The Memorial Tournament is always one of the best attended PGA Tour tournaments of the season in terms of those players at the top of the world rankings. The top five in the world are all taking part in the 2016 renewal this week but even they cannot outshine the true star of this event. Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as the best player of all time and for 40 years he has been shaking players’ hands as they finish up on the 18th green of his course at Muirfield Village.
Nicklaus bought the land that the course sits on in Dublin, Ohio and then designed the layout himself. He named it after his favourite Open venue and although he is very happy with his work he never stops looking for ways to improve the par 72 course. To keep up with modern players and equipment the course now measures 7,392 yards but Muirfield’s distance is not its main defence. It is a major test of accuracy with some incredibly penal rough. You have to be able to hit high quality iron shots and/or scramble up and down when missing greens. With such a high number of world class players in the field this is sure to be an amazing battle so let’s see if we can find some winning bets.
There is a three way tussle at the top of the bookies’ outrights with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth vying for favouritism. They are the top three in the world rankings and each of them won the last tournament they played at. Out of the three though, it’s Day who makes the biggest appeal. McIlroy’s win came amongst a weaker field than this at the Irish Open and despite winning in Texas last week Spieth’s play from tee to green doesn’t look anywhere near controlled enough for Muirfield. Day’s doing everything well at the moment and he has an almost unbeatable aura so back him at 7/1 with Ladbrokes.
Matt Kuchar is playing some very good golf at the moment. With form figures of T6-3-T3 from his last three events he now finds himself back inside the world’s top 20 and ready to show all of those above him in the rankings that he is one of the very best when it comes to courses requiring accuracy. The 2013 Memorial champion has great memories of Muirfield and the confidence of knowing that his game is in great shape so the odds of 22/1 that Coral are offering look very generous.
Charl Schwartzel caused a bit of an uproar by pulling out of the Olympics due to his fears over the Zika virus but his decision was also influenced by his desire to stay fresh for the biggest and best tournaments. His participation this week shows that he holds the Memorial in very high regard and he could be about to win his fourth tournament of this season. The South African missed the cut here last year but his game looks very well suited to the rigours of Muirfield and he’s playing well enough to make his odds of 66/1 with BetVictor look too big to ignore.
See also: Nordea Masters