Sobel’s 2019 Memorial Tournament Matchup Previews: Smash Spot for Adam Scott

Sobel’s 2019 Memorial Tournament Matchup Previews: Smash Spot for Adam Scott article feature image
Credit:

John David Mercer, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Adam Scott

  • The 2019 Memorial Tournament takes place this weekend at Muirfield Golf Course in Dublin, Ohio.
  • Jason Sobel breaks down his three favorite matchup bets for this weekend's star-studded event.

With the way this new golf schedule sets up once-per-month majors throughout the heart of the season, there haven’t been many non-major weeks featuring truly elite fields, as the game’s best players have carefully chosen their crucial downtime.

This week is the anomaly.

The field for the Memorial Tournament is as strong as ever, with seven of the world’s top-10 players and 33 of the top-50 on hand for the festivities at Jack Nicklaus’ place.

With so many big names on the entry list, let’s examine three big-boy tournament matchups for this week.

Adam Scott over Gary Woodland (-110)

I’m smashing everything Scott-related this week. Outright winner, top-10 and pretty much any matchup he has, including as a conspicuous underdog in this one.

The Aussie doesn’t play much superfluous golf, as his last three starts have been at The Players, Masters and PGA Championship, but he’s finished T-12, T-18, T-8 in those.

Muirfield Village requires a strong all-around game, and Scott ranks 22nd in strokes gained tee to green and 17th in strokes gained putting. Simply put, he’s playing well enough to win, which means he’s playing well enough to win this matchup. Woodland is having a strong year, but his career results at this event pale in comparison to Scott’s trio of top-five finishes. Everything points in his direction.

Xander Schauffele over Jordan Spieth (-110)

My boys Peter Jennings and The Sleeze were downright giddy during our podcast at all of the fade-able Spieth opportunities this week. I totally get it. Having written for the past two weeks that his ridiculous putting numbers aren’t sustainable, I’m starting to come around to the idea that, just maybe, he’s back to being the best putter in the world again.

That said, there’s still something to it. We’re only a few weeks removed from Spieth being a big-time ‘dog against much lesser-talented players; after finishes of T-3 and T-8, it feels like the market has adjusted too much the other way. Schauffele MC’d in his first Memorial start last year, but he’s one of these guys that does nothing spectacular yet everything well. That should work this week.

Peter Uihlein over Sung Kang (+115)

I was tempted to take Luke List, whom I like a lot this week, in this spot, but a matchup over a similarly capable Matt Fitzpatrick felt like too close a call. Instead, I’m fading one of the game’s hottest players in Kang, who chased his first career PGA Tour win at the AT&T Byron Nelson with a solo seventh at the PGA.

Really, though, this is less of a Kang fade than a Uihlein value bet. I’ve been waiting about three years for the Massachusetts native to step into the next echelon, but it just hasn’t quite happened yet.

There are signs it’s coming, though. He was T-5 at the Nelson and T-13 at Colonial, on both occasions going low on the weekend, playing those four rounds in a combined 19-under-par.