2021 Memorial Tournament Picks: Best Outright Bets at Muirfield Village
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau
The PGA TOUR heads to one of the most iconic courses this week for the 2021 Memorial at Muirfield Village. While Jack’s Place has been on the TOUR calendar for nearly 50 years, it will look different this time around as the course underwent some major renovations right after it hosted back-to-back events last summer.
Muirfield Village will feature completely new greens, fairways and bunkers, plus it was lengthened to nearly 7,500 yards. So, while we do have few decades of history to use here, the changes can throw a wrench into things.
Most years we see one of the bigger names hoist this trophy, but there have been a couple of major surprises here in the past. In fact, David Lingmerth and Willie McGirt went back-to-back here at 400/1 and 200/1, respectively, in 2015 and 2016.
Check out our favorite outright bets for the 2021 Memorial Tournament:
Viktor Hovland (+1800)
Full disclosure: With it being a long holiday weekend, I wrote my preview this week on Sunday night, before the odds were listed. I wasn’t exactly prepared for Hovland to be the (gulp) second-favorite in some books. Fortunately, shopping around can offer a few somewhat more reasonable prices.
Over the last few years, the winner’s circle at Muirfield Village has often served as a stepping stone or building block for some of the game’s best young players. Bryson DeChambeau won the Memorial in 2018 and Patrick Cantlay won it the next year, each title leading to bigger and better things not long after. Last year’s winner, Jon Rahm, might not exactly fit this narrative – at least, not yet – though Collin Morikawa, who won the Workday on this very same course the previous week last year, certainly does. If we’re seeking another mega-talented young player who could use this event as a springboard to more accolades, then Hovland seems like a solid bet.
While he didn’t play great in his Memorial debut last year – a T-48 which featured rounds of 74-66-77-79 – he did finish solo third in the Workday. He’s been on the verge of big things lately, too, with a pair of T-3 results before a T-30 at the PGA Championship. This could be the week.
Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
I’ll take a rare stab at the top of the board here with Cantlay. There is a chance a bigger number pops up later in the week, but I like this price to start my card.
Cantlay has terrific course history here with a win and two other top-7 finishes. He struck the ball really well at the PGA Championship but looked lost on the greens. Perhaps coming back to a more comfortable course will be the remedy to get him back on track.
Tony Finau (+2700)
I hesitated on this pick because, frankly, I don’t like the number. I really thought we would get Tony Finau in the mid-30s, but at the end of the day, I will trust my gut. He was the player that stuck out to me the most as I was doing my summary article for the Charles Schwab and for the first time in a long time, I was ready to bet Finau to win.
His numbers speak for themselves over the last few weeks as he’s gained 8.6 and 9.3 strokes, respectively, tee to green in his last two events. Last week at Colonial Country Club he did it with over eight strokes gained ball-striking, but he simply couldn’t put the ball in the cup, as he gave back 4.4 strokes putting on the week.
I’ll bet that the putting will come back for Tony this week at the Memorial, and if he keeps the ball-striking dialed in, he will be a force to contend and possibly win this week. I believe he will win another event on TOUR soon, and this is the type of layout and field I expect to see him finally pull it off.
Patrick Reed (+3400)
When Patrick Reed wins, it’s often in very strong fields. He seems to play his best golf when there is a lot on the line, and that will be the case this week at Muirfield Village.
Reed missed the cut last week at Colonial, which isn’t a concern for me; in fact I see it as a point in his favor. Reed is a golfer who doesn’t necessarily need to be coming into an event in peak form in order to win. His most recent win at Torrey Pines was following a missed cut at PGA West. The next two times he missed the cut, he had finishes of 22nd (THE PLAYERS) and sixth (Wells Fargo) in his next start.
The course should be a good fit for him considering he plays long par 4’s very well and bentgrass is his best statistical putting surface. His course history would agree, as he has finished in the top-10 in two of his four most recent trips to Muirfield.
Additionally, the sweet spot for Reed wins seems to be in the +3000 to +5000 range so this feels like a perfect bounce-back win spot for the mercurial star.
Keegan Bradley (+4500)
I don’t think people have truly realized how good Bradley has been this season. Over his past 48 rounds in this field which dates back to the CJ Cup, there’s only four players who rank ahead of him in SG: Tee-to-Green: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Corey Conners and Collin Morikawa. Maybe you’ve heard of a few of those guys.
The difference for Bradley has been his putter, which used to be a major, major liability has simply turned into a non issue, as he’s been basically TOUR average in that department over his past 10 events or so. He’s posted a handful of strong finishes at Muirfield over the years, and the way he’s been striking it of late makes him a tough player to ignore, especially with there being such little value at the top of the board this week.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1850)
Gotta love it. The No. 1 in my Power Rankings slots as ninth-shortest at DK. (He’s T2 and shorter at both FanDuel and BetMGM.) Of course, we all could select three favorites apiece and still feel like we’ve left value on the board.
So many of the notables arrive in form and with impressive course history, but only one landed with a special kind of chip on his shoulder. He’s also a former champion (2018).
Charley Hoffman (+5000)
Hoffman continued his stellar 2021 season last week, gaining another 7.9 strokes on approach en route to a third-place finish in Texas. He’s on an absolutely insane ball-striking run right now and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Since the AT&T event at Pebble Beach in February, Hoffman has gained 42.9 strokes on approach over the fields he has competed in. His hot irons will be a significant advantage at Muirfield, a course that demands supreme accuracy into greens in order to find birdies.
Given the logjam of elite players at the top this week, finding a number this high on a player who has been this hot is a bet that we need to take.