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BlogMemorial Preview and Picks

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:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 60 of the top 100 and 31 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with seven players from the top-ten: #3 Justin Rose, #4 Rory McIlroy, #5 Tiger Woods, #6 Justin Thomas, #8 Bryson DeChambeau, #9 Xander Schauffele and #10 Rickie Fowler. The other top 50 players are #12 Matt Kuchar, #13 Tony Finau, #15 Patrick Cantlay, #16 Jason Day, #20 Louis Oosthuizen, #22 Gary Woodland, #23 Phil Mickelson, #24 Marc Leishman, #26 Adam Scott, #27 Kevin Kisner, #29 Jordan Spieth, #32 Hideki Matsuyama, #33 Cameron Smith, #34 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #35 Keegan Bradley, #37 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #38 Alex Noren, #39 Haotong Li, #40 Tyrrell Hatton, #42 Billy Horschel, #44 Henrik Stenson, #45 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, #49 Andrew Putnam and #50 Jim Furyk

Last year this event had 32 top-50 players.

The field includes 17 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are #1 Matt Kuchar, #3 Xander Schauffele, #4 Rory McIlroy, #7 Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, #10 Justin Rose, #11 Charles Howell III, #12 Patrick Cantlay, #13 Justin Thomas, #14 Marc Leishman, #15 Tony Finau, #17 Sung Kang, #18 Kevin Kisner, #21 Phil Mickelson, #22 Tiger Woods, #23 Corey Conners and #25 Keith Mitchell

The field includes 11 past champions: Bryson DeChambeau (2018), Jason Dufner (2017), David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), Matt Kuchar (2013), Tiger Woods (2012, ’09, ’01, 2000 & 1999), Steve Stricker (2011), Justin Rose (2010), K.J. Choi (2007), Ernie Els (2004) and Jim Furyk (2002).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Memorial field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Memorial in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Memorial.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Memorial Tournament

Player Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson British Masters Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players
Jordan Spieth
(285 pts)
T8
(50)
T3
(180)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
T21
(19.33)
T30
(6.67)
T24
(13)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Matt Kuchar
(272.33 pts)
DNP T8
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
T12
(25.33)
T7
(18.33)
2
(50)
DNP DNP T26
(12)
Patrick Cantlay
(271.33 pts)
DNP T3
(180)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T3
(60)
T9
(30)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Rory Sabbatini
(264.5 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP T18
(21.33)
T3
(60)
T10
(26.67)
DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T39
(3.67)
T18
(10.67)
T35
(7.5)
Sung Kang
(243.5 pts)
DNP 7
(110)
Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
T47
(1.5)
Rory McIlroy
(241.17 pts)
DNP T8
(100)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
Matt Every
(183 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Tony Finau
(159 pts)
2
(100)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T61
(0)
T40
(5)
DNP DNP T22
(14)
Hideki Matsuyama
(157.67 pts)
DNP T16
(68)
T23
(27)
DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP DNP T8
(25)
Jason Kokrak
(148.5 pts)
DNP T23
(54)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
T22
(18.67)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
T47
(1.5)
Justin Rose
(142.83 pts)
T58
(0)
T29
(42)
DNP DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP DNP T8
(25)
Joel Dahmen
(139 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T71
(0)
DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
T18
(21.33)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP T12
(12.67)
T30
(6.67)
T12
(19)
Billy Horschel
(134.67 pts)
T19
(31)
T23
(54)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
T45
(3.33)
T56
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T24
(13)
DNP DNP T26
(12)
Adam Scott
(133.67 pts)
DNP T8
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
Jason Day
(133 pts)
DNP T23
(54)
DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(25)
Xander Schauffele
(132.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T16
(68)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T63
(0)
T2
(66.67)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Gary Woodland
(131.83 pts)
DNP T8
(100)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(10)
Kevin Kisner
(130.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
T41
(6)
T21
(19.33)
DNP Win
(66)
DNP T24
(8.67)
T22
(14)
Luke List
(127.67 pts)
DNP 6
(120)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP T41
(6)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T40
(5)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
Charley Hoffman
(123.33 pts)
T13
(37)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
T45
(3.33)
T29
(14)
2
(33.33)
DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
CUT
(-5)
Matt Jones
(116.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP T38
(8)
T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Lucas Glover
(114.67 pts)
DNP T16
(68)
DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-5)
Rickie Fowler
(113.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T36
(28)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
Emiliano Grillo
(113.33 pts)
T19
(31)
T23
(54)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
T62
(0)
DNP T40
(5)
DNP DNP T26
(12)
Tiger Woods
(113 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T5
(35)
DNP DNP T30
(10)
Sam Burns
(109.33 pts)
T31
(19)
T29
(42)
T72
(0)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
9
(30)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP T12
(12.67)
T30
(6.67)
DNP
Henrik Stenson
(105.5 pts)
DNP T48
(4)
T20
(30)
DNP T28
(14.67)
T18
(21.33)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP T24
(8.67)
CUT
(-5)
Max Homa
(103.67 pts)
T27
(23)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Abraham Ancer
(92.83 pts)
T58
(0)
T16
(68)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T42
(2.67)
T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP T12
(19)
Jim Furyk
(89.83 pts)
T13
(37)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T23
(9)
T17
(16.5)
DNP T18
(10.67)
2
(50)
Brian Gay
(88.33 pts)
T13
(37)
WD
(-10)
T69
(0)
DNP DNP T3
(60)
T54
(0)
DNP T77
(0)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
T56
(0)
Peter Uihlein
(88 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T22
(9.33)
T65
(0)
CUT
(-5)
Jhonattan Vegas
(85.33 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T26
(8)
DNP T3
(45)
Tyrrell Hatton
(83.17 pts)
T8
(50)
T48
(4)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-5)
Andrew Putnam
(81.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T78
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T40
(5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Memorial Tournament

