After a long weekend in the Lone Star State at the Colonial, the PGA Tour makes their way up to the land of the Buckeye near The Ohio State University for The Memorial, albeit a few days post-holiday.
Kevin Na surged ahead of my pick Jordan Spieth and the rest of the field in the second round at The Colonial with a 62 and ended the tournament with a comfortable 4-shot lead with a final round 66.
Looking back, I really don’t know how I wasn’t higher on Kevin Na going into this. He had 4 top ten finishes there going into last week, had shot a 62 before and held a tie for the course record of 61!
Oh hindsight, you break my fragile little heart once again.
On a positive note, Jordan Spieth finished T-8 for a (+150) win.
He looks to be finding his way out of his long slump but nothing happens overnight, I suppose.
After the bombers, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, who actually aren’t in the field this week, dominated the Bethpage Black Course at the PGA Championship a couple of weeks ago, the style of play it took to win shifted like Khaleesi’s demeanor in the final season of Game of Thrones.
I won’t go any farther for those blessed souls who aren’t caught up on what was one of the greatest masterpieces to hit the television screen.
This week at The Memorial will be much like the previous Colonial tournament.
It’s all about the second shot.
Ball strikers and those rather adept at iron play “should” succeed.
There’s something about the word “should”, though. A wise friend once told me it was a bad word as it usually got you in trouble more often than not.
Let’s save the pseudo-psych lesson for another day and get down to business.
BetOnline has a plethora of betting odds this week.
After perusing over the matchup bets, it appears that the online sportsbook did their homework as well. I couldn’t find one favorable matchup with odds anywhere in the neighborhood of favorable.
There are prop bets, round leader, top twenty, ten, and five, as well as some make or miss cut bets that I’ve had a decent amount of success with in the past.
I definitely have my eye on a few golfers this week including an 80-1 golfer that has the potential to win the whole thing.
Several previous winners of The Memorial including five-time victor Eldrick or Tiger Woods as his friends call him will be in the field.
The underrated off-the-tee and superb putter Bryson Dechambeau will be the man defending the 2018 title.
Iron warrior Hideki Matsuyama, veteran Matt Kuchar, and 2018 FedEx Cup Champion Justin Rose are all past winners who are expected to be quite dangerous as well.
Even with all the star power present, it doesn’t mean a lesser-known PGA Tour golfer can’t sit with course owner and designer Jack Nicklaus in his clubhouse on Sunday discussing their unlikely victory.
Before “Hogan Hat” Dechambeau won here in 2018, the previous three winners were Jason Dufner, William McGirt, and David Lingmerth. Their official world golf rankings are 194th, 416th, and 560th, respectively.
It’s going to be hard to not focus on the favorites but I’ll do my best to give you the best value for your dinero this week.
Let’s get to it!
Patrick Cantlay To Finish Inside The Top Ten: +175
Let’s begin with a few numbers that will make your mouth water.
- He has two third-place finishes in his last three tournaments played including the PGA Championship
- He has eight top ten finishes in his last twelve events played including ending the Masters in 8th place
- He finished up the fourth round of last year’s Memorial in 4th place
- 2nd is scoring average for the season
- 4th in shots gained total
- 5th tee-to-green
- Top 20 around the green, in approach, and off the tee
What more do you need?
The 27-year old UCLA Bruin from the underrated coastal city of Long Beach is just coming into his own in 2019 and only a handful of golfers have been better.
He does, however, only own one PGA Tour victory. Patrick took first place at the 2018 Shriners Hospital for Children Open.
That’s perhaps why I shy away from chasing a winning bet from the young man but top tens have been his forte all season.
Andrew Putnam To Finish Inside The Top Twenty: +450
The 6’1” Washington-native is ranked 33rd in the FedEx Cup points standings this year and has recently cracked the top 50 in the official world golf rankings after finishing tied for 3rd at last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial.
No other golfer in the field had a better weekend as he shot a 133 over the final 36 holes of golf.
Andrew also has a 2nd place finish at the Sony Open earlier this year amongst another loaded field of talent and the world’s best.
The bunkers around the greens at this week’s course are regarded as the most difficult to recover from on the PGA Tour and Putnam ranks 7th in sand save percentage.
