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DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks: The Memorial Predictions, Preview

Geoff Ulrich previews the Memorial and gives his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The PGA TOUR visits Dublin, Ohio, this week for The Memorial, an event held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village every season. This week represents the second-to-last event before the U.S. Open, which will be held the weekend of June 18 at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The course this week will play as a par 72 at approximately 7,533 yards and feature bentgrass greens.

This event is an invitational which means a reduced field. A total of 120 players are set to tee things up as of press time and the top 65 and ties will make the cut on the weekend. As of now, 32 of the top 50 players in the OWGR are in the field, including last year’s champion and World No. 6 Patrick Cantlay ($10,700).

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.2M Pitch + Putt [$300K to 1st]

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Muirfield Village has hosted this event since its inception in 1976. The venue is well-known as one of the more challenging on the PGA TOUR and in 2020 ranked as the second-toughest. After the 2020 event, renovations were made in which new green structures were created and length added to the course. The venue can now play over 7,600 yards, depending on the setup. The overall setup of Muirfield Village remains the same, though, and last season we saw two former champions battling it out on the weekend in Jon Rahm ($11,100) and Cantlay. Rahm eventually had to withdraw due to COVID-19 after the third round and Cantlay eventually prevailed for his second Memorial title. Course history does tend to be a good indicator at Muirfield Village and it is worth noting that six of the past seven winners of this event had made the cut at Muirfield Village in their previous visit prior to prevailing as champion.

In terms of setup, Muirfield Village shares some design qualities with Augusta National and features four par 5s which represent the players' best chances of making birdie this week. The four par 5s ranked as the four easiest holes on the course in 2021 and contrast heavily with the tougher par 3s, which aren’t overly long by PGA TOUR standards but play to small awkwardly-shaped greens and over water. Of the 10 par 4s on the course, only two come in under 400 yards in length with seven ranging between the 450-500 yard mark.

Like many championship courses, it is hard to identify one thing that players have to do well at Muirfield. Last year, both playoff participants gained over six strokes on approach for the week but also gained over two strokes putting and around the greens. While approach play tends to stand out the most, Muirfield’s fast greens mean green in regulation percentages will be much lower than the PGA TOUR average and players will have to scramble their way out of trouble more than usual. Looking for players trending well in around the green play and on approach is a good way to start paring down your daily fantasy player pools this week. As of last week, Matt Kuchar ($7,800) leads the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green stats over the last 50 rounds, while Viktor Hovland ($9,300) leads the field in strokes gained on Approach stats over that same span.

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Rory McIlroy ($10,900)

Few are playing better golf than Rory at the moment, who comes into this week off what was surely a disappointing T8 finish at the PGA Championship. McIlroy’s last three starts have all yielded top-10 results, though, and he’s gained over 8.0 strokes ball-striking in each of his previous two starts. The around the green game and putting need to be a sharpened a touch for the Northern Irishman to finally breakthrough but an extra week of rest after the PGA Championship should have him mentally ready for this week. McIlroy has played Muirfield Village in each of the past four seasons and has surprisingly gained over 3.0 strokes putting on the greens each of the past two years. As a pay-up option for our daily fantasy golf lineups, it’s hard to find a better starting point.

Aaron Wise ($7,500)

One trend we have seen in recent years at Muirfield Village and The Memorial, in general, is elite young players breaking through for a career-defining win. Bryson DeChambeau ($7,800) did it in 2018 and Cantlay followed suit in 2019. Wise may not have the resume of those players but his talent level stacks up with some of the best on the PGA TOUR and he’s showcased some high-level golf already in 2022. Wise ranks 10th in Strokes Gained: Approach stats and 14th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green stats over the last 24 rounds, and has finished T23 or better now in three of his past four starts. His T9 at this event last season was his best finish by a longshot at Muirfield Village in three career attempts and at just $7,500 this week, he makes for a solid upside target in DFS.

Jason Day ($7,600)

Veteran savvy at Muirfield Village can also be respected, given the complex green structures and quicker greens in play. Day enters this week coming off three straight made cuts and has started to show more flair of late on and around the greens — gaining over a stroke around the greens in four straight starts. Day’s ball-striking is still inconsistent but he spiked to gain 6.4 strokes on approach just a few weeks ago at the Wells Fargo in a T15 finish which seemed to leave a lot on the table in terms of upside. Day’s a daily fantasy wildcard simply because of injury risk and overall inconsistency, but has plenty of experience playing Muirfield Village (nine career appearances) and finished T4 at this event the last time he played it in 2020. Sitting in the mid-$7,000 price range, the Aussie makes for a good GPP target this week in the larger field tournaments on DraftKings.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.2M Pitch + Putt [$300K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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