Jon Rahm, whose victory pushed the young Spaniard to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time, is back to defend his title at Muirfield Village.
Bryson DeChambeau, who leads the FedExCup standings and won the 2018 Memorial, will be teeing it up, while other past winners at Jack’s Place who will be in the field include Patrick Cantlay, Jason Dufner and William McGirt.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, a pair of past FedExCup and PLAYERS champions, head to Muirfield looking for their first titles at the Memorial.
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio
Length: 7,543yards (Par 72)
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Since we last saw Muirfield Village Nicklaus has made relatively substantial changes to the course.
It is lengthened by about 150 yards, bunkers has been reshaped and moved, greens have been moved, expanded and reshaped and some tee shots have gotten more challenging.
All in all, the course should play a bit tougher than we have seen in the past.
The par 72 at “Jack`s place” stands out in my mind with 11 holes (with the changes this could be altered slightly but the point stands) that measure between 440-560 yards and all four of the par 3s measuring between 175-210 yards.
This leads to one of the tournaments each year where mid and long iron play is most valued, after all the greatest iron player of all time has won here 5 times.
While we unfortunately do not get to see Tiger this time around, Jack has gotten one of the better non major or WGC fields with only an out of form DJ and an injured Koepka missing from the top nine in the world rankings.
As always length is an advantage but with the punitive rough its more important to be straight than long this week but if you got the combination that could lead to a top finish.
The greens are smallish bentgrass that are severely undulated, protected by water and bunkers and has some of the lowest up and down numbers on tour.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Long irons
- Par 5 scoring
- Bentgrass putting
- Total driving
- Par 4 scoring 450-500 yards
Wagered: 241 units
Won: 397,42 units
Result: 176,42 units
Waste Management: Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational: Max Homa 56-1, The Players Championship: Justin Thomas 19-1,Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth 11-1
When JT drops to the back of the elite players on the odds board it not only makes sense theoretically but has also worked out well in practice with his last couple of wins coming in similar situation.
We were on him last time this happened at the Players just a couple of months ago and while his form since has been middling for a player of his calibre much of that has been putting related and he has now gained strokes putting in two tournaments in a row.
Do not forget that JT has won at a 12% clip since the start of the 2019 season and he usually wins non majors where all the elites are present like this week.
When it come to Muirfield Village he has 18-MC-8-4 over the past four Memorial tournaments, and he lost in a playoff too Morikawa at last year’s Workday tournament here.
Too sum it up this is a ball strikers’ course and when on JT is among the best 2-3 players in the world with his irons.
This is a simple value play in my opinion with the bookies seemingly in unison this week saying that Finau and Conners that have a combine 1 non opposite field PGA victories have a larger win probability than the major winner who has won on the tour each of the last four seasons.
That includes the Farmers earlier this year and has 9 PGA victories in his career.
Add to that a course where length isn’t everything, iron play gets rewarded and its really challenging around the green and it screams Patrick Reed to me.
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