Player Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson British Masters Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players
Michael Kim
(-68.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-5)
Martin Trainer
(-30.5 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 66
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(4.5)
Ernie Els
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Fox
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(-29.33 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
CUT
(-5)
Whee Kim
(-24.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T37
(8.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Steve Stricker
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Cameron Champ
(-22.5 pts)
T58
(0)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-2.5)
Brendan Steele
(-22.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-5)
Ted Potter, Jr.
(-21.67 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T67
(0)
DNP T77
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-5)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Pointing towards the U.S. Open

Hard to believe that it’s just two weeks away from the U.S. Open.  Only problem other than Brooks Koepka we have nobody really making a statement that their game is hot.  Of course, Kevin Na, Sung Kang and Max Homa have won in the last three weeks but let’s be serious, these three won’t be in the running at Pebble Beach.  Another thing is those players that we think of being favorites, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas haven’t shown us much.  This week Thomas will be playing for the first time since the Masters and we honestly don’t know the shape of his wrist.  He hurt it after hitting a tree stump at the Honda and is just taking time off with the thought that it will get better.  We have heard this story before, player hurts his wrist, takes time off but comes back and it still hurts.  After about six months of screwing around has surgery, rehabs for a few months and is ready to go.  So as for players like Thomas and Jason Day, who has done nothing but rest his back you can’t take them serious anything, let alone a U.S. Open.  Now Tiger Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship, but we found out that Tiger wasn’t well, some kind of flu or cold which Tiger does get a lot.  But with the schedule being what it is a lot of players like Dustin, Rose and McIlroy aren’t playing much between the Masters, PGA Championship and the U.S. Open.  Dustin Johnson has played in the past at Memorial, but he does have a commitment to RBC so he will play in Canada next week.  Also not playing this week but next will be Brooks Koepka.  No matter what the field is good and the course at Muirfield Village is one of the best, hopefully, the weather won’t be as bad as predicted.

Another thing to think about is the weather, if you look at the list of winners in the years of poor weather you tend to get the Jason Dufner, William McGirt and David Lingmerth’s winning.  On the whole, a lot of marquee names have won at Memorial, but again in those years of bad weather, anything and anybody can win this.  One thing that will help, the weather is supposed to be good after a very poor day on Thursday.

