We’re off to Ohio and a week at Jack’s house. But who is going to impress Mr Nicklaus? Steve Carroll runs through his Memorial Tournament betting tips
The venue: Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio, United States
Date: May 30-June 2, 2019
Course stats: Par 72, 7,392 yards
Course summary: Jack Nicklaus’ home course trades on penal rough and a remarkable number of hazards to make it one of the hardest stops on the PGA Tour schedule. Water comes into play on 11 holes and, if you want to be on the leaderboard, getting on the green in regulation is a must.
Purse: $9.1 million
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau (-15, on the second playoff hole over Byeong Hun An)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf, 7.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 8pm.
Friday: Sky Sports Golf, 7.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 9pm.
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 5.30pm.
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 5.30pm.
Memorial Tournament betting tips
Matt Kuchar (18/1 with bet365)
The money machine on the PGA Tour has found the winning answer this year and – if the dealings with caddie El Tucan in Mayakoba are any indication – a ruthless streak as well.
Having also finished runner up at the RBC Heritage and top 10 at the PGA Championship – shooting an eye-catching 69 on a rough final day at Bethpage Black – Kuchar just looks like he’s going to contend whenever he tees up.
So there’s no reason not to plough in at Muirfield Village – a course he clearly enjoys playing.
The winner in 2013, Kuchar has five further top 10s at Jack’s house in the last decade and was a comfortable top 20 last year.
It really should be no surprise. First in greens in regulation, 12th in sand save percentage, 12th strokes gained tee to green, eighth in driving accuracy (I could go on) on Tour this year, all the tests that Muirfield Village presents are areas of the game that Kuchar happens to excel at. It will require an off week for him not to feature.
Patrick Cantlay (18/1)
The American’s pace of play – yes, he’s unbelievably slow – detracts from what a quality player he is and Cantlay has been knocking on the door of another victory recently.
Getting to the head of affairs at Augusta clearly surprised him and his late lapse there was no surprise. He also featured regularly on the upper reaches of the leaderboard at Bethpage Black but it was hard to notice as Brooks Koepka destroyed the field for three and a half days.
Cantlay’s posted a top 10 in his last three starts and his top 5 at Muirfield Village 12 months ago was a significant step up on his debut.
Fourth on Tour in strokes gained total and 5th tee to green, he’s made seven top 10s in 13 starts. There’s no reason to suggest there won’t be at least another of those this week.
Kyle Stanley (80/1)
Some courses just suit a player’s eye and Muirfield Village definitely appears to speak to something within Kyle Stanley.
“I really enjoy playing this golf course, it’s one of my favourites that we play on Tour, it just really sets up good to my eye,” he said at last year’s event.
“Driving the ball, I would say it’s a strength of my game and I feel like a course like this kind of caters to a guy that’s hitting a lot of fairways.”
It shows in his results. Third in 2013, Stanley was tied for 6th in 2017 and then lost out in the three-man playoff to Bryson DeChambeau last year.
I’m hoping familiar surroundings might perk up some of his numbers as he’s only just inside the top 50 for driving accuracy and is way down the performers in terms of strokes gained tee to green and off the tee.
It has been a frustrating season, which continued with a missed cut at the PGA Championship. But Stanley did find the top 10 at the Wells Fargo and plenty of other grander names were sunk on the Black course in New York.
If Muirfield Village can light the spark, 80/1 might seem a big price come Sunday night.
Jim Furyk (100/1)
The former Ryder Cup captain is healthy and is driven to try and win once more on the PGA Tour before the lure of the Champions circuit becomes too great.
This price leapt off the screen and I’m happy for the oddsmakers to continue to under-estimate the 2003 US Open champion.
He was very much in the frame at Colonial but for a disappointing final round and his efforts at TPC Sawgrass show that, on the right kind of course, he’s certainly capable of adding to his haul.
The 49-year-old missed the cut at Bethpage, and the two previously, but those kind of bomber’s courses simply don’t suit his game.
If you had to name a stereotypical Furyk course, it would be a tight driving layout where finding the fairway is imperative and hitting greens in regulation is necessary.
And what have we got here? Furyk is the PGA Tour’s leader in driving accuracy and is 15th in greens in regulation.
When he misses, he’s fourth in scrambling and 9th in scrambling from the rough. He won this tournament in 2002 and has another five top 20s in the last decade.
Forget about the last two missed cuts at Memorial – the Ryder Cup was a distraction and he wasn’t fit.
Memorial Tournament betting tips: Notables
What to make of Justin Rose? The 2010 winner at Muirfield Village has four other top 10s there, including last year. But his form is interesting to say the least. If it’s an on week, he could very well win but 16/1 seems a little short with some question marks.
Tiger Woods (12/1) has also enjoyed a lot of success at Muirfield Village but the Masters champion looked incredibly rusty at the PGA Championship and may just be using this as a warm-up for Pebble Beach.
Justin Thomas has finished in the top 10 the last two years but this is his return from wrist injury. Having not played for six weeks, 18/1 is very stingy indeed.
And Rory McIlroy did what Rory does in majors these days – not look like contending and then suddenly pitch up in the top 10.
Getting in the frame hasn’t been an issue for him away from the big four tournaments, though, and his record at Muirfield Village – four top 10s without winning – would have him on anyone’s shortlist.
You’ll have to decide whether 9/1 is a price worth paying.
For the latest prices, visit bet365