Year after year “Jack’s Tournament” provides fans with one of the strongest non major fields of the season and this year is no exception.

It’s invitational status is reserved only for here, Tiger and Arnie’s events and comes with a three year Tour exemption to the winner rather than the standard two for a regular event. 

The Covid Suspension has turned the Memorial into a pseudo major. This year’s rendition is the strongest regular PGA Tour field EVER and based on Official World Golf Rankings the field here is stronger than the last 8 Masters (℅ @VC606). 

The field is headlined by the GOAT, Tiger Woods, who is making his first appearance post-suspension on a course where he has won 5 times.

Joining him are the top 9 players in the world and 17 of the top 20 including:

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Justin Thomas,
  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Webb Simpson
  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Jon Rahm
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Collin Morikawa. 

I am absolutely hyped for this event, but before breaking down this week’s plays, let’s recap last week’s Workday Charity Open.  

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Workday Charity Open Recap

WHAT. A. WEEK. My Son Collin Morikawa put on an iron striking display all week and somehow overcame Justin Thomas who had a two-shot lead with two holes to play.  The playoff between the two was as exciting as golf betting gets, with both trading blows like a heavyweight fight. 

I have to admit, JT’s colapse was a little surprising. At the same time, the closing holes at Muirfield Village present one of the most difficult finishes on Tour. This could be useful information this week as a live price on someone either in the clubhouse or coming down the stretch a shot or two back could be a worthy bet. 

The last 5 weeks have provided golf fans, new and old, with incredible events. They have also provided me with the best 5-week stretch I’ve ever had in the 4+ years I’ve been betting golf. Along with Morikawa’s Outright win, 2u full tournament head to head matchups went 5-0 and head to heads total turned a nice profit. 

Course Preview

For the first time in basically forever the Tour will play the same course back to back weeks. Muirfield Village showed itself as an amazing host last week and I’m thrilled to watch another 4 rounds at Jack’s Place. Most of what follows is from last weeks article, but organizers have highlighted a few changes.

Muirfield Village Golf Club is a classical course with tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkering, water on 11 holes, and pure, undulated Bentgrass (with a little Poa) greens. All indications suggest that the rough will be higher and the greens will be faster than what we saw last week. 

Muirfield is a fair test, ranking in the middle of the pack in terms of course difficulty year in and year out. Last year’s Memorial saw Cantlay victorious at 19 under, but as you go down the leaderboard 11 under netted players a top 20. We can look to last week for a little indication as the leaders also finished at 19 but a huge group tied for 7th and tied for 14th finished at 11 and 10 under respectfully. 

I expect a more difficult test than what we saw for the Workday event. Last week we saw thunderstorms soften a course that already had shorter rough and slower greens which lead to low scoring. While it is too early to set a forecast in stone, reports now suggest similar weather with off and on thunderstorms. I would definitely advise checking the weather before placing any First Round Leader or winning score bet. 

Off The Tee

The test at Muirfield Village does not come off the tee. Driving accuracy here is above average by PGA Tour standards and distance is right at the average.

This means players will take out their drivers often and won’t have too much of an issue hitting the fairways. The rough will be more penal than last week, so slight misses should be penalized more this week. With that said, the fairways are tree-lined and a drive that is way off its mark will prevent access to Muirfield’s undulated greens. 

On The Greens

Navigating the greens is the key to Muirfield Village. Approach is the name of the game here as winners have gained over 3 times the amount of strokes on approach as they have off the tee. 

This makes sense when you consider the massive amounts of undulation found on these bentgrass surfaces. Players who are sharp with their approach will be able to fire at the flatter parts of the greens, enabling them makeable birdie putts. Those who are off on approach will find themselves with massive breakers which will result in par at best. 

It is important to note that this week the greens will be playing faster and harder than what we saw last week. This will put even more emphasis on accurate approach shots and considering they will be playing more firm as well, errant approach shots will be penalized.

This Week’s Statististics

Muirfield Village is a 2nd shot golfer’s paradise and this week’s statistics will reflect that. I will be weighing strokes gained approach heavily, while also grabbing the birdie maker stats:

  • Opportunities gained (approach shots within 15 feet)
  • birdie or better percentage.

I also want players who consistently work out of the fairway so I’ve incorporated fairways gained and good drives (fairways hit or greens hit from rough) as well. 

Onto the Plays! 

