The summer season is near, and the PGA TOUR heads to Ohio for Jack Nicklaus’ event – the Memorial Tournament. Spectators return with up to 20,000 fans per day to watch a star-studded field at Muirfield Village Golf Club with big names at the top of the board of Memorial Tournament odds.
A field 120 players will shoot for victory and a huge prize pool of $9.3 million. That includes seven of the top-10 players in the world led by betting favorite and defending champion Jon Rahm along with Justin Thomas and 2018 Memorial winner Bryson DeChambeau.
MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT ODDS
A year ago, Tigers Woods returned to action and was the most bet player at the Memorial Tournament. Brooks Koepka was next, but neither of those players will compete this year as Tiger is still recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident.
Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau were co-favorites last year, and those two will be at the top of the odds board again near +1200. However, the likely favorite is defending champion Jon Rahm, who won last year at odds of +2200. Rory McIlroy will be one of the favorites as well near +1500 with 2014 Memorial winner and this year’s Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama among those favored to win.
Loaded Field at Muirfield Village
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson won’t hold that spot much longer. He’s nursing a sore knee that forced him to withdraw from the recent Byron Nelson event, and he’ll skip the Memorial Tournament, along with Brooks Koepka.
Still, seven of the top-10, and 16 of the top-25 players in the world golf rankings will head to Jack’s Place to join Nicklaus for his prestigious event. That number will improve to 17 of the top 25 if resurgent and red-hot Jordan Spieth finishes top three at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Spieth was the favorite in the tournament, and for the fourth time in the 2020-21 season, he’s the 54-hole leader at a PGA TOUR event.
Jordan Spieth has made the biggest move in the world rankings this year, as he started at No. 82, entered last week at No. 28 and will likely move into the top 20 after another strong showing at Colonial. A win in the Charles Schwab Challenge will also move him to No. 1 in the FedExCup Standings, and make him one of the leading favorites at the Memorial Tournament. Spieth has a pair of top 10s at Muirfield Village including in 2019, and last year finished T13 after a tough final round score of 75.
Justin Thomas and 2018 Memorial winner Bryson DeChambeau are currently at the top of the FedExCup Standings. They join last year’s Memorial winner Jon Rahm along with Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy as top-10 players in the world competing at Muirfield Village.
Top players in the field include: World Golf Ranking (OWGR)
- Justin Thomas (No. 2)
- Jon Rahm (3)
- Bryson DeChambeau (4)
- Collin Morikawa (5)
- Xander Schauffele (6)
- Patrick Reed (8)
- Rory McIlroy (9)
- Viktor Hovland (12)
- Tony Finau (13)
- Hideki Matsuyama (14)
- Patrick Cantlay (15)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (17)
- Louis Oosthuizen (20)
- Billy Horschel (21)
- Scottie Scheffler (22)
- Sungjae Im (23)
- Cameron Smith (26)
- Will Zalatoris (27)
- Jordan Spieth (28) *
- Joaquin Niemann (29)
- Louis Oosthuizen (31)
- Victor Perez (34)
- Corey Connors (36)
- Sam Burns (38)
- Adam Scott (39)
- Marc Leishman (40)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout (43)
- Shane Lowry (44)
- Stewart Cink (45)
- SiWoo Kim (50)
In addition, the following notable players who finished top 15 in last year’s Memorial Tournament are also returning.
- Jon Rahm (Won)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (3)
- Matt Wallace (T4)
- Jason Day (T4)
- Mackenzie Hughes (T6)
- Henrik Norlander (T6)
- Tony Finau (8)
- Patrick Reed (T10)
- Luke List (T10)
- Xinjun Zang (T10)
- Xander Schauffele (T13)
- Jordan Spieth (T13)
- Brendan Steele (T13)
- Billy Horschel (T13)
In 2019, Spieth also finished top 10, along with Hideki Matsuyama. Marc Leishman finished top five, and the winner was Patrick Cantlay.
Recall also that last year the PGA TOUR canceled the John Deere Classic amid the pandemic, and added a new tournament a week before the Memorial on the same golf course at Muirfield Village.
The Workday Charity Open featured shorter rough and slightly slower green speeds to create additional pin positions. The event also utilized a variety of tee boxes to help protect the golf course for the following week’s Memorial Tournament in mid-July.
Collin Morikawa won the event in a playoff over Justin Thomas. Both players shot 19-under par, and Viktor Hovland finished third at 15-under par.
Memorial Tournament Recent Winners and Runner-ups:
- 2020 – Jon Rahm (-9), Ryan Palmer
- 2019 – Patrick Cantlay (-19), Adam Scott
- 2018 – Bryson DeChambeau (-15), Byeong Hun An, Kyle Stanley
- 2017 – Jason Dufner (-13), Rickie Fowler, Anirban Lahiri
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.
COURSE AND TOURNAMENT INFO
- Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
- Location: Dublin, Ohio
- Date: June 3-6
- Par: 72 / Yardage 7,543
- Purse: $9.3 Million / Winner $1.67 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. Following the In 2020 Memorial Tournament, Nicklaus modified and made renovations to the course. All 18 greens at Muirfield were rebuilt and resodded with bentgrass, and most green complexes were recontoured. Fairway and greenside bunkers were rebuilt, and fairways were resurfaced.
