Muirfield Village Key Fantasy Stats

Memorial Tournament

May 30th – June 2nd, 2019

Muirfield Village G.C.

Dubin, OH

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,392

Purse: $9.1 million

with $1,638,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bryson DeChambeau

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for the Muirfield Village, based on data from last year’s Memorial and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019.
Historically Muirfield Village had the reputation as a course to get ready for the U.S. Open. Many have said that the course could be a perfect Open venue. It has the length, tight fairways with three-inch-plus rough, tree line and fast undulating greens. Just about everything that you would see at a U.S. Open is at Muirfield Village. That tradition will be spread through articles on the course and it won’t take long for the announcers in the commentary to bring this up.
But over the course of the last five years, things have changed. Muirfield has gone from a very feared course to one that is a layup. Between 2003 and 2013 the course played over par every year except in 2005 (71.93) and 2007 (71.49). After 2008 the course played hard, in 2008 it played to a scoring average of 74.40 ranking 5th hardest course for the year, in 2009 it was 73.42, ranking 6th. In 2012 it played to a 73.68 average and in 2013 it played to a 73.26 average with both years ranked 6th toughest. But then it dropped to 71.90 in 2014, ranked 29th and in 2015 it averaged 71.74 and ranked 23rd. In 2016 the course played to a 70.99 average, not only ranking 36th of the courses on the PGA Tour but more importantly the easiest the course has ever played in the 40-year history of the tournament. In 2017 the scoring average rose to 72.80 (rank 13th) mostly because of bad weather on Sunday with two delays and wins blowing between 15 and 25 mph. But with good, warm weather scoring was again down to 71.40 with the course ranking 30th on the PGA Tour.
Hate to say it but Muirfield Village may be the victim that other courses on the PGA Tour have experienced, technology.
The shocking stats were what used to be it’s meat and potatoes, driving accuracy and greens in regulation. In 2014 it ranked the 38th hardest in driving accuracy and 21st in greens in regulation. In 2015 it jumped to 42nd in driving accuracy and 18th in greens in regulation while in 2016 it was 42nd in driving accuracy and 25th in greens hit. In 2017 it ranked 29th in driving accuracy and 13th in greens hit. Last year it was 45th in driving accuracy and 26th in greens hit. So the course doesn’t have the bite it use to have. In a way it’s what happened at Colonial, for years it was one of the hardest courses on the PGA Tour until 20 years ago when players started overpowering the course. So is technology the problem?
There is a lot of reasons for this the last five years, between lot’s of rain before the tournament that made the course play very soft and lack of wind during the championship rounds. Another oddity the winners the last four years, Hideki Matsuyama, David Lingmerth and William McGirt were first-time winners on the PGA Tour, while 2017 champion Jason Dufner claimed his 5th PGA Tour victory while Bryson DeChambeau claimed his second PGA Tour win. But it’s amazing that 3 out of the last 5 winners were first-timers, before that the last time the Memorial had a first time winner was in 1991 and before Matsuyama won in 2014 it only had two first time winners, Kenny Perry in 1991 and Keith Fergus in 1981. So it’s a freak of nature that in the first 38 years the event had only two first time winners and now has had three in the last 5 years. I’m not saying this is terribly bad, just that when conditions are easier it opens the course to more players winning, such as players that haven’t won before. So the first thing to consider this year is the weather, it’s rained a lot in the area in the month of May with the course getting close to 3 inches of rain since May 1st. So that means the course will be lush and the rough will be thick. On top of that, the forecast isn’t very good for Wednesday through Friday as the tropical storm that hit the Gulf coast is moving up into the Ohio area with thunderstorms and 90% chance of rain. So look for lots of delays which is always frustrating. The good news, winds will be low and the weekend will be dry with only a 10% chance of rain.

So, unfortunately, the course won’t play like tournament officials and tournament host Jack Nicklaus wants, dry and fast conditions. In a way you would think that short, straight hitters would rule with wet conditions, they do in some cases but in the last 5 years, of the 29 players that finished in the top-five, only five players were in the top-10 of driving accuracy, while 7 of those 29 players were in the top-ten of driving distance. So what does that tell us? That players don’t have to hit it straight to do well at the Memorial. Now one stat that has stayed steady and tough is rough proximity. It ranked 7th in 2014, 11th in 2015, T-24th in 2016 and 11th last year so for those that miss the fairways it will still be tough. This and fairway accuracy is not one of our four categories, but something you should keep in the back of your mind and you should take a look at those rankings for this year, you can find driving accuracy stats at this link. and those on rough proximity is at this link

In looking at our four categories, our first for Muirfield Village are strokes gained tee-to green, last year the course ranked T-11th while last year’s champion Bryson DeChambeau ranked 12th, while 2017 champion Jason Dufner ranked 1st, 2016 winner William McGirt ranked 7th and 2015 champion David Lingmerth ranked 9th. Next important is putting inside 10 feet, Muirfield Village has some great greens, they are only 5,000 square feet but have a lot of undulation, and the bentgrass is easy to read. Those are some of the reasons that from 10 feet and in the course ranked 12th last year, 8th in 2017, 10th in 2016 and 4th in 2015 while champion DeChambeau ranked T-19th, 2017 winner Dufner ranked T-38th, 2016 winner McGirt ranked T-23rd and 2015 winner Lingmerth ranked 5th. You have to putt well to score well at Muirfield Village, last year the field made 87.88% of the putts in that distance, so look for players that make lots of putts.
Our third important stat is scrambling, players will miss greens and have to get it up and down. The course ranked 11th last year, 2nd in 2017, 14th in 2016 and 13th in 2015 while DeChambeau ranked 1st last year, Dufner in 2017 was 30th, McGirt was 6th in 2016 and Lingmerth was T-9th. Last is birdie average last year it ranked 42nd while in 2017 it ranked 29th, in 2016 it ranked 48th and in 2015 was 43rd which means a lot of birdies were made with the average number of birdies by players being 3.61 last year and 4.24 per round in 2016. So how did our winners do, DeChambeau was T-7th last year, Dufner was T-2nd in 2017, averaging 5.25, McGirt was at 5.00 which ranked T-16th and Lingmerth averaged 5.50 and ranked T-6th.
The big question, will the course play the same this year? Probably and despite having such a stellar field of seven of the top-ten in the world rankings. That is because the course hasn’t really changed, the weather will help it play easier and it may come down to another battle of players that have never won before.

*Strokes Gained tee-to-green: The per round average of the number of strokes the player was better or worse than the field average on the same course & event minus the players strokes gained-putting value.

*Putting inside 10 feet: Very easy, counts every putt from ten feet in to see who makes the most.

*Scrambling: The percent of time a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better.

*Birdie Average: Average number of birdies made over the course of a round

The 106 of the 120 players from this year’s field with stats from 2018:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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