This week players will head to Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio for the inaugural (and one time) Workday Charity Open.
The Memorial will indeed be played here next week so we are looking at a unique situation in which players will be on the same course two weeks in a row.
This twist hasn’t stopped some of the world’s best from signing on to play and we see a giant step up from the field last week at the Rocket Mortgage.
- Justin Thomas
- Jon Rahm
- Brooks Koepka
- Xander Schauffele
- Justin Rose
- Gary Woodland
- Collin Morikawa
- Victor Hovland
- Patrick Reed
They’ll be joined by defending Memorial Champion Patrick Cantaly at Muirfield Village on a course that will play slightly different than what we are accustomed to seeing for Jack’s event.
Before we start betting on golf once again, and breaking down the test in store for competitors this week, let’s recap last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Top Sites To Bet On The Workday Charity Open Betting
Rocket Mortgage Recap
I have to admit, I lost interest when Bryson opened up his two-shot lead, which resulted in the end of the rest of the field. Bryson did what many thought he would do, bomb and gouge a pitch and putt golf course that shouldn’t be in the rotation of courses played.
The week resulted in a slight loss for me, with no outright winner and a complete miss on Rickie Fowler. Thankfully, full tournament and round by round head to heads did just enough to save the week. Onto the Workday Charity Open!
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. It is important to note that the Workday Charity open will play slightly differently than the Memorial in a couple of ways.
First, organizers have made it clear that the rough will be less penal for this event when compared to what we will see next week. Second, the usually quick greens will be slowed a bit, playing 11 on the stimpmeter rather than the usual 13 for the Memorial.
Finally, distance has been added to a couple of tee boxes to help prevent a massive amount of divots that are found when players are hitting approaches from common areas.
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.
I expect the scoring to be easier this week than what we see at the Memorial with winners getting into the low 20s but the field as a whole being tested more than what we have seen the previous month.
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.
Organizers have said the rough will be less penal than for the Memorial so slight misses will still give players ample chance to attack pins. However, 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 slower and softer than usual. This will result in the difficult to hit areas being slightly easier to access and the errant approach being slightly less penal and ultimately lower scores.
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) and 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!
Patrick Cantlay +1400 at BetOnline.ag
It is rare I go into the top of the market for a selection, but I make Cantlay the favorite here and he isn’t priced as such. Cantlay is one of the best approach players on Tour, ranking 10th in the category in 2019.
What separates Cantlay from others within the approach category is his ability to absolutely roll it with the flat stick.
While the rest of the Top 10 in SG:App in 2019 finished anywhere from 50th to 138th in strokes gained putting, Cantlay came in 18th.
This is a perfect combination for Muirfield. We last saw Cantlay at the Travelers where he gained over 5 strokes putting but really looked rusty ball striking, gaining only .7 strokes with his irons and .5 strokes with his driver. This can be expected as we haven’t seen him since the Genesis back in the middle of February.
Is Cantlay In A Good Spot?
I fully expect a bounce-back in the approach numbers and he is perfectly capable of a repeat performance on the greens.
Many will argue that Cantlay is in a better spot at this same course next week. After all, he is the reigning Memorial Champion and won in rather dominating fashion. Here is the thing though, Cantlay RARELY plays back to back weeks.
He has had an injury riddled career to this point, holding him back from the promise he showed as an amateur, and I would rather back him here when he is fresh rather than next week when he plays a back to back which is not typical for him.
While you’re at it, go ahead and back him in a head to head vs a substantially worse iron player in John Rahm and a substantially worse putter in Deki Matsuyama.
Joquin Neimann +4000 at BetOnline.ag
Neimann should be right at home at this second shot test. While Cantlay was 10th in strokes gained approach last year, Neimann came in 16th and has gained in the category in 20 of his last 21 starts including 7.4 strokes three weeks ago at the RBC Heritage. That is simply elite ball-striking.
The issue with Neimann, as is the issue with so many of my favorite guys, is his putting. His flat stick can be described as streaky at BEST, weighing more towards the bad side.
However, he has shown the ability to get hot on the greens, as most evidenced by his Swing Season win at The Greenbrier where he gained 8.8 strokes putting.
What Happened Last Year?
Last year here he managed to gain over a stroke in the category and most important of all his favorite surface is bent. While he loses strokes on average on both Poa and Bermuda, Neimann gains an average of .2 strokes per round on Bentgrass greens.
I also love Neimann in his head-to-head with my favorite bank Jordan Spieth. Spieth has shown no ability to find the fairway in 2020 and if he loses strokes putting as he has his last two times out, this bet will be cashed Friday night after Jordan MCs.
Workday Charity Open Outright Plays
⛳ Workday Charity Open PLAYS ⛳
|My Son Collin
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.