2023 the Memorial Tournament Odds & Expert PGA Tour Picks: Bet Viktor Hovland & Sahith Theegala at Muirfield Village

2023 the Memorial Tournament Odds & Expert PGA Tour Picks: Bet Viktor Hovland & Sahith Theegala at Muirfield Village article feature image

Via Eston Parker/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland of Norway smiles on the eighth green during the Pro-Am Round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at The Colonial Country Club on May 24, 2023 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Click arrow to expand the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday odds via bet365
Scottie Scheffler+700
Jon Rahm+750
Patrick Cantlay+1100
Xander Schauffele+1500
Rory McIlroy+1500
Viktor Hovland+2000

Collin Morikawa+2700
Justin Thomas+2700
Jason Day+2700
Tyrrell Hatton+2700
Sungjae Im+3500
Cameron Young+3500
Jordan Spieth+3800
Matt Fitzpatrick+3800
Hideki Matsuyama+3800
Rickie Fowler+3800
Sam Burns+4500
Corey Conners+5000
Shane Lowry+5500
Sahith Theegala+5500
Adam Scott+5500
Si Woo Kim+5500
Wyndham Clark+6000
Russell Henley+6000
Tom Kim+6500
Keegan Bradley+7500

Keith Mitchell+11000
Emiliano Grillo+11000
Matt Kuchar+11000
Gary Woodland+11000
Cameron Davis+11000
Denny McCarthy+11000
Harris English+11000
Kurt Kitayama+12000
Brian Harman+14000
Chris Kirk+14000
Billy Horschel+14000
Byeong-Hun An+14000
Ryan Fox+14000
Adam Hadwin+14000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout+14000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee+14000
Lucas Herbert+14000
Tom Hoge+14000
Seamus Power+16500
Taylor Montgomery+17500
Stephan Jaeger+17500
Patrick Rodgers+17500
Kevin Streelman+17500
J.J. Spaun+17500
Hayden Buckley+17500
Sepp Straka+18500
Thomas Detry+20000
Adam Schenk+20000

Nicolai Hojgaard+22500
Davis Riley+22500
Beau Hossler+22500
Alex Smalley+22500
Eric Cole+22500
Adam Svensson+22500
Justin Suh+22500
J.T. Poston+25000
Brendon Todd+25000
Brandon Wu+25000
Will Gordon+25000
Andrew Putnam+25000
Joseph Bramlett+30000
Alex Noren+30000
S.H. Kim+30000
Luke List+30000
Taylor Pendrith+30000
Austin Eckroat+30000
Sam Bennett+32500
Akshay Bhatia+32500
Ben Griffin+32500
Sam Stevens+32500
Mackenzie Hughes+32500
Mark Hubbard+35000
Robby Shelton+35000
Joel Dahmen+35000
Sam Ryder+35000
Matthew Nesmith+35000
Matt Wallace+40000
Garrick Higgo+45000
Davis Thompson+45000
Lee Hodges+45000
Danny Willett+45000
Scott Stallings+45000
Stewart Cink+45000
Nick Hardy+45000
Francesco Molinari+45000

David Lipsky+50000
Chez Reavie+60000
Christopher Gotterup+60000
Lanto Griffin+60000
Brandt Snedeker+60000
MJ Daffue+75000
Lucas Glover+75000
David Micheluzzi+75000
Adam Long+75000
Chad Ramey+75000
Justin Lower+100000
Kevin Kisner+100000
Zach Johnson+100000
Peter Malnati+100000
Aldrich Potgieter+100000
Ben Taylor+100000
Thriston Lawrence+100000
Trey Mullinax+100000
Nicolas Echavarria+125000
David Lingmerth+125000
Luke Donald+125000
Kazuki Higa+125000
Troy Merritt+200000
Dylan Frittelli+200000
K.J. Choi+300000
William McGirt+300000
Jason Dufner+300000
Bo Hoag+300000

It might not quite be #LongshotSZN, but there are some converging trends which suggest chasing some juicier numbers at this week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.

Believe it or not, Emiliano Grillo had the longest pre-tournament odds prior to the Charles Schwab Challenge of any PGA Tour winner over the past three months. Using the archive at golfodds.com, his 60/1 number tied with Wyndham Clark at the Wells Fargo Championship for the biggest price since Kurt Kitayama won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at 200/1 on the same week that Nico Echavarria won the Puerto Rico Open at 100/1.

