2023 the Memorial Tournament Odds & Picks: Bet Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott & Si Woo Kim
Via Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay of the United States looks on from the eighth green during the first round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 18, 2023 in Rochester, New York.
Big congrats to all of the Emiliano Grillo backers last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge. After many lost bets chasing his ball-striking numbers, I decided not to bet him anymore a couple of years ago. While I didn't get a winner, I was happy to see many in the industry cash a big outright.
We now turn our attention to the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, which takes place two weeks before the U.S. Open. This is a designated event, so almost all of the best players on the PGA Tour will be teeing it up in Dublin, Ohio. Jack Nicklaus has designed a lot of courses throughout the world, but Muirfield Village Golf Club has always been his pride and joy. He is constantly making changes to the course, and the scorecard now reads as a par-72 that measures over 7,500 yards.
While the course is long and the fairways are relatively generous (33 yards wide on average in the landing areas), this is far from a bomber's track. Water is in play on seven of the tee shots, and this course has the biggest missed-fairway penalty of any course on the PGA Tour. In addition to the hazards, golfers will have to deal with thick rough and tree trouble if they don't find the short grass off the tee. Personally, total driving is my favorite off-the-tee metric to use this week.
The greens are small (5,000 square feet on average) and feature Bentgrass. They are as pure as you will find on the PGA Tour, as this course has one of the highest make percentages inside of 10 feet each year. A combination of easier putts and the course being so demanding from tee to green has led to putting not being as important as at some of the other courses. Golfers will still need to hole putts in order to contend, but we've seen a number of bad putters play well here over the years.
In terms of course fit, I am looking for good total drivers, iron players, scramblers, and those who can putt well on Bentgrass. Course history certainly doesn't hurt, and a strong track record on difficult courses is also a positive. Let's get into a few of my favorite outright bets for the week.
the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday Outright Picks
Patrick Cantlay +1000 (FanDuel)
My plan all week was to bet one of the favorites, and I kept going back and forth between Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler. I ultimately decided on Cantlay because we get better odds, and there are a few key stats that line up in his favor.
First of all, he's the best total driver of the ball on Tour this season.
Additionally, he's a much better putter than Scheffler. In fact, he's the best putter in this field on Bentgrass.
I also like that he has the edge when it comes to course history. He has won here two times and has two more top-five finishes at Muirfield Village over the last five years. His form isn't far off from Scheffler's, as Cantlay has finished T21 or better in seven straight starts.
Adam Scott +5500 (FanDuel)
Adam Scott has had some impressive finishes over the last couple of years, but he's done it a different way than we are used to seeing. Throughout his career, he's been known as one of the best ball strikers on Tour. Over the last couple of seasons, his short game has really helped hide some poor iron play.
Luckily, his approach play seems to have turned a corner. He has gained eight strokes on approach in his last three starts and continues to gain strokes off the tee, around the green and with the flatstick. He's a good fit on classical courses like this one, and perhaps he can be the next veteran to win in 2023.
Si Woo Kim +6000 (Caesars)
Si Woo Kim is one of those golfers whom I like to consider at a few different courses each year. For whatever reason, he seems to play his best on certain courses. He clearly likes it around these parts, as he's 6-for-6 at Muirfield Village with three straight top-20 finishes.
His recent ball striking is encouraging (+14.5 strokes in his last four starts), and he's one of the most accurate drivers of the ball on Tour. If his irons stay hot and he can drop a few putts, he could be a sneaky longshot to win this week.