The dust has only just settled on the PGA Championship but a packed golfing schedule means that we are only one week away from the third major of the year. The 2021 US Open is just around the corner and, as preparations continue, we firstly head to Dublin, Ohio for this week’s Memorial Tournament.
Founded in 1976 by the great Jack Nicklaus, the event is played on one of his own iconic courses at Muirfield Village. A strong field can usually be guaranteed and we have a number of the world’s top players in attendance this year.
We kept up a reasonable run last week as Charley Hoffman converted in the top 10 finish betting markets. So let’s see if we can keep it going with our Memorial Tournament predictions for this preview as we cross to Ohio.
Jon Rahm is the defending champion and, despite having plenty of stiff competition, the Spaniard leads the outright betting by some margin. He won the Memorial Tournament by three strokes from Ryan Palmer in 2020 and Rahm is available at industry best odds of 11/1 for a successful defense.
That margin of victory seems comfortable enough and it’s notable that Rahm could afford a poor closing round of 75, 12 months ago. He is refreshed as he makes his first start following a tie for eighth in the PGA Championship but there is no lack of competition at the top.
Jordan Spieth missed out on a second tournament win of the season on Sunday but he is in good shape and is on offer at 14/1 with most sportsbooks. Spieth is tipped to do well on a course where wide fairways can rarely punish his perceived weakness off the tee. He also has five top 20 finishes in the Memorial Tournament in eight attempts.
Completing the list of favorites are Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau who are all quoted at 16/1 in places. Of those three, DeChambeau is a former Memorial Tournament champion after winning in a playoff here in 2018. All three are winners this season and the outright market underlines the strong field for 2021.
Next in the odds comes Viktor Hovland, who remains relatively short at a best of 18/1. In contrast to his high position in the markets, Hovland is down in 14th place in the Power Rankings but he has some good stats as he leads the Tour in adjusted scoring.
Collin Morikawa can also be found at 18/1 in places while Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay can both be backed at 22/1. Cantlay is another former Memorial Tournament winner, having claimed this event by two shots from Adam Scott in 2019, but form isn’t with him ahead of Thursday.
Schauffele is another player with patchy results but he interests us this time. He has been performing well at the Majors and co-leads the Tour in par 5 scoring, which could be relevant on this course.
Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama is on offer at a general 25/1 while Tony Finau is slightly further back at 28/1. Matt Fitzpatrick and Corey Conners follow at 35/1 to round off this section. Matsuyama will earn some attention this week as he made a breakthrough win at the Memorial Tournament back in 2014. His form hasn’t been great since the Masters but this is one of his favored events.
The outside bunch is led by Louis Oosthuizen, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith who are all quoted around 45/1. Sam Burns follows at a tempting 50/1 and, as a recent winner on Tour, he should be considered for a top 10 finish at the very least.
Talking of top 10s, Charley Hoffman has given us some regular returns in this market and he converted once again on Sunday. Hoffman is in a much stronger field this time around but, at odds of 55/1 for the outright win, he is hard to ignore.
We should also mention Rickie Fowler, who is quoted at a best of 70/1. Fowler has suffered an alarming dip in form but he is another man who likes the Memorial Tournament with two runners up finishes in 2010 and 2017.
Our Preview’s Memorial Tournament Predictions & Picks Conclusion with Course & Betting Trends
Muirfield Village is the permanent home for the Memorial Tournament and it is a Par 72 with reasonable length at just under 7,400 yards. There can, therefore, be some advantages for the Power Hitters and we have already mentioned the wide and forgiving fairways.
The course has undergone some redevelopment since 2020, most notably on the greens which should be faster and more ‘springy’ than in previous years. Bunkers have also been upgraded and are likely to provide a much stiffer test than before. This could mean that Driving Distance, coupled with Greens in Regulation, may be the most telling stats in 2021.
It is not exactly an unknown quantity but it will be interesting to see how the new Muirfield Village plays out. As for a winner, one man that interests us is Xander Schauffele who can combine effective distance with accuracy when he is on top of his game.
A lift in form is needed but Schauffele is at a good price and has the stats to deliver. As always, there are additional top 10 finish suggestions for when that market opens ahead of the first tee time. These are the predictions for this Memorial Tournament preview:
- Xander Schauffele to win @ best odds of +2200 (22/1) with BetOnline.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (all odds are with BetOnline, who are the first to publish lines, though Bovada and Intertops will also have this betting market in time): Schauffele (+150), Patrick Reed (+275), Charley Hoffman (+350) and Sam Burns (+350).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.