And yes, astute readers will undoubtedly point out that Grillo was available at even longer odds than this, as mentioned in last week’s preview.

Since that time – again, using those specific archived odds — we’ve witnessed victories from Taylor Moore (50/1), Sam Burns (40/1), Matt Wallace (25/1), Corey Conners (25/1), Jon Rahm (10/1), Matt Fitzpatrick (30/1), Davis Riley/Nick Hardy (40/1), Tony Finau (17/2), Jason Day (18/1) and Brooks Koepka (20/1).

Now we head to Muirfield Village, where longshots have given way to those whose prices appear perhaps a bit longer than they should’ve been. I’ll explain momentarily, but first, here are the pre-tourney odds for each of the last half-dozen winners here:

2022Billy Horschel60/1
2021Patrick Cantlay20/1
2020Jon Rahm20/1
2019Patrick Cantlay14/1
2018Bryson DeChambeau40/1
2017Jason Dufner60/1

These six winners come on the heels of a couple of downright dart-throws in David Lingmerth and Will McGirt in 2015 and ’16, respectively. The common bond here is that each of the six previous champions – save for the first of Cantlay’s two wins – retrospectively had a number that seemed too long for their talent level and win equity at the time.

Granted, Tiger Woods had triumphed in five of the previous 14 editions of this tournament, but there are some glaring suggestions that a superstar can win here without being priced like one.

With that in mind, let’s get right to the picks, starting with a few guys who have been knocking on the door to the winner’s circle for a while now.

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Outright Winner (Short odds)

One player to win the tournament

Viktor Hovland (+2000)

This is a selection two weeks in the making. Following his close call at the PGA Championship, I liked Hovland to bounce back for a victory soon enough, but not at Colonial last week – in fact, I was hoping he’d be an early withdrawal or perhaps miss the cut just to leave some juice in the tank for this one.

Instead, he finished a humdrum T16 thanks to a final-round three-over 73 and ball-striking numbers which were fairly ordinary against a somewhat inferior field (per Datagolf, Hovland lost 0.56 strokes ball striking at the Charles Schwab Challenge).

All of that might’ve been the worst possible scenario if we wanted to portend success at Muirfield Village, but I’m willing to overlook some things for Vik, including a record that includes nothing better than a 47th-place finish in three previous starts at the Memorial. However, Hovland does have a T3 at Muirfield Village from the 2020 Workday Charity Open.

Much of Hovland's recent struggles at the Memorial likely have to do with the fact that the field hits fewer greens in regulation here than at the average PGA Tour venue, and Hovland, of course, has struggled with his short game in previous years.

Case in point: Last year, he lost 1.42 strokes to field around the greens at this event. He’s been much better recently, though, gaining strokes with his wedges in three of his previous six starts and barely losing them in the other three. This tells us that Hovland is extremely dangerous because of his long- and mid-iron game when, instead of being one of the worst short game players in the field, he’s simply neutral in that area.

In his third-place finish at the 2020 Workday Charity Open, he gained 0.63 strokes per round around the greens at Muirfield Village, so he has already experienced success here with his wedges before.

I’ll have him for DFS lineups and OAD pools – anywhere we can get a little edge on those who might fade him based on prior results and last week’s stats – but I think he makes for a smart outright option to top your card this week.

Outright Winner (Long odds)

One player to win the tournament

Sahith Theegala (+6000)

I consciously realize that I’m getting dangerously close to The Boy Who Cried Wolf territory when it comes to my Sahith support, but there are reasons to believe this could finally be Thee Week, as I’ve had him targeted for this one since the beginning of the year. Perhaps I’m overvaluing his T5 result here last year – and I’ll readily admit that his poor driving accuracy could cause some massive issues.

I can’t get past his history and recent numbers, though. Theegala ranked third in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green at this event last year, and he’s gained strokes off the tee in six of his last eight starts, with his irons in six of eight and with his putter in five of eight.

Just as importantly, he fits the profile of what we’ve seen here – talented young players who might have a little more inspiration in between the major championships. This was Bryson DeChambeau’s second win, Patrick Cantlay’s second and Jon Rahm’s third in an individual event.

I’m not placing Theegala in the same category as those guys – well, at least for the sake of this exercise, I’ll refrain from voicing such opinion – but I do think that despite not having yet won a PGA Tour title, he’s very much comparable to where each of them ranked at the time of their wins here.