Things you need to know about the Memorial

This is the 44th annual Memorial Tournament. The first one was played in 1976, and it has always been played at Muirfield Village.  There are close ties between the Memorial Tournament and Jack Nicklaus. The tournament was a long-time vision of Nicklaus, who grew up playing the famous Scioto Country Club, which hosted the 1926 U.S. Open.  But the course wasn’t large enough to hold a major championship, so Nicklaus built Muirfield Village with that in mind.  In some ways, the Memorial mirrors the Masters because it’s the tournament that Nicklaus always thought was the best run on a great course.

The tournament got its name because every year a different golfer is recognized for their contribution to the game of golf. The first Memorial Tournament honoree was Bobby Jones in 1976. Beginning in 2002, two honorees were selected annually, a male and female golfer. The 2018 honorees for the Memorial Tournament will be Hale Irwin, while Jock Hutchison and Willie Turnesa are posthumous honorees. As for the journalism award, Golf Digest Larry Dorman is the honoree with Golfweek’s Ron Balicki getting the award posthumously.

The Memorial always seems to get a great field because it’s played on a great course and many can count on getting ready for the U.S. Open by playing at Memorial.

How the last 9 U.S. Open winners did at Memorial

  • 2018 Brooks Koepka   Did not play at Memorial was 2nd at Ft. Worth 3 weeks before U.S. Open
  • 2017 Brooks Koepka    T-31st
  • 2016 Dustin Johnson    3rd
  • 2016 Jordan Spieth T-3rd
  • 2014 Martin Kaymer   Did not play at Memorial but won Players a month before U.S. Open
  • 2013 Justin Rose   T-8th
  • 2012 Webb Simpson   Missed Cut
  • 2011 Rory McIlroy  5th
  • 2010 Graeme McDowell Did not play at Memorial but won the Celtic Manor Wales Open 2 weeks before U.S. Open.
Course information:
  • Muirfield Village Golf Club
  • Dublin, Ohio
  • 7,392 yards     Par 36-36–72

Muirfield Village has a 76.9 rating and slope rating of 153 from the championship tees. The course is very private. The tees and Fairways are Bentgrass Poa Annua while the rough is Kentucky Bluegrass with ryegrass and fescue. The greens are bentgrass.

Last year Muirfield Village played to a 72.80 average and was the 13th hardest course on tour. In 2016 it played to a 70.99 average and was the 36th hardest course on the PGA Tour.  In 2015 Muirfield Village was the 23rd hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.74 average.  Because of the course being soft with a lot of rain the week before and perfect conditions during the tournament, the course plays easy.  But last year due to poor weather over the weekend with high winds created a higher scoring average.

During the 1966 Masters, Jack Nicklaus told some of his closet friends that he wanted to bring a major championship to the Columbus area.  Unfortunately, the best course in town, Scioto Country Club, was not big enough to hold a tournament that Nicklaus envisioned.  At the time he was just getting into course designing, so he knew just enough to be dangerous on the subject.  He also envisioned that his course would have some of the same characteristics that Augusta National had, plus Nicklaus wanted the event to mirror Augusta.

After the Masters, Nicklaus and his trusted friends made secret site surveys around the Columbus area and found the site he thought was perfect, on the Northwestern part of town.  In 1967 with his own money, Nicklaus started buying the land that would be Muirfield Village.

By 1970, Nicklaus realized that he had a future in building golf courses. He started his own company, and in 1972, under the supervision of Golden Bear Inc., construction began in Dublin, Ohio. The project encountered many delays, including exorbitant amounts of rain that ultimately postponed the completion of the project until late 1973. Jack Nicklaus played the inaugural round of golf at Muirfield in October 1973. Fittingly, his round was marred by torrential rain storms. The course officially opened on May 24, 1974, with an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Nicklaus shot a 66, which stood as the course record until 1979.

Over the years, Muirfield Village has racked up numerous prestigious awards, but the most essential accolade that Muirfield Village gets every year is when it is voted one of the five best sites by PGA Tour players, not only because the course is excellent, but because how well the players are pampered here.  It goes beyond even the PGA Tour rules.  It’s the only tournament on Tour that bans equipment manufacturers, tournament representatives and the media from the practice facilities and locker rooms.