The Memorial Tournament Outright Plays

PlayerOddsStake (Unit)To Win
Total Units Invested:2.095

The Memorial Tournament Head To Head Plays

PlayLineRiskTo Win
Finau -1.5 o Speef-1152.32
Berger o Rickie10722.14
Glover -1.5 o Scheffler11511.15
Sabitini -1.5 o Phil-1161.161
English o An12611.26
Bryson o Rory-1041.041
DJ o Rahm11311.13
Bryson o JT10911.09

The Plays

Tiger Woods +2200 At

In the three years, I have been providing my outright selections via Twitter, I have bet on Tiger to win a tournament a grand total of once. Generally, because it is Tiger, the market is completely skewed because of an influx in Tiger money, making his number unbeatable. We are not seeing that this week, which will provide me with my second ever Tiger Outright. 

The fact that we haven’t seen Tiger since he was DFL of those who made the cut at his own tournament, The Genesis, back in the middle of February makes his handicap rather difficult. Here is what I do know: in his last 5 appearances he was the best golfer in the field twice when he won at Zozo back at the end of October and at the Presidents Cup in Australia where his approach shots never left the flag. 

The blueprint is simple this week. Players must be able to gain at least 5 (more like 6) strokes on approach, and they have to be able to gain at least 3 strokes on the greens.

The Best Iron Player To Ever Touch A Golf Club

Tiger easily checks the first box. Not only is he the best iron player to ever touch a golf club but he finished 21st in strokes gained approach in 2019, showing his iron play hasn’t declined entirely as he ages. 

He easily checks the second box as well. Putting has always been an underrated part of Tiger’s game and in his prime he consistently gained 5 strokes plus on the greens en route to tournament victories.

While we don’t have to put stats from his last two wins, at the Zozo and of course Augusta, in his victory at the Tour Championship at the end of the 2018 season he gained over 5 strokes on the greens and my guess is the putting numbers would reflect very favorably on Mr. Woods if we had the stats from his two victories. 

The Five-Time Winner

O, he has also won here 5 times in his career and absolutely idolizes Jack. My preliminary guess at the numbers estimated him at +1700 or so and my personal numbers make him +1800. While this edge isn’t massive, I find the market to be incredibly well priced this week, and therefore the edge I have on Tiger warrants a bet.

I must add, I would be careful to back him in head to heads as I feel his floor is quite low considering we have absolutely no clue what the guy has been doing for the past 4 months. His ceiling is a 6th win at Jack’s place and at 22/1 I cannot pass up the GOAT.

Xander Schauffele +2500 at

If elite iron play coupled with putting upside is the target for the week, it is impossible to pass on Xander. We can look no further than last week to see what Xander is capable of as he gained over 5 strokes on approach and almost 6 on the greens.

If he does what he usually does with the driver, he ranked 20th in strokes gained off the tee in 2019, he is right there battling with Morikawa and JT for the win last week. 

His 2019/2020 season is full of what-ifs and he is actually a couple of shots away from 3 wins. It is difficult to forget the missed 4 footers that would have almost assuredly put him in a playoff with Berger and Morikawa at the Charles Schwab and he was also on the losing end in a playoff at the Tournament of Champions as well as the WGC – HSBC.

Is the 25/1 with wins instead of near-misses at those events? I highly doubt it. 

2nd At The Tour Championship

I also love the fact that he has shown up in high profile, stacked field events. He has a win and a 2nd at the WGC – HSBC, a win and a 2nd at the Tour Championship and 2nd place finishes at the Masters, the Open and THE PLAYERS.

All in all, he is a 4-time winner on Tour, doing so behind the strong iron play and putting, he is a shot here or there away from multiple victories this year yet he is priced as if he is coming in out of form. I will gladly take the high ceiling that Xander provides at this number. 

While youre’ at it, bet him over Rahm if you have the chance. 

That is it for this week’s write up. Thank you for reading! I am free all week for any questions and be sure to check out the FORE! Profit Podcast, my full card on Wednesday Afternoon, and my live Q and A Wednesday Evening.

All of my weekly content is available via @jmazzjd on Twitter. 


About the Author

Kurt Blakeway

Kurt Blakeway

Sports Betting Analyst and Writer

Kurt is a Sports Analyst focused on providing updated and relevant betting content for MLB, NFL, NBA and other major American sports.

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