The Memorial Round 3 Odds, Picks: Target Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay at Jack’s Place
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland.
The second round at The Memorial saw a lot of movement up and down the leaderboard, as players like Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama turned poor opening rounds into a weekend of hope.
Matsuyama, in particular, put himself in the final group on Saturday after the best round of the day with a 7-under 65. He will start the third round just one shot back of the leader, Justin Suh, who had a stellar day of his own with a 6-under 66.
Suh has gained more than seven shots on the greens through two rounds and is seeking his first win on TOUR, opening the door for the potential to see some others move into position on moving day.
Other top players like Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are also inside the top 10 and within just four shots of the lead. It all sets up for an exciting weekend at Jack’s event, especially as we know the course will only get tougher over the next two days.
2 Players to Buy in Round 3 at The Memorial
We've seen a number of eventual champions of this event erase four-, five- and even six-shot deficits in the final two rounds. We also know that this is a course that no matter how tough it gets, it will continue to reward quality shots and punish those who miss.
For those reasons, I'll be attacking the numbers down the board for proven ball-strikers. I just don’t think a player like Suh, who ranks outside of the top 100 in both ball-striking statistics this season, can continue to lead the pack.
There are certainly others near the top capable of separating themselves, but I also think we see some players further down the board work their way into contention going into Sunday.
If you want me to pick one player to win right now, it has to be Patrick Cantlay.
I'm not going to pound my chest for the most obvious pick in the world that I highlighted to start the week, but now that he’s sitting just a few shots off the lead, it’s pretty easy to see why he’s the favorite on the odds board.
Cantlay gained an absurd 7.14 shots on the field tee to green, with more than six of those coming with his ball striking. Let me remind you, this is not some run-of-the-mill field; this is an elevated, best-of-the-best tournament, and he just gained more than seven shots on them in a single round. Again, that’s absurd.
If he hadn’t given more than a shot back on the greens, he’d be in that final group as well, but either way, I expect he's there at the end and likely to be the one drinking a milkshake with Jack on Sunday evening.
Now that we’ve gotten the obvious out of the way, let’s dig deeper.
Further down the board, I'm going to Viktor Hovland. He’s six shots back of the lead but was playing some of the best golf on TOUR coming into the week and has maintained shouting distance from the lead despite not having his best stuff on Friday.
You may be wondering what we're doing here after he lost strokes to the field tee-to-green in Round 2, but the fact that he posted under par despite those issues in the strength of his game is why I am interested in buying at +3500.
We haven’t seen many instances where Vik has lost strokes like this in any aspect of his ball striking of late, and even as they've arisen, he continues to post great results.
I like that he got that part out of the way on Friday this week, and he will have every chance to fire at flags to get back in contention on Saturday.
I’ll happily snag a decent number on a guy who is one bounce-back round from being in the mix for the championship on Sunday.