Starts: 9th July 2020
Course: Muirfield Village
Par: 72 (36-36)
Length: 7,392 yards
Grass Type: Bentgrass
Defending Champion: N/A
Overall Profit/Loss: -7pts
Pre-Event Six to Watch
MC Brooks Koepka - 16/1
T7th Kevin Streelman - 70/1 (No Place)
MC Harold Varner III - 80/1
T67th Cameron Champ - 70/1
MC Emiliano Grillo - 125/1
MC Lanto Griffin - 125/1
In-Play Bets: -7pts
10 July 2020 (-3 Pts)
1pt Each Way (1/5 1,2,3,4,5) Nick Taylor - 50/1 @ Betfair Sportsbook
0.5pt Each Way (1/5 1,2,3,4,5) Aaron Wise - 50/1 @ Betfair Sportsbook
11 July 2020
12 July 2020 (-4 Pts)
2ptsPatrick Cantlay to beat Jon Rahm (Mythical 2 ball bet) - Evens @ Bet Victor
2pts Kevin Streelman to beat Jon Rahm (Mythical 2 ball bet) - 6/5 @ Boylesports
Despite this being a new event on the PGA Tour, Muirfield Village Golf Club is the annual host of the Memorial tournament. Opened in 1974, this is a Jack Nicklaus designed course, located in his hometown of Dublin, Ohio.
The Memorial has been played here since 1976 so we have a wealth of course form and stats to draw upon.
As with most Nicklaus designed courses, Muirfield Village offers room off the tee. Whilst the rough is often punishing at the Memorial, we shouldn't underestimate the significance of the course being used this week and next. Early indications are that the rough will be shorter this week with a view to allowing it to continue to grow so it is more penal next week.
Player quotes indicate that faders of the ball are favoured at Muirfield Village.
The greens are usually quick at Muirfield Village. Presumably they will be slightly slower this week in order to protect them for next week.
The par 5s are all reachable in two shots and the par 3s aren't the shortest, ranging from range from 185-200+ yards. There are six really demanding par 4s in excess of 450 yards and combined with the long par 3s, cause the players the most difficulty.
Compared to the previous week, it was quiet on the Covid-19 front at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. However, we should still be alert to the possibility of players being affected prior to Thursday and during the event.
Continue to exercise an abundance of caution (credit: Chase Koepka and the PGA Tour) at the outset, especially in relation to those who haven't teed it up yet and keep a watching brief in-play.
We will assume previous Memorial trends hold true here given the same venue is being used.
In the last ten years, only one winner has been a course debutant (Hideki Matsuyama in 2014). Of the nine winners who have played here before, all bar one had previously recorded a top 40 finish. Six had posted a top 20 before winning.
With the exception of 2012 (-9), winning scores at MV in the last 10 years have varied between 12 under par and 19 under par.
There have been four playoffs in the last six years at the Memorial and no player has won by a margin greater than 3 shots since 2004 (Ernie Els).
American golfers have won seven of the last ten Memorial tournaments.
In the last couple of years we have seen the winners diverge from the tried and tested formula at the Memorial. Both Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau ranked 4th for driving distance and neither ranked within the top 50 for driving accuracy.
With the rough being down slightly we should favour the longer hitters rather than the accurate ones.
Three of the last four winners of the Memorial have ranked within the top 10 for Strokes Gained: Approach.
Only DeChambeau in 2018 ranked outside the top 10 SG: Approach (ranking 24th) and this was in the main thanks to a hot putter. A strong iron player is preferable.
Three of the last five winners have ranked inside the top 7 for Strokes Gained: Putting but we should also remember that Jason Dufner won here in 2017 ranking 47th (!) in this category - so bad putters can win if they have an exceptional week tee to green. It should also be noted that some really awful putters like Emiliano Grillo and Byeong-Hun An have very respectable records here.
Leaders don't have the best record here. Patrick Cantlay came from four back last year and Jason Dufner also won from four back in 2017. David Lingmerth came from three shots back in 2015 and Hideki Matsuyama trailed by two in 2014.
Where winners have held the lead in recent years (DeChambeau in 2018 and William McGirt in 2016), they have won after significant challenges (in both years challengers went heavy odds on favourites in running).
With this in mind, we should look for value in the chasing pack going into the final round.
Six To Watch
Brooks Koepka - 16/1 @ Spreadex
Brooks will be raring to go this week after missing the last two events due to his caddie, Ricky Elliott, testing positive for Covid-19. He ranked 1st Strokes Gained: Off The Tee when he was last seen at the RBC Heritage and his putting was also in good shape. One concern is that he's yet to crack the top 30 in two outings at the Memorial, but conditions this week are likely to suit him more. If he has sharpened his iron play over the past two weeks he's a definite danger this week.
Kevin Streelman - 70/1 @ 888 Sport
Kevin took last week off after his 2nd place finish at The Travelers but we haven't forgot how well he was striking the ball. Finished 5th for GIR, 7th for SG: Tee to green and 2nd SG: Total. Also 2nd at Pebble Beach earlier this year, Kevin is starting to knock on the door. Boasts a superb record at Muirfield in the last 5 years with finishes of 4-44-13-8-18.
Harold Varner III - 80/1 @ William Hill
Harold is playing a lot better than his results suggest. His last two events have yielded 30th at Rocket Mortgage and 32nd at Travelers but his ball striking stats indicate better is to come as he ranked 8th last week SG: Tee to green and 3rd for GIR. Performance on the greens has undoubtedly cost him but with a history of poor putters performing well here, this may be the best venue for Harold to take advantage. He missed the cut here last year but 19th in 2017 suggests he likes the course and is a much better player 3 years on.
Cameron Champ - 70/1 @ 10bet
Champ has come back from the break in impressive fashion with finishes of 14th at Charles Schwab and 12th at Rocket Mortgage. He was 2nd SG: Off the tee last week and 5th GIR and history has shown us in recent years that bombers can take advantage here. A missed cut last year can be discounted as he was in much worse form. It seems like it's only a matter of time before Champ gets his 3rd win in as many seasons and we want to be on when does.
Emiliano Grillo - 125/1 @ Spreadex
Emiliano has a rock solid record at Muirfield Village having finished no worse than 40th here in the last four years. During that time he has posted two top-12 finishes and is clearly comfortable here. His long game was once again in good shape last week and if his quote regarding putting from last year's Memorial tournament rings true, he'll be a contender.
"Every time I come here, I can see the breaks a bit easier than most of the other courses. But I always liked it here, everything is perfect. For me every time I step in Muirfield Village something clicks." Emiliano Grillo, 2019.
Lanto Griffin - 125/1 @ Betfred
Lanto has yet to tee it up at at Muirfield Village but his current form merits an interest. He's posted consecutive top 25 finishes and had fine long game stats last week, ranking 10th for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and 29th for Strokes Gained: Approach. His win at the Houston Open in October last year came on the back of a few top 25 finishes and he's a player who generally plays well for a few weeks in a row.
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