The Memorial Tournament Golf 2024 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

There is one week left until the US Open comes along but before the attention turns to Pinehurst, we have one of the better PGA Tour events to enjoy when The Memorial Tournament is played out, as ever hosted by Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village.

Viktor Hovland got his hands on this coveted trophy to really kick what turned out to be an incredible year for the Norwegian into life. He is back looking to defend the title and has what is always a good field here to see off.

Recent Winners

2023 – Viktor Hovland

2022 – Billy Horschel

2021 – Patrick Cantlay

2020 – Jon Rahm

2019 – Patrick Cantlay

2018 – Bryson DeChambeau

2017 – Jason Dufner

2016 – William McGirt

2015 – David Lingmerth

2014 – Hideki Matsuyama

The Course

Once again we are back at Muirfield Village this week. This is a typical stop off on tour. Jack Nicklaus oversaw a huge change to the course with all the greens rebuilt and bunkers moved in line to make them hazards three years ago and this will be the latest spin with the new layout. One or two minor modifications have been made to the track in the last year and the par 72 course now stretches to 7,569 yards so it is a fair length.

The dynamics of the course haven’t changed too much. Nicklaus likes his tracks to be a test with the second shot but the rough has been grown a little longer this week and is at four inches, which with relatively new greens which will be firm, is quite impactful. That might make a little more of a premium on hitting fairways but they aren’t the toughest to hit. Scrambling is often a key statistic around these very small greens. The fact they are still relatively new might bring poor putters into the game.

The Field

The US Open might be next week but there aren’t too many who want to miss out on potentially winning a tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus and as such the field this week is very strong. It is also a big week for those on the fringes of the top 60 in the world rankings because they have until Sunday evening to get into it to qualify for the US Open if they haven’t already done so, so plenty of players will be extremely motivated here.

The field includes all four current major champions with Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman all in the field while the defending champion Viktor Hovland is also here. Rory McIlroy is yet to put his hands on this title and he’ll be looking to do that here, as will the likes of Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Max Homa, Sahith Theegala, Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama among others.

Market Leaders

The world number one Scottie Scheffler is the 4/1 favourite to win this tournament for the first time. He has had an incident filled few weeks to say the least and there is no doubt that his form has dipped slightly, as it tends to do once we get past the PGA. Nevertheless, he still looks a class above most in the game at the minute and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he won this but at the price you’d need him to win for any significant return. He’s been third here the last two years but maybe this place just doesn’t suit him.

Xander Schauffele tees it up for the first time as a major champion this week and it will be interesting to see how his new status in the game impacts him. He is 9/1 to win the tournament but there are a couple of concerns. The first one is obviously that there will be even more attention on him than usual and first time winners of majors can take a few weeks to come back down to earth. The second is that he has never even finished in the top 10 around here. I’ll leave him alone at a single digit price.

Rory McIlroy is a point bigger at 10/1 to win this tournament. It is a bit of a surprise that he has never won this event in the past when you consider the freedom that is given off the tee around here but that is the case. I always wonder about McIlroy before a major because he claims that the big events are the ones which motivate him so with the next major just a week away that might be a negative. He might well make the frame but again at 10/1 I can leave him alone.

Collin Morikawa has been in excellent form in recent times without getting the win but you would imagine a course like this where the second shot is so key is going to be right up his street. It is a bit of a surprise that he hasn’t won this tournament before but the way he faded a touch in the final round of the USPGA Championship and I always have concerns over his putter, although to be fair this probably isn’t the event where that haunts him the most.

Main Bets

It is a surprise to me that Justin Thomas has never won this tournament but the way he is hitting the ball in his long game I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is the year he changes that. He is fifth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained from tee to green and sixth in strokes gained on approach. That is so much of the test around here so there is every reason to think that Thomas can get himself into the mix. If he can find some form with the putter than he’ll be bang in contention. Thomas has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts and has the profile to run this really close.

I took Corey Conners on home soil last week and he hit the ball so well but could only finish in the top five after a decent final day but I feel like I need to back him again such was the quality of his long game and the fact that he got better the longer the week went on. There is an issue with him and the putter but actually I thought he putted fairly well last week so his game looks in decent order. At around the 50/1 mark he feels overpriced given the amount of opportunities his long game is likely to set up to score.

Outsiders

There isn’t anything deep down the betting market that I like this week with the shortened field but I do like a couple of ball strikers who are a big enough price to be outside bets with the first of those being the man who won here a couple of years ago in Billy Horschel. That tells us that he can handle this test and the fact that his best work generally comes on the harder layouts anyone enhances confidence. He has already won in the Dominican Republic this season and he was recently in the top 10 at the USPGA Championship so we don’t need to worry about his form. Given that he ticks almost every box I can’t leave him out of my staking plan this week.

The other player I can’t leave out is another I have been backing in recent time in Keegan Bradley. He nearly won the Charles Schwab Challenge a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t quite reel in Davis Riley and had a settle for finishing second. His long game was in great order that week as it so often is and if he has that quality with him here then there is no reason why he can’t go well. Bradley has now finished second twice this season and I don’t think we are far away from the door opening again. I’ll pay to see if that is this week.

Tips

Back J.Thomas to win The Memorial Tournament (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-6)

Back K.Bradley to win The Memorial Tournament (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 71.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-6)

Back C.Conners to win The Memorial Tournament (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)

Back B.Horschel to win The Memorial Tournament (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)

Back them here:

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