With the calendar flipping to June, the PGA Tour heads north for the first time this year for The Memorial Tournament, an event hosted by Jack Nicklaus at his Muirfield Village Golf Club in suburban Columbus, Ohio.
This is one of five invitational tournaments on the schedule and the second in a row after last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge. While not a major, the Memorial is also more prestigious than regular PGA Tour events, issuing an extra year of exemption on the PGA Tour to the winner (three years instead of two) and also awards 550 FedEx Cup points to the winner instead of the standard 500.
Nicklaus designed the course, which opened in 1974 and hosted the first Memorial Tournament two years later. The Golden Bear himself is a two-time winner here along with Greg Norman, Tom Watson, and Patrick Cantlay; Kenny Perry won three times, and Tiger Woods holds the record with five Memorial victories.
Muirfield Village underwent some renovations over the past two years, and this past offseason, the greens were reconstructed and irrigated and are expected to be some of the fastest on the PGA Tour, as is tradition. Some length was also added, putting the course at 7,533 yards and a par 72.
Tom Lehman’s 20-under 268 from 1994 remains the tournament record, but Cantlay came close with a -19 in 2019.
Jon Rahm & Rory Mcllroy (+1000)
Jon Rahm is a co-favorite here along with Rory McIlroy. Not only did Rahm win here in 2020, but he also led by six strokes going into the final round last year before a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday morning forced him to withdraw. Rahm hasn’t played since a 48th place finish at the PGA Championship, but he won three weeks prior to that in Mexico, so it will be tough to bet against him at a course he’s owned for two straight years.
McIlroy hasn’t won since a victory at the CJ Cup at Summit in October, but he’s been a top-10 machine for most of the year, including his last three events—second at the Masters, fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship, and eighth at the PGA Championship after being the first-round leader. He hasn’t won here but has four top-10 finishes in 10 events at Muirfield Village, so he should at least be in contention all weekend.
Was the beneficiary of Rahm’s withdrawal last year, but he’s a worthy choice at Muirfield Village, having won two of the past three events here and was in the top five in 2018. The defending FedEx Cup champion hasn’t played since missing the cut at the PGA, so he is well-rested, and his two outings prior to Southern Hills was a win at the Zurich Classic with Xander Schauffele and a playoff loss at the RBC Heritage.
Rebounded from a somewhat disappointing 34th at the PGA Championship by finishing tied for seventh at the Charles Schwab Challenge last week. He two finishes prior to that were a runner-up at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a win at the RBC Heritage, so he continues to be on top of his game and comes to a course where he has six top-20 finishes in nine starts.
Has had somewhat of a disappointing season with no wins in the 2021-22 PGA Tour campaign and no finish higher than 26th since a fifth-place run at the Masters. But Morikawa did lead here after the first round last year and lost in a playoff to Cantlay, so he at least has the course history going for him here.
Has followed his team victory with Cantlay at the Zurich Classic with two great individual performances: a fifth at the Byron Nelson (after a final-round 61) and a 13th at the PGA. He’s been consistent in the last three editions of the Memorial with finishes of 11, 13, and 14 dating back to 2019.
Has cooled off slightly since a run of 13th or better in six-straight stroke-play events after coming in 23rd at the PGA Championship, but he took last week off to reset his focus for this event. He’s also looking to improve on a sixth-place finish here last year.
Along with Will Zalatoris, who is poised to win at any week, Matthew Fitzpatrick also fits that bill. He’s made seven of nine cuts in 2022 and hasn’t finished worse than 14th when making it to the weekend. He’s been even better recently, tying for runner-up at the Wells Fargo Championship and then tying for fifth at the PGA Championship. He missed the cut here last year but was a solo third in 2020.
Is also a first-time winner in waiting, as his 12th-place in the FedEx Cup standings is the highest among non-winners this season. In between taking last week off and missing the cut at Augusta, all the rookie has done is finish in the top three at the RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship, and the PGA Championship. The only thing holding him back is that this is his debut at the Memorial.
Speaking of rookies, Davis Riley has also been riding a hot streak. He’s played in five of the last six events and has top-five finishes in three of them, was ninth at the Byron Nelson and 13th at the PGA. Fatigue and unfamiliarity with Muirfield could be factors working against him, however.
On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, Patrick Reed is lurking once again. He was seventh at Colonial last weekend and comes into the Memorial having finished in fifth here last year and has made the cut in all six events he’s played in at Muirfield Village.
It’s tough to go against a competitor like Rahm based on his last two years here, and with a strong field, +1000 is decent value. We also like Cantlay and Schauffele among those towards the top of the odds board, and Fitzpatrick and Young are both worth a shot as underdogs.
|GOLFER||ODDS TO WIN 2022 THE MEMORIAL|