When Nicklaus built the course in the ’70s, he had championships in mind and of course, a yearly PGA Tour event.  Along with the Memorial, which got started in 1976, the course has held just about every other major tournament, except for a U.S. Open or a PGA Championship.  Other championships that have been held at Muirfield include the 1986 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1987 Ryder Cup Matches, the 1992 U.S. Amateur, the 1995 Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge, the 1998 Solheim Cup and last year the 2013 Presidents Cup.

The par 72 course has 73 bunkers, with water coming into play on 11 holes. In general, Muirfield Village plays a long, challenging 7,392 yards. With a course rating of 76.9 and a slope rating of 153, it is one of the most challenging venues on Tour.

Nicklaus didn’t just design this course with the golfer in mind; he was one of the first designers to account for the fan. The 220-acre venue strategically incorporates hills and mounds that allow fans to look down upon most of the action. This set up mirrors most traditional stadium-seating arrangements found at major sporting events.

Over the years Nicklaus tweaks the course, but for the third year in a row, the course will be pretty much like it was the year before, except for the weather.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Muirfield Village.

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.

Here is a link to the other 100 players with stats from 2019

 

DraftKings tips

Of the 120 in the field, 94 have played at least once at Muirfield Village in The Memorial since 2010:

  • Matt Kuchar is 80 under in 32 rounds playing 8 years
  • Justin Rose is 49 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Rory McIlroy is 38 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Ryan Moore is 34 under in 34 rounds playing 9 years
  • David Lingmerth is 32 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Tony Finau is 31 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 30 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Phil Mickelson is 30 under in 29 rounds playing 8 years
  • Rickie Fowler is 30 under in 30 rounds playing 9 years
  • Byeong Hun An is 28 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Steve Stricker is 27 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Jason Dufner is 24 under in 20 rounds playing 6 years
  • Kevin Streelman is 24 under in 30 rounds playing 9 years
  • Bill Haas is 23 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Bryson DeChambeau is 22 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Rory Sabbatini is 22 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Emiliano Grillo is 19 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Adam Scott is 18 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Anirban Lahiri is 18 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Kevin Kisner is 18 under in 17 rounds playing 5 years
  • Gary Woodland is 17 under in 28 rounds playing 8 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 17 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Kyle Stanley is 17 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Bryson DeChambeau is 22 under playing 2 years (-2.75)
  • Matt Kuchar is 80 under playing 8 years (-2.50)
  • Byeong Hun An is 28 under playing 3 years (-2.33)
  • Justin Rose is 49 under playing 7 years (-2.04)
  • Tony Finau is 31 under playing 4 years (-1.94)
  • Peter Uihlein is 15 under playing 2 years (-1.88)
  • Patrick Cantlay is 14 under playing 2 years (-1.75)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 30 under playing 5 years (-1.67)
  • Emiliano Grillo is 19 under playing 3 years (-1.58)
  • Anirban Lahiri is 18 under playing 3 years (-1.50)
  • Rory McIlroy is 38 under playing 7 years (-1.46)
  • David Lingmerth is 32 under playing 6 years (-1.33)
  • Rory Sabbatini is 22 under playing 5 years (-1.22)
  • Jason Dufner is 24 under playing 6 years (-1.20)
  • Steve Stricker is 27 under playing 6 years (-1.13)
  • Kevin Kisner is 18 under playing 5 years (-1.06)
  • Phil Mickelson is 30 under playing 8 years (-1.03)
  • Ryan Moore is 34 under playing 9 years (-1.00)
  • Rickie Fowler is 30 under playing 9 years (-1.00)
  • Kiradech Aphibarnrat is 8 under playing 2 years (-1.00)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies.  Stats are for those playing at the Memorial going back to 2010:

DraftKings tips

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Rory McIlroy – $11,500
  • Tiger Woods – $11,200
  • Justin Rose – $10,800
  • Rickie Fowler – $10,600
  • Patrick Cantlay – $10,200
  • Jordan Spieth – $9.900
  • Tony Finau – $9,600
  • Matt Kuchar – $9,400
  • Justin Thomas – $9,300
  • Jason Day – $9,200
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $9,100
  • Xander Schauffele – $9,000

Before we start this week’s Memorial, we should be realistic about some things.  On the surface, the prices of the above players in most cases are correct and can see their value.  But in making picks this week remember the weather is supposed to play havoc on the play for Thursday.  The last couple of weeks have seen a lot of rain at Muirfield Village, but a lot of rain is predicted for Wednesday, along with Thursday..  Look for lot’s of delays and frustration, this will be a perfect week for players you least expect to get in.  Just look at the winners in the last five years, yes most of those are all weather-related.  Also, luck will play a factor, some players will get a better draw in which the weather is good for both there first and second rounds, while some will have the wrong side of the draw and will be at a disadvantage.  As I write this on Tuesday it’s hard to draw any conclusions, best to make your teams up Wednesday night.  So with that said, let us see if we could help predict some good choices for this week.

In the list above I can’t find much fault on anyone on this list, with the except of Justin Thomas and Jason Day, both injured.  Yes I like Rory to win, but he is very expensive at $11,500.  But he does make a lot of birdies and will be in the top-ten so you have to take him.  Tiger Woods at $11,200 is a possible problem.  Again the cost is too high, he hasn’t played well at Memorial since winning in 2013 and I just don’t have faith in him playing good enough.  Justin Rose at $10,800 is a good pick, he always does well at the Memorial and he should do great this week, yes it’s going to cost you a lot.  Rickie Fowler at $10,600 is a good choice, but again we don’t know which Rickie will show up on Thursday.  Patrick Cantlay at $10,200 is too high.  Think if the course is soft that becomes a liability for him and he will give too much up, best to avoid him.  Jordan Spieth at $9,900 is good and he could be a good pick.  Yes, his game has come around, put a new shaft into the driver last week at Colonial and drove better, I always thought that Jordan could win at Memorial and maybe this is the year.  Now Tony Finau at $9,900 could be a very good pick, played well at Colonial and think his game is sharp now and he could be ready to win this week.  Now Matt Kuchar at $9,400 is usually a good pick and will be a great pick this week, is his highest finish in his last five starts is a T-12th at the Masters so watch him.  The next two picks is a dead no, Justin Thomas at $9,300 and Jason Day at $9,200 are injured and are not 100%, so they are ticking time bomb.  Even if Draftkings offered both of these players at $7,000 I would say no.  Hideki Matsuyama at $9,100 is a fair price but there are too many better deals I say no with Hideki.  Not that he is playing back, just not playing great and for the price it’s stupid to take a guy that will finish 20th.  Xander Schauffele at $9,000 is a big no for me, missed cut at Colonial and T-16th at the PGA Championship, save him for another day.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Lot’s of excellent choices in this price range.  First, there a lot of folks will pick the defending champion Bryson DeChambeau at $8,900.  Unfortunately, he has missed his last three cuts so I am passing on him.  Gary Woodland at $8,800 is a good pick, has played well of late and had a good record at the Memorial.  Adam Scott at $8,700 is an option, was T-8th at the PGA Championship and has a solid record at the Memorial.  Only problem, every time I pick him he goes into the dumper, oh well.  Emiliano Grillo at $7,900 is also ok, has played solid on tour this year and is ok at Memorial.  Now the best pick for the week is Kyle Stanley at $7,800.  Was 2nd last year at the Memorial, T-6th in 2017 and 3rd in 2013.  Yes, he missed the cut at the PGA but was T-8th at the Wells Fargo.  His game has come along after a poor start to his year.  I also like Jim Furyk at $7,500, yes he missed the cut at the last two Memorial’s but before that always played well.  Has been good this year and was T-13th at Colonial last week.

