The Memorial Tournament PGA Best Bets and Predictions

June is one of the busiest months on the PGA Tour. The world’s best golfers are about to head to Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial – affectionately known as Jack’s Tournament – just before the US Open and another signature event, the Travelers Championship.

Let’s get a disclaimer out of the way up front.

You didn’t click on a PGA Tour betting story to hear that Scottie Scheffler is good. All articles like this should be a reminder that unless another police officer sees his car and gets some smart ideas, the world number 1 is a threat to win every week of the year. Scheffler’s final achievement was to open the Charles Schwab Challenge with a 2-over 72, nearly missing the cut and then rising all the way to a tie for second place.

Here are several non-Scottie players to consider and our picks to beat all the picks at Memorial.

The recent champions: Patrick Cantlay and Viktor Hovland

Before last year’s Memorial, Hovland had a reputation for only winning tropical tournaments with weaker competitors – think Puerto Rico and Mayakoba. His playoff victory at the 2023 Memorial was a springboard to the best summer of his career, as he captured the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship before playing on Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team.

The thing to remember about Hovland is that he has been battling swing thoughts all year. That problem may be behind him now that he’s reunited with his old swing coach and promptly finished third at the PGA Championship. Before that, the results were bad and the atmosphere worse.

Then there’s Cantlay, who isn’t having a great season per se, but did win at Muirfield Village in 2021 and 2019. It’s funny to think how some destinies might have turned out differently if Jon Rahm hadn’t tested positive for COVID. -19 after building a six-shot lead at the 2021 Memorial, forcing him to withdraw and opening the door for Cantlay. It was a strange time. Still, you can’t count Cantlay in a spot like this because of his putting, which we’ll get to in a moment.

Man of the hour: Xander Schauffele

The Memorial marks Schauffele’s first start since winning the PGA Championship, beating the narrative that had formed that he couldn’t finish in the biggest moments. Statistically, he is currently the second-best player on tour, and he will only bring momentum to Ohio.

Take a look at last year’s winner: Hovland ranked eighth in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and third in SG: Putting. Billy Horschel finished seventh and thirteenth respectively when he won in 2022. The tournament tests multiple skills. It’s hard to predict putting, but Schauffele finished second at RBC Heritage, 25th at Wells Fargo and 12th at the PGA. And on top of that, he has become one of the best drivers on tour.

Horses for courses: Denny McCarthy and Adam Scott

Hovland had to beat McCarthy in a playoff last year, denying the newcomer known for his great putting. McCarthy also finished fifth the year before, so you know he likes this course. He may be the best player on tour without a win, and his putting could help him stand out on the leaderboard at a signature event like this. If you see a good number for McCarthy to finish in the top-10 or top-five, run, don’t walk.

We also like Scott, who is having a respectable year for an old man. (Yes, 43 is old in sports years and you know it.) Could he break through at Muirfield Village? He has made 14 of 15 cuts here in his lifetime and has five top 10s, including a T9 last year and a second-place finish in 2019.

The pick: Collin Morikawa

Between his recent form and statistical profile for this course, Morikawa is your man this week. Morikawa, who lost to Cantlay in a playoff at the 2021 Memorial, followed his T4 at the PGA with a fourth-place finish at the Charles Schwab.

Muirfield Village has some of the most punishingly rough tours; Morikawa ranks second in driving accuracy this year. He’s not the tallest driver, but he makes up for that with his irons: He’s in the top 10 in approaches from 175 to 200 yards, where he’ll hit a ton on this course. Morikawa’s putting may hold him back, but he has shown progress in that area this year, including some of the best marks on tour in putts per round and birdie-or-better conversion.

Since this signature event is packed with top-20 players, you’ll find a high-caliber player like Morikawa with tantalizing odds to win. There hasn’t been a better time all year to place that bet.

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