The Memorial Tournament Betting Preview: Tiger Woods Makes His Return At Muirfield Village

Posted By FairwayJay on July 15, 2020

Tiger Woods is back. The 44-year-old is ready to return to competition on the PGA Tour this week at the Memorial Tournament — his first event since February. Woods announced his return on Twitter Thursday before Friday’s deadline to finalize the field.

Woods should have some confidence playing the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Golf Club. Tiger has won the Memorial event a record five times, most recently in 2012.

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Loaded field joins Tiger at Memorial

The prestigious Memorial Tournament has a star-studded field led by Tiger’s return.

Woods joins a loaded field that includes the top nine players in the World Golf Rankings: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Justin Thomas, who lost in a playoff to Collin Morikawa Sunday in the Workday event at Muirfield. Brooks Koepka (6) was a late addition to the tournament on Friday and joins Patrick Reed (9) and the last two Memorial Tournament winners, Bryson DeChambeau (2018) and Patrick Cantlay (2019), who are currently ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the world.

Overall, 26 of the 30 players who played in last year’s Tour Championship have committed to the second leg of a Muirfield Village doubleheader. That’s the most of any tournament since the Tour’s restart from the hiatus caused by the coronavirus shutdown.

Morikawa’s win at Muirfield in the Workday event moves him from No. 21 to No. 6 in the current FedExCup standings.

A total of 133 players are in the Memorial field.

In addition, the following notable players who finished top 15 in last year’s Memorial Tournament are also returning.

  • Patrick Cantlay (1st)
  • Marc Leishman (5th)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (6th)
  • Jordan Spieth (T7)
  • Jason Duffner (T7)
  • Justin Rose (13)
  • Rickie Fowler (T14)
  • Xander Schauffele (T14)

Memorial betting promotions

DraftKings will be running numerous special offers – including odds and profit boosts – throughout the Memorial Tournament. Users of DraftKings Sportsbook will receive a 30% profit boost on one LIVE bet for each day of the tournament.

Tiger to make the cut has been boosted to +125 ($50 max bet). Bet $20 pre-match and get a $20 live bet. Everyday of the tournament you can receive a 30% profit boost on any one live bet each day.

You can get started here, and also take advantage of many great in-play betting markets including hole-by-hole – which applies to the profit boost promotion.

DraftKings also has a $1K free-to-play pool that enables users to get in on the action for free prizes. Additionally, you can create private pools to play with friends or family. To participate in the free pool, choose winners on props offered up by the contest and compete for $1,000 in free prizes.

Betting on Tiger and the Memorial Tournament

Director of DraftKings Sportsbook operations Johnny Avello told TheLines:

“Tiger Woods is the most popular player this week and generating the biggest betting interest. We’ve added props on Tiger that has generated additional betting buzz.”

  • Tiger to hit his starting hole fairway in regulation in round 1 (Yes -225, No +163).
  • Tiger to hit his starting hole green in regulation in round 1 (Yes -305, No +210).
  • Tiger to have a birdie or better in starting hole Round 1 (Yes +400, No -625).

Tiger has generated 21% of the handle and 15% of the win bets so far at DraftKings. Both are the most in the field. Next was Koepka (16% handle/8% of win bets), followed by Justin Rose (8/4%), DeChambeau (4/4%) and Viktor Hovland (4/4%), who finished third last week at the Workday event in his debut playing Muirfield Golf Club. Hovland has led the Tour each of the past three weeks events in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.

Memorial Tournament odds

The Memorial Tournament features the strongest group of players since the Tour returned from hiatus in mid-June. Bryson DeChambeau is back after winning at the Rocket Mortgage Classic two weeks ago as the heavy favorite. Now DeChambeau (+1200) is the co-favorite at FanDuel with Justin Thomas (+1200).

Rory McIlroy (+1400) is holding steady, but Patrick Cantlay’s odds to win have dipped slightly to +1400. Dustin Johnson is the only other golfer under 20-1 odds, and all three sportsbooks have dropped his odds to win slightly. DraftKings has the best odds on Johnson at +1700.

Jon Rahm has seen an odds adjustment from +2400 to +2200 at FanDuel. The rest are holding steady with Morikawa (+2200), Matsuyama (+2800), Hovland (+2500) and Simpson (+2800).

Avello told TheLines:

“The Memorial is loaded with great value on great players. More betting options and opportunities are available. And with last week’s tournament getting limited TV coverage, why wouldn’t the wagering on the Memorial event be over the top?”

It appears the betting interest for the Memorial is already on course to be the most wagered-on event since the PGA pros tee’d it up last month at Colonial. The two golfers taking the most bets to win are Tiger and Brooks Koepka. Woods is +2500 at FanDuel, but +2000 at BetMGM and down a point to +2500 at DraftKings. Koepka is +3000 at FanDuel and +2800 at BetMGM.

Koepka joins Matsuyama and Woodland at +300 odds to finish Top 10 while all others mentioned are at +275 or less – with Thomas (+138) and DeChambeau (+138) owning the lowest odds to finish Top 10 this week.