I’m a bit surprised that he’s gone this long without his first victory, but it’s coming soon – and for those of us already pot committed, there’s no folding our cards now.

Other OADers

Potential selections for one-and-done pools

Jon Rahm (+700)

Few will forget this, but it’s worth a reminder anyway: Rahm’s record at this tournament includes a WD in 2021, when he led by six strokes entering the final round but tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw. If we count that as a woulda/coulda/shoulda win at the very least, then Rahm has two victories and a T10 in his last three starts here.

It recalls memories of Woods, another superstar who preyed on the competition at big-boy tracks such as Torrey Pines and here at Muirfield Village. If you’ve still got Rahm as an OAD selection, it’s worth yet another reminder that this week’s purse is comparable to – and maybe even bigger than – either of the final two majors of the year.

Unless you’re hellbent on using him at either The Open or maybe the Tour Championship, this one feels like the closest thing to a lock.

Adam Scott (+6000)

Chances are, you haven’t used Scott in your OAD yet. If you have, I don’t know where, as he hasn’t been in great form until recently and doesn’t have a regular stop where he crushes every year. Like Justin Rose (who is not in the field this week), he’s made 14 starts here and has a record that’s almost as impressive, with four top-10 finishes and six top-25 finishes.

After a few years of mostly good-but-not-great consistency, he’s finished in the top 40 in his last six starts with a pair of top-10 finishes. I still question whether the win equity is what it once was, but Scott believes he’ll win again, which is good enough to convince me. At the very least, you get a solid floor with this pick.

Cam Davis (+9000)

After his T4 finish at the PGA Championship, there were plenty of Davis backers during last week's Charles Schwab Challenge, all of whom ended up disappointed when he failed to make the cut. Despite a top 10 at Colonial the previous year and strong results at other comparable venues, Davis's game has always seemed better built for tracks where his more-than-capable driver can be used as a weapon, rather than neutralized.

His record here isn't anything to get excited about — a T53 and two MCs in three starts — but if you're in the depths of your OAD and are intent on playing catch-up, he should be a low-owned (if even owned) contrarian play with some upside potential.

Top Five

One player to finish in the top five

Matt Fitzpatrick (+650 for top five)

Three years ago, Fitzpatrick finished solo third at this event – a typical Fitz type of week, when posting a total score of five-under was enough to beat everyone but two players. Since then, he’s had one part of his game go south in each of the following two editions of this one. The following year, he lost nearly two strokes to the field with his irons; last year, he lost almost four strokes per round with his putter.

In each instance he missed the cut, but there remain signs that this is still a venue which suits his game, especially if the winning score is closer in relation to par, like the single-digit number in 2020 – the only time the winner didn’t reach double-digits in the past decade.

Top 10

One player to finish in the top 10

Rickie Fowler (+375 for top 10)

This is no longer just a cute story about a popular player who’d lost his game and was showing signs of finding it again. After a T6 at Colonial, Fowler now owns five top-10 finishes in 16 starts this season. Alright, so he’s still seeking that first win in close to four-and-a-half years, but he’s playing like a top-10/15 player on the PGA Tour right now, ranking 11th in total strokes gained, 14th from tee to green, 37th around the greens and 46th in putting.

In 13 starts at the Memorial, he owns a couple of runner-up finishes and six top 25s. It’s getting to the point where it’s more surprising if Rickie doesn’t play well than if he does. Expect another strong performance this week.

Top 20

One player to finish in the top 20

Gary Woodland (+280 for top 20)

This has been rejuvenation season on the PGA Tour, from Jason Day to Rose to Fowler, with each enjoying varying degrees of their past success. Woodland hasn’t quite played to the same level, but there are signs he’s next on the list.

With top-20 finishes in two of his last five starts and three of 12 career starts at the Memorial, there’s some value in playing the former U.S. Open champion, who could be on the verge of a few title contentions at some point this summer.

Top 30

One player to finish in the top 30

Taylor Pendrith (+275 for top 30)

The Canadian will be making his tournament debut this week, but there’s reason to believe this is a course which should suit his game – and reason to believe he’s currently on the upswing. Much like Cam Davis and Matthew NeSmith, players I really liked at the beginning of the year who took a while to find their games, Pendrith has been similarly disappointing, opening the year with only one top 40 in his first 10 starts while piling up four MCs.

In his last three events, though, he’s posted a pair of top-30 finishes, suggesting the best is yet to come for a player who drives it really well.

