The Memorial Tournament Odds, Betting Tips & Picks to Back

The Memorial Tournament Odds, Betting Tips & Picks to Back

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Just two weeks before the U.S. Open, 43-year-old Tiger Woods is not going to repeat the mistake he made between the Masters and the PGA Championship.

Woods knows needs to manage his body this season if he is to add to his 15 major wins. The memory of how physically and mentally fatigued he was by the end of last summer hangs over him. But playing zero tournament golf after the Augusta National win seemed to backfire too. So he prepares for the third major of 2019 with a return to one of his favorite hunting grounds – Muirfield Village, home of Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.

The Course

There is a strong design principle behind this track, probably the most famous of the Golden Bear’s courses. The fairways are easy to hit and Nicklaus likes it that way. However, finding the greens is a different proposition. On the one hand they are small, but the width of the fairways is something of a red herring because Nicklaus likes to ensure that one side of the fairway offers a much easier path to the target.

In other words, he likes to tempt the shoddy thinker on the tee. Two years ago Adam Scott said: “It’s generous off the tee, but there is a definite premium hitting into the greens. It’s important to leave yourself below the hole.” And why’s that? Because the putting surfaces are famously very quick and undulating.

The Winner’s Profile

Maybe the secret for PGA Tour betting enthusiasts this week is in the architecture. Woods is a smart thinker and he’s well aware of design trends. “Over my entire career I’ve done really well on Nicklaus courses, I really have,” he said last year. “Five wins here, lots of wins at Sherwood, Glen Abbey, Valhalla. I’ve always felt my high fade has been advantageous.”

Before this annual visit to Ohio the PGA Tour makes stops at PGA National for the Honda Classic and Harbour Town for the Heritage. The first is another Nicklaus course, the second is a Pete Dye design but Nicklaus was a consultant (and his first architectural project). Do the two tournaments provide clues for golf betting fans this week? They’ve sure done so in the past.

Last year’s winner, Bryson DeChambeau, was third at Harbour Town, 2017 champion Jason Dufner led after 54 holes at the same venue and 2016 victor William McGirt finished top 10 in both events. Going a little further back, Justin Rose was third at PGA National ahead of his 2010 win and Woods was second there before his fifth win on this track.

Matt Kuchar

The 40-year-old is playing superb golf this season. He collected two early wins before enduring something of a hangover. However, finishing runner-up in the WGC Match Play kicked him back into form and since then he hasn’t ended a week outside the top 12 (five events in all). Most interesting of all those efforts was his second at Harbour Town and he also owns a superb record at The Memorial.

Kuchar won this event in 2013 and has another nine top-25 finishes in his 13 visits. “I certainly like it here,” he said in 2016 and then echoed Woods: “It’s funny, but my record on Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses is pretty good. They like a high fade and my shot is left-to-right. There are a lot of holes where I feel awfully comfortable off the tee.” He’s +1600 each way (1/5 odds, top six) with BetAmerica.

Patrick Cantlay

Twelve months ago the Californian contended all week in Ohio – and in 2017 he tied for 35th in his Memorial debut. In 2018 he carded 68-69 to lie T9th after 18 and 36 holes, had 66 Saturday to lie one shot back of the lead in second, then a final-round 71 saw him tie for fourth, missing a playoff by one stroke.

This season Cantlay has been knocking on the door of a second PGA Tour win, notching seven top-10s in his past 12 starts. Those efforts include both the majors, but also Harbour Town where he finished a shot behind Kuchar. He’s available at +1600 each way (1/5 odds, top seven) with SugarHouse.

Rory Sabbatini

The 43-year-old is flying this season, enjoying life on the course after recovering from various injuries. He was 10th at the Heritage and, though he only tied for 36th at the Honda Classic, he did card two very fine 67s. He also has finished top 10 in his past two starts and was second in this tournament in 2012.

He’s +640 to make the top 10 with FanDuel.

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