A dramatic playoff finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge saw Sam Burns capture his third victory of the 2021-22 season.
Defeating Scottie Scheffler, Burns was able to get in the way of the world No. 1’s fifth win in less than four months and also propelled himself into the second spot in the season-long FedExCup points race.
Neither will be in the field this week at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village as the PGA Tour travels north to Dublin, Ohio.
PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas will also not be making the trip as players’ eyes have already shifted to the year’s third major championship, the U.S. Open, in three weeks’ time at the Country Club.
Without the world No. 1 and most recent major championship winner on the board, it is Jon Rahm who headlines the Memorial Tournament odds at Bovada.
The Spaniard is listed at +1000 and narrowly edges Rory McIlroy, who sits at +1100. Behind the Europeans are a pair of Americans, Patrick Cantlay at +1600 and Collin Morikawa at +1800.
According to our odds calculator, Rahm has a 9.09 percent chance to win this year’s Memorial Tournament. The defending U.S. Open champion had been struggling on the PGA Tour but broke through for a much-needed victory last month at the Mexico Open and will look for his second title of the season.
Rahm has a tremendous history at Muirfield Village. Not only did he win the 2020 Memorial Tournament but he was the 54-hole leader in last year’s tournament before contracting COVID-19 and having to withdraw before Sunday’s action.
He possessed a six-stroke lead and all but likely would have successfully defended his title given the margin.
Memorial Tournament Odds & Betting Favorites
Odds as of May 31 at Bovada]
2022 Memorial Tournament Picks
Xander Schauffele To Win +1800
Statistically speaking, Schauffele is about as close to Cantlay as it gets on the PGA Tour and the price we are getting on him is one with value. The American has played at Muirfield Village five times and outside of his debut when he missed the cut, he has finished inside the top 15 in each tournament.
He has a complete game and after his victory at the Zurich Classic alongside Cantlay, his confidence should be at an all-time high. He has since finished inside the top five at the AT&T Byron Nelson and inside the top 15 at the PGA Championship.
Schauffele is in serious form and he now returns to a course and tournament where he has experienced success for nearly half a decade. With players like Burns and Homa winning on a regular basis, it feels as if a player such as Schauffele is next.
He has yet to win a major championship, but the Memorial Tournament is about as close as it gets and the world No. 11 has a great opportunity on hand this week.
Matthew Fitzpatrick To Win +2500
A common debate in golf is often which player is the best without a PGA Tour victory. Some may say Will Zalatoris, but for my money, it is without a doubt Matt Fitzpatrick.
A member of the final pairing at the PGA Championship, the Englishman saw the Wanamaker Trophy slip from his grasp on Sunday as an even-par round would have made him a major champion.
Instead, he will look to rebound at the Memorial Tournament where he finished in solo third in 2020. In addition to his top-five finish at the PGA Championship, Fitzpatrick boasts a runner-up at the Wells Fargo Championship and seven additional top-20 finishes on the year.
His iron play is as consistent as they come as he has gained strokes on approach in every start of 2022. Combine this with a nice blend of distance and accuracy and a venue such as Muirfield Village should be perfect for him.
He is one of the best putters in the world and his tee to green is continuing to allow him to contend for trophies late into Sundays.
Joaquin Niemann To Win +3300
The Chilean is enjoying a career season and won the Genesis Invitational in late February. He has since played himself into contention at the RBC Heritage and the AT&T Byron Nelson without the help of his typically steady iron play.
While those clubs have regressed a tad, the rest of his game has progressed, specifically around the green. Niemann is now among the best chippers in the world and had he been so in 2018, he would have been the Memorial Tournament champion instead of Bryson DeChambeau.
Three-fourths of his game looks to be present and if his iron play decides to cooperate, he will be a factor for his second victory of the season.
Davis Riley To Win +4000
The Alabama product was once again in contention as he held the solo lead late in the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. A two-hole stretch saw Riley card a bogey and a double bogey and ultimately ruined his chances for his first PGA Tour title, but he continues to put himself in position to break through.
Finishing in a tie for fourth, his result in Texas followed up a top-15 at the PGA Championship and three straight top-10 finishes. The rookie is becoming one of the best iron players in the world and gained an obscene +2.03 strokes on approach per round at Colonial Country Club.
He has now gained strokes on the greens in four straight starts and continues to find the middle of the fairway off the tee. Despite this being his Memorial Tournament debut, Riley is one of a few players for whom a lack of course history simply does not matter.
Mito Pereira To Win +5000
Sometimes the best thing to do after heartbreak is to play it off. That is exactly what Pereira did at the Charles Schwab Challenge and he eventually finished in a tie for seventh in an impressive bounce-back performance from his PGA Championship.
He has now rattled off three straight top-20 finishes and has ascended to No. 45 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He may very well be a top-10 ball-striker in the world and his off-the-tee and approach numbers back up this sentiment.
Most comfortable on bent grass putting surfaces, like Riley, Pereira’s lack of history at Muirfield Village should pose no issues for the PGA Tour rookie.
Course and Tournament Information
Muirfield Village Golf Club has been featured on the PGA Tour for quite some time as the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, plays host to competitors. Viewers may remember Nicklaus just off the 18th green shaking hands and offering words of encouragement to players throughout the years as this property is his crown jewel.
It was recently renovated in 2020 and with it came some substantial changes. It now measures nearly 7,600 yards and plays to a par 72. It is one of the more difficult stops on the PGA Tour as the winning score is often somewhere in the mid-teens under par if not worse.
The reason for high scores is due to the combination of firm, fast and undulating greens as well as thick rough which lines the fairways. While the landing areas off the tee have been widened in recent years, both driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage will be crucial to a player’s success at the Memorial Tournament.
Not only will they need to be strong ball-strikers but also tremendous iron players specifically as Muirfield Village has often mirrored Augusta National in terms of success.
There are numerous similarities between the two and the lone difference can come down to the penal rough off the fairway as Augusta National does not feature such.
What Happened In Last Year’s Memorial Tournament?
The main story of last year’s Memorial Tournament was Jon Rahm.
Simply put, he was dominating and was well on his way to winning his second consecutive tournament at Muirfield Village before being sidelined due to COVID-19.
His absence in the final round led to Sunday drama as his two closest pursuers would ultimately end up in the tie after regulation.
A clutch birdie putt by Patrick Cantlay on the 71st hole put him in a share of the lead with Collin Morikawa. Making par on the second playoff hole, Cantlay captured his second Memorial Tournament title at his idol Jack Nicklaus’ venue.
This was the first edition of the tournament to be held on the renovated Muirfield Village, but the core skill sets of accurate driving, precise iron play and short-game touch were still evident.
Cantlay goes into this year’s tournament as a winner at the Zurich Classic and a two-time playoff loser at the WM Phoenix Open and the RBC Heritage. Coming off a missed cut in his last start, he will surely be a factor this week as he tends to play his best golf at Muirfield Village.
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