The Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio
One of the most coveted titles on the PGA Tour is next up on the roster as the caravan shifts to ‘Jack’s Place’. The Memorial Tournament 2018 will be played at the Muirfield Village Golf Course in Dublin, Ohio.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus and named after his favourite Open Championship venue, the Memorial Tournament always attracts a star studded field. Muirfield Golf Course is a 7300 yards Par 72 with plenty of similarities to Augusta. The greens are fast and undulating, lined with bermuda grass, and are going to test the players. The fairways are pretty generous and will allow some leeway to the bombers but water will be in play on almost 75% of the holes.
The course also has four Par-5’s, all of which are reachable in two. They rank among the easiest Par-5’s on the Tour and will provide multiple opportunities for birdies and eagles. The weather is expected to be poor for the first two days and then ease up as the weekend approaches. Rain on this course will make the greens slower and probably make the challenge a little easier.
Jason Duffner is the defending champion having won the tournament last year in an incredible performance. William McGirt won in 2016, David Lingmerth in 2015, Hideki Matsuyama in 2014, and Matt Kuchar won it in 2013. The field for this tournament is smaller than the usual PGA Tour events with a total of 120 players. 12 of the top-15 ranked players will be seen in action making for one of the strongest fields seen in a non-major event.
There are plenty of players that are carrying some excellent form with them. Justin Rose won last week and will be a challenger again, Jason Day is in the sort of form that saw him become number 1, Marc Leishman has five top 10’s without winning and Dustin Johnson is returning after a couple of weeks off to recharge his batteries.
Winning at Muirfield is all about the second shot. Players will need to be aggressive with their tee shot but make sure they put themselves in a good position to attack the greens. Approaching the green from the correct side, taking advantage of the Par-5’s and being able to recover from poor shots will be the key to victory.
Stats That Matter
– Par 5 Scoring
– Strokes Gained: Approach to the Green
The Muirfield Village Golf Course is littered with risk/reward decisions. Scoring is going to be very important and just avoiding mistakes is not going to be enough. Tom Lehman won the tournament with a score of -20 under Par in 1994 and that is still the course record. The Wolf expects the winning total to be around -15 this year.
Jason Duffner was 7th for driving accuracy, 1st for greens in regulation and 7th for putts per green in regulation when he won last year. Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, and Matt Kuchar are some of the players that have an excellent course history at this venue.
The Wolf has put Rory McIlroy at $15.00 on top this week. Rory is in excellent form and is coming off a second place finish at the BMW Open on the European Tour. He also loves playing at Augusta and should find a lot of similarities at this course. Rory finished 4th here in 2016 and is arguably the cleanest ball striker on the tour. He has the length off the tee and when dialled in, his long irons are second to none. The Wolf is expecting him to have multiple eagles this week.
The value pick this week is Marc Leishman at $26.00. The Aussie has been in terrific form and a win for him seems inevitable. He historically does well in staked fields and this one is no exception. Rarely phased by the occasion, we have seen him play in and succeed in feature groups. Marc Leishman has finished inside the top-15 for the last three years consecutively and knows this course very well. He is 26th for strokes gained: approach to the green, 54th for Par 5 scoring and 68th in scrambling.
Those searching for a roughie should have something on Phil Mickelson at $41.00. Phil finished T5 at the Wells Fargo Championship just a couple of weeks back and has been in very good form for the last few months. He is another player that does well at Augusta and so this course lines up well for him game. He has finished in the top 5 here in the past and statistically ranks off the chart in 2018 – 11th in strokes gained: approach to the green, 11th for Par 5 scoring, and 29th for scrambling. If he can get the putter going… LOOK OUT!
Tournament By Country
72 Hole Match Bets