Winner

Game
07/16/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Justin Thomas
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+950
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+1200
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+1100
Bryson DeChambeau
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+1050
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+1200
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+1000
Rory McIlroy
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+1300
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+1400
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+1200
Patrick Cantlay
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+1450
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+1400
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+1400
Dustin Johnson
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+1700
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+1600
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+1600
Jon Rahm
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+2000
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+2200
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+2200
Viktor Hovland
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+2200
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+2500
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+2200
Collin Morikawa
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+2200
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+2200
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+2000
Xander Schauffele
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+2200
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+2800
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+2500
Webb Simpson
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+2200
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+2800
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+2500
Tiger Woods
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+2500
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+2500
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+2000
Brooks Koepka
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+2800
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+3000
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+2800
Hideki Matsuyama
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+2800
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+2800
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+2500
Gary Woodland
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+3300
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+4000
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+4000
Rickie Fowler
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+3500
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+4000
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+3300
Daniel Berger
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+4000
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+4000
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+4000
Patrick Reed
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+4500
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+5000
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+5000
Abraham Ancer
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+5000
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+4500
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+5000
Jason Day
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+5500
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+5500
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+5500
Tony Finau
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+5500
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+5500
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+6000
Matt Kuchar
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+6000
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+7500
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+8000
Justin Rose
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+6000
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+6500
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+5500
Paul Casey
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+7000
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+7500
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+8000

View odds for every golfer at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetMGM.

Notable players at longer odds

While a loaded field of top-ranked players may make it more difficult for a player further down the odds board to win or finish top 10, there are still many talented players who can break through and find the first page of the leaderboard.

This week we find some notable players with skill sets that fit the course at Muirfield and offer attractive odds.

Joaquin Niemann: (+7000 at DraftKings, +500 for Top 10). In his debut at The Memorial Tournament in 2018, with not yet a PGA Tour card in hand, Niemann finished T6. A closer look shows he led after shooting an opening 65 in Round 1 and also led at the halfway point. Niemann’s best odds to be the Round 1 leader this week is +6000 at FanDuel. Including last week’s Workday event at Muirfield, Niemann now has a scoring average of 70.17. His best form has come on Bentgrass / poa annua greens. Add in his Top 20 ranking this year in the key category of SG: Approach, and you can see why Niemann can outperform his odds.

Billy Horschel: (+8000 at DraftKings, +600 for Top 10). Horschel’s SG: Approach stats can improve, but he found his form with his solid skill sets last week at Muirfield. Horschel finished T7 after missing the cut the previous two events. He also finished Top 10 in The Memorial last year with a 9-under par total.

Justin Rose: (+6000 at DraftKings and +550 for Top 10). Rose missed the cut badly last week, but not many players have performed better in the Memorial Tournament. He had a win in 2010 and two runner-up finishes, plus seven Top 10 finishes in 13 starts.

Daniel Berger (+4000 FanDuel, +400 Top 10). Berger’s odds have been dropping as his game has been on a heater. Berger has posted 32 consecutive rounds of par or better. That’s the longest on Tour since Tiger Woods had 52 such rounds in 2000-01. He’s up to No. 10 in the FedExCup rankings. Berger has finished Top 10 in his last five events, including a win at Colonial. Berger also ranks Top 15 on Tour in Par 5 scoring average – a stat that is dominated by no less than eight of top-of-the market players this week.

Course and tournament info

  • Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
  • Location: Dublin, Ohio
  • Date: July 16-19
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,456
  • Purse: $9.1 Million / Winner $1.6 M
  • Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass / poa annua with Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, fescu at 3′-4”
  • Greens: Bentgrass / poa annua
  • TV: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) and CBS (Thurs-Sun 3-6 pm ET)
  • Twitter & Hashtag: @MemorialGolf, #theMemorial

A Muirfield course overview provides additional details, stats and toughest holes to monitor when watching and wagering on the Memorial Tournament.

Key stats to consider for The Memorial

The Jack Nicklaus design at Muirfield Village, named after exclusive Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland where Jack won the 1966 Open Championship, requires strong approach play and skills on and around the green. Longer hitters have an advantage, but accuracy of the tee will allow for better approach opportunities.

Muirfield has shown an emphasis on approach more than typical results on PGA Tour, with data golf showing 39% of scoring on approach, compared to approx. 35% on average on Tour. Fairways are not as difficult to hit, and while accuracy will provide better approach opportunities, total driving and distance will be advantageous at Muirfield Village. Viktor Hovland led the Workday field in Total Driving: Tee to Green in his first time competing at Muirfield.

Approach play stats are still more significant than driving stats at Muirfield, and we’ll update more stats info as data is released following the Workday event.

  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Putting (on bentgrass)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
  • Par 4 Scoring (focus 400-450 yards)
  • Proximity to Hole (150-175 yards)

Leaders in this field that rank highly this year in SG: Approach include Leishman (1), Morikawa (3), Simpson (4), Cantlay (5), Matsuyama (6), Thomas (7), Hovland (8) and Woodland (10). Ball striking is always a stat of significance when having to hit quality approach shots, so monitor that stat weekly. Tops in this week’s field include Woodland (1), DeChambeau (T2), Simpson (4) Rahm (5), Connors (6), Cantlay (7), Schauffele (T8), Matsuyama (T8).

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FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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