Should he have some trouble on his approach, we know he has shown the ability to redeem himself well.
Andrew plays classical golf courses like this week’s Muirfield Village at a high level and has particularly played Jack Nicklaus designed links very well.
He does his best work on the green, though, ranking 6th on Tour with the flat stick.
Look at last year’s winner, Bryson Dechambeau, and we can see that the ability to putt well doesn’t hurt your chances at a high placing at The Memorial.
He hadn’t been in great form since early this year but with a good showing last week, let’s throw him in there for a top twenty bet.
Bryson Dechambeau to Finish Inside The Top Ten: +325
The Physics-grad out of Southern Methodist University may be the most unique player on the PGA Tour.
While most consider emotional or mental strength to be more important than IQ or sheer intelligence, Dechambeau works well with what he has.
The 8th ranked golfer in the world recently said: “Golf is geometrically oriented linear force”.
Yeah, physics was not my best subject either.
Some pundits have claimed that his approach to the game is too calculated. I guess that could have some truth to it as thinking too much is almost always a bad thing.
Here we go with the pseudo-psych again, sorry.
This is golf, though.
Perhaps the man has yet a lot to learn about his overall mental approach to the game of golf, but I would say he’s off to a great start.
Bryson has 5 career victories on the PGA Tour including winning back-to-back FedEx Cup Playoff events in 2018 at The Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championships.
He has yet to notch a win in 2019, though, which is surprising but he’s still having a good year with a FedEx Cup ranking of 26th and is 29th on the money list.
He’s 5th in birdie average on the year and I don’t see anything wrong with getting more than 3-1 odds on a top ten placing for the defending Memorial Champ.
Jim Furyk To Finish Inside The Top Twenty: +300
Hey, the near senior citizen man isn’t having a bad year.
One year shy of a half-century old, Jim Furyk has 7 top twenty finishes this season including three top ten placings in 14 tournaments played.
He has won here at The Memorial back in ‘02.
Let’s check his season stats.
You might be surprised.
- 1st on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy!
- 8th in scoring average
- 13th in approach which is a key stat for this week
- Also, top 25 in tee-to-green and shots gained total
Of course, he lacks the strength and power to keep up with the bombers on Tour at the age of 49 but this course is a second shot course and that is where he does his best work.
Matt Kuchar To Finish Inside The Top Ten: +150
From one member of the 40 and over club to another, Matt Kuchar is also having a great season.
He is ranked #1 in the FedEx Cup standings.
Okay, that’s a heck of a start. Let’s keep it going.
He has 7 top tens this season in 15 tournaments played.
Kuch is 2nd all-time on Memorial’s money list with 10 top fifteen finishes.
He is #1 in greens in regulation for the season to go along with 8th in driving accuracy as well as 9th in birdie average.
He’s 6th in approach and scoring average, 8th in approach, and 12th tee-to-green.
Whew, bullet points may have been useful here also but you get it.
There’s a reason so many experts are all over Kuch this week at The Memorial.
So, a (+150) isn’t a great payout for a top ten but he’s nearly 50% this year with such a placing, so why not?
Peter Uihlein To Finish Inside The Top Twenty: +350
The 29-year-old Oklahoma State Cowboy is 100th in the points standings this season with a couple of top ten finishes.
He shot a 66 in the final round of The Memorial in 2018 which was good enough to get him to 5th for the tournament.
Peter is very efficient putter ranking 27th on Tour and has been in his best form of the season as of late.
He was 5th at the Byron Nelson earlier this month and tied for 13th last week at Colonial.
The man may not have the stats but I will take the good form as well as recent course history for a top twenty, Alex!
This week should be fun.
I mentioned Tiger Woods once and he is a 5-time winner here but didn’t pick him. He very well may make it 6.
I just think there are golfers with a bit more valuable odds.
Kuch and Jim Furyk have shown that the Senior Tour is much farther away than some would have expected at the start of the year and guys like Bryson Dechambeau and Patrick Cantlay are the near future of golf and would each like to put themselves in the same conversation as the world’s best.
Putnam has been warming up as well as the unknown to many, Peter Uihlein.
I gave you several options this week but a few are 3-1 or better, so you shouldn’t have to shell out too much dough.
Let’s get that money, team!