The Memorial Tournament PGA Betting Preview: Is there Value at the Top of the Board?
Tournament and Course Overview
Always an event to bookmark for the non-major events each season, the PGA TOUR heads to Jack’s Place, iconic Muirfield Village for the 2021 Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. A 2020 renovation of this picturesque course began during the fourth round of last year’s installment and should offer a fun look into how course designers are attempting to make even the most difficult of PGA-caliber courses more challenging for these pros. This par 72, 7,456-yard course has now added 140 more trees and resurfaced tee boxes that can allow the course to play up to 100 yards further than in the past.
A star-studded field will tee it up this week as possibly their final event prior to the U.S. Open in Torrey Pines, which is somehow only two weeks away. Seven of the world’s top 10 golfers in terms of OWGR will be here, as well as the current top five in the FedEx Cup standings. The Memorial has also yielded some classy winners of late, with Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau having won the past three years.
Last year, Muirfield Village was the site of back-to-back tour events, with Collin Morikawa triumphing over Justin Thomas in an epic playoff battle at the Workday Challenge, and then Jon Rahm coasting to a victory at the Memorial the following weekend in much more difficult conditions.
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For my stat model this week, I looked at proximity from 150-175 yards and 175-200 yards, putting on bentgrass greens, bogey avoidance and greens in regulation (GIR) gained on average and difficult courses and total scrambling on bentgrass greens. Other than Homa, the players listed below all rank inside the top 15 in my weighted model.
Doug Ghim (+12000) has quietly been one of the better players on the PGA TOUR in 2021 in every facet of the game besides the dreaded flat stick. The good news is when he is off Bermuda greens, he actually rolls it near the field average, so we can hope he manages better on these Bentgrass greens. Ghim has three top 20’s this season, and I am backing him this week to add a fourth.
Max Homa (+10000) seems to have cooled off quite a bit from his red-hot turn of the calendar year with missed cuts at the PLAYERS, Masters, Wells Fargo, and PGA Championship. However, he has shown us he has winning upside, especially on difficult courses such as Muirfield Village. This is more of a feel play than anything else, but I will sprinkle a small amount on his outright at the triple-digit price.
I expect this newly renovated track to play difficult, like how it did in 2020, and the man who leads this field in bogey avoidance is Cameron Tringale (+10000). Without a PGA TOUR win, Tringale is exceedingly difficult to back on an outright, but I think he hangs near the top of the leaderboard all week, en route to a fifth top 10 on his season.
At the top of the betting board, I will look to the guy who has fallen to the fifth choice, despite having the best career winning percentage in the field and the top scrambler in the field on bentgrass. That man is Justin Thomas (+1600). In addition to his two top-10 finishes at the Memorial, he lost in the playoff here to Morikawa last year as well.
It always comes down to whether the putter is working or not for JT, and it should be noted that he gains more the double the number of strokes on bentgrass as he does on any other surface. Look for him to add another prestigious trophy to his already magnificent collection.
Doug Ghim Top 20 (+250)
Max Homa Outright (+10000)
Cameron Tringale Top 10 (+650)
Justin Thomas Outright (+1600)