Some of the “bargains” this week at the Memorial

Can’t forget past champion Jason Dufner at $7,400.  He has played ok this year and can play well at Muirfield Village, watch him.  Byeong Hun An at $7,400 is cheap enough, he was runner-up last year and has been ok this year, rough patch at the Heritage, Wells Fargo, and PGA, but was 68th at Colonial.  Ryan Moore at $7,300 is a good buy, had a good record at the Memorial and been ok this year including a runner-up finish back in October and a 3rd at the Valero Texas.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Memorial:

The key stat for the winner:

As we said above Muirfield for the sixth year in a row is probably going to play easy.  Over the course of the last month, just over 3 inches of rain has fallen on the course, making it very soft. Usually, Muirfield Village is a course that will get you ready for a U.S. Open, but with the soft conditions and lack of wind, scores will be low again.  No matter how comfortable, you can’t overpower this course, you have to hit it in the fairway and think each shot to the green.  Despite playing soft, it will still be good practice for Pebble Beach.

Another key:
  • Those that do well in majors do well at Muirfield Village.  Of the 33 different champions of the Memorial, they have accounted for 481 wins on the PGA Tour while 17 have won a total of 68 major championships. What’s more, 15 of the last 26 Memorial champions have been a winner of a major championship.
  • In the history of the Memorial, only three leaders after the first round have won (Ernie Els in 2004, Justin Rose in 2010 and Jason Dufner 2017). 15 second-round leaders have won, and 19 third-round leaders have won.  Between 1994 and 2006, 11 of the 13 winners were in the lead after the third round.  But since 2007, only 4 champions had the lead going into the final round so again look for someone coming out of the pack to win.
  • 11 of the last 22 winners were in the top four in greens hit. In 2009 Tiger Woods was T3rd in greens hit while Justin Rose was T-13th in 2010, Steve Stricker was T30th in 2011, Tiger Woods was T-1st in 2012, Matt Kuchar was also 1st in 2013.  In 2014 Hideki Matsuyama was T-22nd while David Lingmerth was T-16th in 2015.  In 2016 William McGirt was T-7th in greens hit while in 2017 Jason Dufner lead greens hit.  Last year Bryson DeChambeau was 12th in greens hit
  • Overpowering the par fives is crucial. But just like everything else two of the last five winners Lingmerth and Matsuyama were the rarity to the win as Matsuyama played the par 5s in six under in 2014 while Lingmerth played them in 5 under. In 2016 McGirt was good on the par 5s playing them in 9 under, while Jason Dufner in 2017 was 10 under on the par 5s.  Last year Bryson DeChambeau was 7 under on the par 5s But before last year between 2000 and 2013 the 13 winners played the par 5s in an average of 9-under, in 2010 Justin Rose was 8 under while Stricker was 6 under in 2011, Tiger Woods was 8 under in 2012, and Matt Kuchar was 7 under in 2013.
  • In past years hitting greens has been significant, as Muirfield Village has some of the hardest set of greens to hit from the fairway.  Once you miss the greens, it’s hard to get it up and down, in 2014 of the 2,631 greens missed only 1,375 par or better was made, it was the fourth hardest course in scrambling at 52.26%.  In 2015 of the 2,504 greens missed only 1,382 par or better were made making it the 13th hardest.  In 2016 of the 2,386 greens missed only 1,240 par or better were make making it the 14th hardest on tour.  In 2017 of the 2,810 greens missed only 1,433 were able to get it up and down making it the 2nd hardest on tour.  Last year 2,419 greens were missed with 1,315 able to get it up and down the 11th hardest on tour.
  • Accuracy is key to winning at Memorial, ten of the last 16 winners have been in the top-10 in driving accuracy, which proves the point that you have to drive the ball well at Muirfield Village.  In 2009 Tiger Woods was 2nd while in 2010 Justin Rose was T-10th.  In 2011 Steve Stricker kept the tradition up as he was T-3rd but in 2012 Tiger Woods broke the tradition when he was T-14th in driving making him the first player out of the top-ten in driving since Ernie Els won in 2004.  Even worst things got bad in 2013 as Matt Kuchar was T-37th in driving accuracy, in 2014 Matsuyama was T-11th while in 2015 Lingmerth was T-11th. In 2016 McGirt was 38th in fairways hit while 2017 winner Jason Dufner was T-7th in fairways hit.  Last year Bryson DeChambeau was 4th in driving accuracy.
  • In its 43-year history, there have been 8 playoffs, the last coming last year when DeChambeau beat Byeong Hun An with a birdie on the second extra hole.  Now between 1976 and 2013, the tournament saw only four playoffs the previous was in 1992 when David Edwards beat Rick Fehr on the second hole.  Since then every Memorial except for three (2005, ’07 and ’11) has been won by at least two shots or more.

