2022 Memorial Tournament First Round PrizePicks Plays: Xander Schauffele Among 5 Thursday Picks
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Schauffele
With the Charles Schwab Challenge now in the rearview mirror, we move onto the Memorial Tournament.
This tournament is hosted annually by the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. MVGC is a par 72, 7,533-yard track that has gone under some renovations over the past two seasons.
Primarily, the course was lengthened and the greens were completely redone on the majority of the holes. The greens are now rumored to play faster, and we could see birdies be tougher to find this week.
While it’s still early in the week, the weather forecast calls for rain all day on Thursday.
Looking at the five previous winners, this course will benefit iron play and scrambling. These two categories will be especially essential with the recent renovations, as long putts will want to be avoided at all costs.
Relative to the rest of the field, the five previous winners have finished at an average of third place in Strokes Gained (SG) Tee to Green, fifth in Scrambling and ninth in SG Approach the Green.
We will utilize these three metrics — along with recent form and previous success at MVGC — to narrow down the best bets to make in this tournament.
Below, I give out my five Round 1 PrizePicks flex plays for the Memorial Tournament. For those unfamiliar with PrizePicks flex plays in golf, different combinations of overs/unders generate different payouts.
Using the five plays below, getting five-of-five correct registers a 9x payout, four-of-five correct registers a 1.5x payout and three-of-five correct registers a 0.4x payout.
Memorial Tournament PrizePicks Plays
Xander Schauffele: Round 1 Over 12.5 Greens in Regulation
Schauffele enters this tournament in great form, as he’s made 11-of-13 cuts this season. More recently, Schauffele has made the cut in three straight tournaments.
All three of those made cuts resulted in top-15 finishes, including his win at the Zurich Classic.
Schauffele has fared well when playing at MVGC, as he has three straight top-15 finishes at this tournament.
This season, Schauffele ranks ninth on TOUR in SG Tee to Green, 16th in SG Approach the Green and 19th in Scrambling. Last year at this tournament, Schauffele went over this total in three of his four rounds.
I would not play this total at anything higher than 12.5.
Jordan Spieth: Round 1 Over 11.5 Greens in Regulation
Another sharp iron player I’m backing in this opening round is Spieth. Like Schauffele, Spieth has been in great form recently, as he’s made four straight cuts.
Three of those four made cuts resulted in top-10 finishes, including his win at the RBC Heritage and second-place finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Spieth has fared well when playing at MVGC, as he has three straight top-20 finishes at this tournament.
This season, Spieth ranks seventh on TOUR in SG Tee to Green, 15th in SG Approach the Green and ninth in Scrambling. Last year at this tournament, Spieth went over this total in three of his four rounds.
I would not play this number above 11.5.
Viktor Hovland: Round 1 Under 4 Birdies or Better
While I’m a big fan of Hovland’s game, this number is set too high for this opening round. Hovland has failed to reach this total in each of his last six rounds at MVGC, and this round should be no different.
Hovland enters this tournament in disappointing form, as he’s cracked the top-20 just once over his last six tournaments. While he’s still making cuts, Hovland is not meeting the normal expectations that he’s earned for himself.
This season, Hovland ranks just 203rd on TOUR in SG Around the Green. If he’s unable to put himself in good situations on the greens this week, birdies may be a tough task.
I would play this total down to 3.5.
Billy Horschel: Round 1 Under 3.5 Birdies or Better
Another golfer I am fading in Round 1 is Horschel. Horschel has gone over this total just once over his last six rounds at MVGC.
Horschel is coming off of two poor weeks, as he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and finished 68th at the PGA Championship.
This season, Horschel ranks just 140th on TOUR in SG Approach the Green and ninth in Scrambling.
I would not play this number at anything lower than 3.5.
Tom Hoge: Round 1 More Birdies Than Rickie Fowler
Hoge enters this tournament in great form, as he’s made 16-of-23 cuts this season. More recently, Hoge has two top-20 finishes over his last three tournaments, including a ninth-place finish at the PGA Championship.
Hoge has had some success at this tournament before, as he finished in 13th place in 2018.
This season, Hoge ranks 26th on TOUR in SG Tee to Green, seventh in SG Approach the Green and seventh in Scrambling. Meanwhile, Fowler ranks just 69th, 79th and 175th, respectively, in those metrics.