Top 40

One player to finish in the top 40

Justin Suh (+145 for top 40)

In the days before mainstream golf betting, most golf fans would possibly still be remembering Suh as the fourth Beatle in that summer of 2019 college class, when the other three enjoyed immediate success after turning professional. We’re collectively paying more attention now, though, and so you shouldn’t be shocked at the news that Suh’s share of 16th place last week was his eighth top-40 result in his last 13 starts.

I think he’ll continue to be a consistent, high-floor player as his career continues, but we might not get such palatable prices for conservative prop plays on him for too much longer.

DFS Free Bingo Square

A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups

Patrick Cantlay

Maybe the only reason I don’t have Cantlay listed elsewhere in this preview is because of the so-called law of averages, which suggests he might struggle in trying to chase those two previous victories. If you like him for an outright play this week, though, I certainly won’t argue – and I’ll acknowledge that he’ll likely be amongst the most popular plays for DFS tournament contests.

There’s good reason for all of this, of course. He ranks second in Strokes Gained Off the Tee this season and first in Total Driving, ranking ninth in accuracy and 27th in distance.

He’s also way overdue. There was a recent trend of winners that went from Tony Finau to Wyndham Clark to Day, in which those whose performance had outweighed their results finally enjoyed the spike week that was always coming. It’s easy to envision a similar outcome for Cantlay, who’s now gone 10 months without a win, despite playing some of the best golf of his career.

DFS Mid-Tier

A medium-priced option for DFS lineups

Ryan Fox

Back in April, Fox finished T26 in his first career Masters start. One week later, he WD’d from the RBC Heritage and didn’t return for another month. As he told us during the PGA Championship, he’d contracted pneumonia after the year’s first major then welcomed his second child shortly thereafter.

If we ignore that personal time away from the game, Fox has been extremely impressive since traveling to the U.S. prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. In seven starts, he owns six made cuts, all of which have resulted in a 27th or better.

Now a special temporary member of the PGA Tour, he’s essentially playing with found money for the remainder of the season, which should bode well for his performance, both at this one and beyond.

DFS ‘Dog

A lower-priced option for DFS lineups

Luke List

This isn’t going to sound like much, but List has gained strokes putting in – commence wincing – two of his last six starts. See, I told you it wouldn’t sound like much, but for a golfer who’s among the worst rock-rollers on the PGA Tour, showing some small signs of improvement and heading to a place where he also gained on the greens last year should be enough to get us a little interested.

He’s finished 37th or better in three of six starts here, and a repeat of even just the low end of that bar would be enough to pay off the play in your lineup.

First-Round Leader

One player to post the low round Thursday

Keegan Bradley

I’m going back to the well with one of my favorite usual FRL plays here. Keegan is only 56th in first-round scoring average this season, but he has shown a propensity for going low on Thursdays over the years.

At Muirfield Village, he doesn’t have an uncommonly low score in a first round, but he has broken par in seven of his last 10 openers. I’ll take a shot on a strong ball-striking round combined with a putter that can catch fire.

Matchup Man

One player who should beat comparable players

Kurt Kitayama (+10000)

We all understand that the Official World Golf Ranking isn’t exactly the best measurement of ordering players these days.

In case you were wondering, no, there probably aren’t 83 players better than 84th-ranked Dustin Johnson.

For those who haven’t listened to my SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show Hitting the Green, I’m in favor of an idea that Davis Love III suggested to us last year: Just get rid of the damned thing. We can find better qualifications for major championships anyway, so why do we need to rank the world’s best players? Isn’t it enough that we just know who the good ones are?

Anyway, Kitayama might not be the 20th-best player in the world, despite his world ranking number, but that doesn’t mean he’s too far off. The winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational missed the cut at his following four stroke-play events (with a quarterfinal ousting at the WGC-Dell Match Play in between), but he’s finished T4 at he PGA Championship and T29 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in the past two weeks.

He’s still being treated like a one-hit wonder by the oddsmakers, which gives him plenty of value in matchups against similarly priced players, such as Chris Kirk and Brian Harman.

Also Receiving Votes

Other players who should provide value

Collin Morikawa (+2200), Hideki Matsuyama (+3500), Keith Mitchell (+8000), Harris English (+10000), Billy Horschel (+10000), Byeong-Hun An (+11000), Thomas Detry (+13000), Sepp Straka (+20000), Akshay Bhatia (+30000), Chris Gotterup (+50000)

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