Active tournaments that have the least amount of playoffs since 1976:

  • 5 – Players championship
  • 6 – Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • 7 – Shriners Hospital
  • 8 – Memorial
  • 8 – Honda Classic
  • 8 – John Deere Classic

Only ten times in the history of the Memorial has a player shot four rounds in the 60s with seven of them winning. Byeong Hun An did it last year, before that Steve Stricker did it in 2011 but the last time that happened before that was in 2005 when Bart Bryant prevailed.

Last we have to talk about the weather.  This tournament has always had its share of severe weather, I remember when I use to attend this event between 1988 and 2003 one year Barbara Nicklaus hired an Indian chief to do dances to avoid bad weather.  Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop severe weather this week as Thursday has rained all day.  Good news, after that the weather will be ok for the weekend.

Who to watch for at the Memorial Tournament

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T4 T15 T57 CUT 5 T10

Has played well in this event in past years, he comes in under the radar which could help him.

Justin Rose

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T6 2 CUT T8 8 CUT Win CUT T2

Of active players has the best record of anyone in this event. He never seems to play poorly at Muirfield Village.

Matt Kuchar

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T13 T4 T4 T26 T15 Win T2 T8 T5 T10 T13

He could be the player to beat, has a great record in this event plus he has played well of late.

Best of the rest:

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T13 T40 T11 T8

He could get his game in shape and make a run, has played well on the course and was good last week.

Rickie Fowler

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T2 CUT CUT CUT T37 T52 T22 2

Would like to know which Rickie shows up, the one that can win or the one that is inconsistent.

Jordan Spieth

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T13 T57 T3 T19 T63

Watch him, his game has gotten better he just needs to be more consistent over 72 holes instead of just 66 holes.

Gary Woodland

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 T49 T4 CUT T57 T16 CUT 6

With a long wet course, he could be the right player at the right time.

Tiger Woods

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 71 T65 Win T19 Win T15

He has a chance off of his past performances at Muirfield. Just have a feeling his is more about getting ready for Pebble and if he plays well early, will make it interesting.

Solid contenders

Kyle Stanley

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2 T6 74 3 CUT T37

I like him a lot, he is really good at Muirfield Village.

Marc Leishman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T62 T15 T11 T5 T37 T41 T58 62 CUT T58

Another of those players that could benefit from a wet, soft course.

Bryson DeChambeau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
Win T38

Could he defend his title? Probably not but he could still have a top-ten finish.

Hideki Matsuyama

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T13 T45 CUT T5 Win

Another past winner who could sneak in and win.

Adam Scott

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T35 T31 T4 T13 T46 T33 CUT T5

Played well at the PGA, could play well this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Ryan Moore

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T13 CUT T48 T18 T19 T13 T38 T22 T5 CUT T10 2

Has always played well at Muirfield Village.

Emiliano Grillo

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 T40 T11

Could be the sleeper of the week, has the game.

Byeong Hun An

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2 T25 T11 CUT

Almost won last year, could he play good two years in a row?

 

Wouldn’t touch them this week:

Jason Day

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T44 T15 T27 CUT T37 T41 CUT T33 T27 CUT

He has played a lot since withdrawing from the Palmer with the back problem. He has also played well and had some high finishes. But as long as he hasn’t treated this issue I think it’s a ticking time bomb that could go off at any time. The last thing in the world you want is to pick someone that WDs.

Justin Thomas

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T4 CUT CUT T37

Coming back from a wrist injury, sorry I have no confidence in his game and state right now.

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