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 fast, undulating greens. Key strokes gained stats also includes ball-striking and tee-to-green excellence as an emphasis, and longer hitters have an advantage with total driving and distance. But accuracy of the tee will allow for better approach opportunities with golfers having to work various shot-shapes into the greens.
Watch the weather and Thursday/Friday draw for golfers, as potential scattered showers is in the advance forecast and looks more likely on Thursday.
If the course softens, it will become more of an approach play shootout. Otherwise, firmer and slick greens will put more emphasis on short game strength, and you can count on run-off zones and waste areas to be trimmed shorter to repel errant approaches.
KEY STATS TO CONSIDER WHEN ANALYZING MEMORIAL ODDS
Approach play stats are still more significant than driving stats at Muirfield.
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Strokes Gained: Approach and Ball Striking
- Strokes Gained: Putting (on bentgrass)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
- Par-4 Scoring (focus 400-450 yards)
- Proximity to Hole (150-175 yards)
Notable leaders in this field that rank highly in this field in SG: Approach over their last 36 rounds include:
- Collin Morikawa (1)
- Justin Thomas (2)
- Charley Hoffman (3)
- Will Zalatoris (4)
- Corey Connors (5)
- Jordan Spieth (6)
- Sam Burns (9)
- Hideki Matsuyama (10)
SG: Tee-to-Green leaders:
The top 10 on the SG: Approach list are also top-10 in SG: Ball Striking
SG: Around the Green leaders:
- Cameron Smith
Next week is a light one on TOUR for the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in South Carolina. Most the top pros will be off in preparation for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines starting June 17.
Golfers To Watch
Tony Finau (): A breakthrough win would not surprise as Finau finally puts it together for his second PGA Tour win. The 31-year-old ranks No. 13 in the world, and is outside the top-10 players in the outright win market this week. Lone concern is his driving accuracy and at times putting, but he’s been exceptional Tee-to-Green his past two tournaments when finishing 8th at the PGA Championship and 20th last week at Colonial despite poor putting. Finau is still a top-10 machine with seven in 18 events this season. He ranks No. 5 on TOUR in scoring average, and his strokes gained stats show him top-10 in Tee-to-Green, Around the Green and top-10 in Approach and Ball Striking over his last 36 rounds. Add in top-five Par-5 efficiency numbers in this field and solid Par-4 efficiency with proven Greens-in-Regulation stats at Muirfield, and Finau should fire a top finish again. Finau has finished top 15 four times in his last six appearances at Jack’s place and T8 last year at Muirfield when he led after Round 1 and was the co-leader into the weekend.
Joaquin Niemann (): Niemann’s stats and game are sick (good) for a 22-year-old on today’s PGA Tour. His strokes gained stats are solid across the board, ranking top-20 Total, Tee-to-Green, Off-the-Tee, Approach, Putting and top-10 in Ball Striking his last 36 rounds. He played well at the PGA Championship until Sunday, and on a Nicklaus course at the Honda Classic he finished 25th. All players will deal with new bentgrass greens this week at Muirfield Village, and Niemann’s putting is improving. Strong drivers and tee-to-green players do well here, and Niemann can take advantage of the par-5s and his solid par-4 efficiency numbers to have a solid week. His T6 finish on debut here in 2018 when he shot 65-68 to open also suggests his game fits, and even better now.
Russell Henley (): You have to fire on some of these prices and finishing position on elite iron players like Russell Henley. He finished T3 at the Honda and has putted well on bent greens. He’s a short driver of the golf ball, but very accurate and his scoring average is top-10 on TOUR, again showing his strong ball striking and iron play which ranks top-20, and top-10 on Approach over his last 36 rounds. Henley’s par 4 efficiency numbers are solid, and he’s top-10 in Greens-in-Regulation gained. He’s not played as well the past month, and longer courses cause issues and can wear him out. But a positive from the PGA Championship was his top-ranked putting. Henley has not played in this event the past two years, but he did play in the WGC Workday event on this course last year and he gained 11 strokes Tee-to-Green on his way to a top-10 finish.
Aaron Wise (): Wise was profiled on these pages earlier this year, and then went out and took the 36-hole lead on the Nicklaus Course at the Honda Classic in March. He finished T13 which was a major disappointment since he had a 3-shot lead halfway home, but his resurgence at just 24 years old has been positive and includes a top 10 at the Wells Fargo event on a long, classic course at Quail Hollow, and top 10 at the PGA Championship is last start despite shooting 79 in the second round. Wise’s short game and putting sucks, which has held him back. But his T2G and OTT game are top 25 and he’s been solid with his Approach play and Ball Striking, which he’s been working on to improve and it’s paying off. A positive putting performance at the PGA Championship has to have him feeling good, as it was his best SG: Putting result in nearly two years. Wise is a young talent who can play, but you’re usually at risk with such a suspect short game. At these odds, he’s worth the risk and a top-20 finish returns +450.