The biggest tournaments on the PGA Tour annually are of course the four major championships. Then come the World Golf Championships, FedEx Cup playoff events and the Players Championship. On the next tier are the five invitationals on tour. Their prize money and other rewards are better than a typical tour event and their fields are usually capped at 120 players. One of those is the Tour event this week, the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club outside Columbus, Ohio. Who is the golf betting favorite for this one? Let’s find out!
2018 The Memorial Tournament Golf Betting Preview
— #theMemorial (@MemorialGolf) May 30, 2018
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12:30-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, noon-2:15 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS).
Streaming on PGA Tour Live: Thursday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (featured groups), 3-6:30 p.m. (featured holes). Saturday-Sunday, 8:15 a.m.-6 p.m. (featured holes).
Radio: Thursday-Friday, noon-6:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).
Players flock to this event not just for the money and the three-year tour exemption but because it’s Jack Nicklaus’ tournament and of course he’s the greatest golfer ever. He basically gave this course as a gift to Columbus, Ohio, where he grew up and starred at Ohio State.
Muirfield Village is a par 72 measuring 7,392 yards and has hosted the Memorial since its inception. Muirfield Village also is the only course in the world to host the Ryder Cup (1987), Solheim Cup (1998) and Presidents Cup (2013). It’s a world Top 50 track. The 72-hole record is a 268 by Tom Lehman in 1994 and the 18-hole record a 61 by John Huston in 1996.
One of the main features of the tournament is a yearly induction ceremony honoring past golfers. A plaque for each honoree is installed near the clubhouse at Muirfield; Nicklaus himself was the honoree in 2000. This year it will be Hall of Famer Hale Irwin. The Memorial is one of only five tournaments given “invitational” status by the PGA Tour. The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Fort Worth Invitational, and the Quicken Loans National.
Six of the Memorial’s past 14 champions have been international players. Before that, just three of the first 27 came from outside the United States.
The defending champion is American Jason Dufner, who shot 13-under 275 last year – despite a third-round 77 – and won by three over Rickie Fowler and Anirban Lahri. On what is often called a second-shot golf course, Dufner was red-hot with his iron play all week, registering an astounding +10.682 in strokes gained: approach the green—first in the field. Dufner is +6000 to repeat.
No one has done that here since Tiger Woods won three straight from 1999-2001. Tiger has won this five times overall but hasn’t played since 2015. That year in the third round, Tiger shot an 85, the worst round of his professional career. He’s +1800.
What About Johnson and Day?
Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are +1200 favorites. Johnson, who recently lost his No. 1 ranking, missed cut last year at Memorial, but has a pair of top-4 finishes there in last seven tries. He still leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green and adjusted scoring. It’s a hometown event for Day, sort of, as his wife, Ellie, grew up in the area. A top-10 would be his first at Muirfield Village, besting last year’s T15.
Next on the odds are Justin Rose, new world No. 1 Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy each at +1400. Rose won for the second time this year and ninth time on Tour just last week at the Fort Worth Invitational. He put on a ball-striking clinic last week at Colonial, and that should serve him well at Muirfield Village, where Rose last played in 2015, losing in a playoff. He also won the Memorial in 2010 and has four other top-10s in the tournament.
Thomas, the FedEx Cup points leader is debuting as the world No. 1. He finally played well here in his fourth appearance last year with a T4. Thomas led the field in average distance of putts converted. McIlroy’s T-4 last year was his second top-5 at Memorial in six starts. He comes off a runner-up showing at BMW PGA last week on the European Tour.
Tiger will be in one of the Thursday morning featured groups. He is paired with Rose and Dufner. They go off from the 10th tee at 8:26 a.m. Thursday, and from the 1st tee at 1:16 p.m. Friday. The other featured group Thursday morning consists of Thomas, Masters champion Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler. It precedes Woods & Co. off the 10th tee at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, and from the 1st tee at 1:05 p.m. Friday.
Expert Golf Betting Prediction
Recommend Rose, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar for Top 10s. Fowler has two runner-up finishes at Memorial, in 2010 and ’17. Kuchar won here in 2013 and in 12 career Memorial starts, he has nine top-15s.
The winner is Aussie Marc Leishman at +3300. He has been no worse than T15 the past three years at the Memorial with a scoring average of 69.67. Leishman comes off a second-place finish at the Byron Nelson.
Round 1 Tee Times
No. 1 Tee
7:20 a.m. — Martin Laird, Byeong Hun An, Tom Hoge
7:31 a.m. — J.J. Spaun, Peter Uihlein, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
7:42 a.m. — Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Abraham Ancer
7:53 a.m. — Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Jim Furyk
8:04 a.m. — Ted Potter, Jr., Austin Cook, Grayson Murray
8:15 a.m. — Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth, Ernie Els
8:26 a.m. — Russell Henley, William McGirt, Brian Gay
8:37 a.m. — Patrick Cantlay, Kyle Stanley, Chris Kirk
8:48 a.m. — Rod Pampling, Nick Watney, Kenny Perry
8:59 a.m. — Yuta Ikeda, Will Zalatoris, Doc Redman
12:10 p.m. — Scott Brown, Daniel Summerhays, Keith Mitchell
12:21 p.m. — Carl Pettersson, Kevin Na, Kelly Kraft
12:32 p.m. — Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak, Patrick Rodgers
12:43 p.m. — Wesley Bryan, James Hahn, Branden Grace
12:54 p.m. — Patton Kizzire, Hideki Matsuyama, Russel Knox
1:05 p.m. — Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson
1:16 p.m. — Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth
1:27 p.m. — Jhonattan Vegas, Cameron Smith, Emiliano Grillo
1:38 p.m. — Ryan Moore, Charley Hoffman, K.J. Choi
1:49 p.m. — Trey Mullinax, Shubhankar Sharma, Andrew Dorn
No. 10 Tee
7:20 a.m. — Chesson Hadley, Luke List, Martin Piller
7:31 a.m. — Sung Kang, Whee Kim, Kevin Tway
7:42 a.m. — Kevin Streelman, Jamie Lovemark, Anirban Lahiri
7:53 a.m. — Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Brian Stuard
8:04 a.m. — Gary Woodland, Pat Perez, Stewart Cink
8:15 a.m. — Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler
8:26 a.m. — Justin Rose, Jason Dufner, Tiger Woods
8:37 a.m. — Marc Leishman, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen
8:48 a.m. — Andrew Landry, Brice Garnett, Bryson DeChambeau
8:59 a.m. — Cameron Davis, Joaquin Niemann, Sam Burns
12:10 p.m. — Danny Lee, Rory Sabbatini, Brandon Harkins
12:21 p.m. — John Senden, Bud Cauley, Ollie Schniederjan
12:32 p.m. — Alex Cejka, Robert Streb, John Huh
12:43 p.m. — Ryan Armour, Sangmoon Bae, Vijay Singh
12:54 p.m. — Xander Schauffele, Jonas Blixt, Charl Schwartzel
1:05 p.m. — Kevin Kisner, Si Woo Kim, Tony Finau
1:16 p.m. — Kevin Chappell, Zach Johnson, Charles Howell III
1:27 p.m. — Aaron Wise, Billy Horschel, Satoshi Kodaira
1:38 p.m. — J.B. Holmes, Keegan Bradley, Sean O’Hair
1:49 p.m. — Yusaku Miyazato, Julian Suri, Harry Ellis