Defeating Scottie Scheffler in a playoff, Sam Burns picked up his second win of the season this past weekend at Charles Schwab Challenge. Now, we make our way to Muirfield Village GC (par 72, 7,553 yards, bentgrass greens) in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament. At this PGA TOUR stop last season, Patrick Cantlay (-13) secured his second victory at Muirfield Village, beating Collin Morikawa in a playoff.
Also known as Jack’s place, given it was designed by the great Jack Nicklaus, Muirfield Village has been the only venue to host the Memorial since the tournament’s inception in 1976. Additionally, the first and only Workday Charity Open was held at Muirfield Village in 2020, which was won by Morikawa (-19), who bested Justin Thomas in a playoff that week. However, by design, the Memorial also took place at Muirfield Village the following week, so the course played much easier for the Workday. So, while looking at results from this event doesn’t hurt, we should primarily be focusing on previous editions of the Memorial for research.
Muirfield Village presents some of the widest fairways of any PGA TOUR venue. Both short and long hitters can win at this track, but in the most recent seasons, we have seen bombers take advantage of these generous fairways, with three of the past four Memorial champions ranking inside the top-eight in driving distance for the week. Ultimately, targeting any length of player is viable, but if juggling two golfers, giving an edge to the longer player makes sense this week. While the fairways are easy to find at Muirfield Village, the greens are the total opposite. These firm bentgrass putting surfaces are some of the smallest these players will face all season, and not only does this make great iron play essential, it puts a heavy emphasis on your work around the greens, as well. Last season, Cantlay ranked fifth and third in SG APP and SG ARG, respectively, making him the third Memorial winner in a row to rank in the top eight in both metrics during their victories. Finally, with seven of the 10 par 4s at Muirfield Village falling between 450-500 yards, attacking players who are efficient on this range of hole is a sharp strategy. Cantlay led his field in SG on the 450-500 yard par 4s at Jack’s place last season and was the fourth Memorial champion over the last five years to finish top five in the specific stat.
Outside of the majors, the Memorial presents one of the strongest fields of the season, with 14 of the top 20 players in the world competing. Also, just like the Charles Schwab Challenge last week, the Memorial is a field of 120 golfers with a standard top 65 and ties cut following the first 36 holes, meaning a higher percentage of the field than usual will be advancing to the weekend. Below, I dive into four of my favorite sub-$7.5K DraftKings value plays for the Memorial.
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Anirban Lahiri ($7,200) – Lahiri is coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship, but expect him to bounce back this week at Muirfield Village. Despite heading home early from that major championship, Lahiri gained strokes in every major category outside of putting that week, including 4.6 strokes from T2G. Lahiri had made six consecutive cuts prior to this, with four finishes inside the top 15 during this run — most notably a T6 at the Wells Fargo Championship and a runner up at THE PLAYERS. To top it all off, the 34-year-old possesses a spotless 4-for-4 record at the Memorial, with his best finish being a T2 in 2017, when Lahiri led the field in SGP putting on these bentgrass greens at Jack’s place. Clearly, Lahiri brings a much better ceiling than his low salary suggests, and he almost certainly will come with low rostership with a MC as his most recent result.
C.T. Pan ($7,200) – Pan has never missed a cut at the Memorial in three tries and sports a 13-for-17 record this season, with five top-25 finishes. Heading into this week, the 30-year-old has gained strokes on APP in eight starts in a row and ranks third in SG on par 4s ranging from 450-500 yards over his last 12 rounds. Plus, Pan has proceeded to the weekend in seven of his past 10 attempts at venues that sport bentgrass greens. Pan should beat this salary with at least a made cut and is never a chalky play in GPPs.
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Rickie Fowler ($7,200) – Fowler loves competing at Jack’s place, making eight of 12 cuts at the Memorial, with four finishes inside the top 14 coming over the last five years. As for his current form, Fowler has competed on the weekend in three consecutive tournaments, including a pair of top-25 finishes, while gaining strokes around the green in all three of these starts. In fact, the 33-year-old has been one of the best short-game players on the PGA TOUR this season, ranking 22nd in SG ARG. Fowler simply can’t be ignored at this low price point and is also a great investment for a top-20 finish at +275 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Patrick Rodgers ($6,800) – Rodgers arrives in Dublin riding a four-made-cut streak at standard stroke play events, with the highlight of this run being a T10 at the Mexico Open. Throughout this stretch, the 29-year-old has collectively gained strokes from T2G and on APP in every start, and he has shot under par in nine of 12 rounds. In addition to the encouraging form, Rodgers has made seven straight cuts at courses that are home to bentgrass putting surfaces and has supplied a top-20 finish in two of his last three appearances at the Memorial. At this sub-$7K price tag, Rodgers has to be included in your player pool this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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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