The time-honoured Memorial Tournament tees off on Friday morning with a talent-laden field hitting the links at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
All eyes will be on five-time champion Tiger Woods as he returns from a three month absence, while defending champ Patrick Cantlay remains one of the top chances coming off a strong performance on this same course at the Workday Charity Open.
Jason Day returned to form last week and appears to be Australia’s top hope. There is also plenty to like about Marc Leishman after finishing outright fifth at this event last year.
This is by far the most exciting tournament since golf resumed, so be sure to read our entire 2020 Memorial Tournament Preview below.
2020 Memorial Tournament Best Bet
Xander Schauffele – $23.00
Quietly flying under the radar with three Top 20’s from four starts since the season resumed. Schauffele rode the rollercoaster last week to finish T14 at the Workday and it’s worth noting he led last year’s Memorial field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. Has struggled a little for accuracy with the driver so far this year, but his putting should keep him competitive.
2020 Memorial Tournament Best Value
Jason Day – $51.00
Are the injuries finally behind him? Day emerged with a T7 last week at the Workday thanks to a brilliant final round 67. He’s tough to trust sometimes, but the Aussie did finish T15 here back in 2017.
2020 Memorial Tournament Best Roughie
Ian Poulter – $71.00
The bookies might just have this one a little wrong. Despite a horrible track record at Muirfield Village, Poulter rose to the occasion to deliver a T5 last week at the Workday. His putting is red-hot at the moment so it’s worth having something small on the 20-year Tour veteran.
2020 Memorial Tournament Best of the Rest
Bryson DeChambeau – $10.00
No real surprise to find DeChambeau as the favourite after what has been a whirlwind four weeks since the restart. The American carded three straight Top 10 finishes before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic a fortnight ago. His track record at this event is almost identical with a win in 2018 and a T22 last year. This course calls for precision off the tee and around the greens, two statistical categories DeChambeau measures up in.
Justin Thomas – $11.00
Thomas has been almost as impressive as DeChambeau since the restart. He’s finished Top 10 in three of four tournaments and is fresh from an outright second last week after losing a playoff on the same course. The greens might be a little faster this week, but the fact Thomas ranks third on Tour in birdie average suggests he’ll handle it just fine.
Rory McIlroy – $13.00
The Irish hasn’t been since the Travelers last month, so there’s lots to like about a well-rested Rory McIlroy. He’s also got the runs on the board to suggest a big weekend ahead: four Top 10’s and a T15 in eight appearances at Muirfield Village.
Patrick Cantlay – $15.00
I tipped Patrick Cantlay last week at the Workday Charity Open and he wasn’t far off. The 28-year-old finished T7 after storming home with a final round 65 to finish -11 under, and I’d expect him to go one better here as the defending champ.
Dustin Johnson – $17.00
DJ bounced back almost unexpectedly to win the Travelers a fortnight ago where he looked as dangerous as ever. He’s another with a stellar track record at this event with six Top 20s and a T8 at Murifield last year. The numbers suggest the only let down might be his short game.
Viktor Hovland – $21.00
The Norwegian is absolutely flying right now coming off an outright third last week on this same course. Hovland has finished no worse than T23 since golf resumed and he’s currently averaging a score of 69.93. He looks as good a value play as some of the big names.
Jon Rahm – $21.00
Rahm hasn’t been at his best in three starts since the break failing to record a single finish inside the Top 20. That said, he did show some real promise in the final round at Muirfield last week carding a 64 to finish -7 under. Tough to know what to expect, but you can never write the Spaniard off.
Collin Morikawa – $21.00
Last week’s Workday Charity winner looks a little over the odds considering he carded a final round 66 before beating Justin Thomas (of all people) in a playoff. Morikawa has been money in just about every statistical area which bodes well for back-to-back wins, and maybe even more in the near future.
Webb Simpson – $23.00
Simpson is another of the top value plays. He comes in well-rested after finishing T8 at TPC River Highlands after winning the RBC Heritage the week before. The veteran has been accurate as anyone off the tree and around the greens, while he currently leads the Tour in average birdies made.
Tiger Woods – $26.00
It should be fascinating to watch Tiger go at it this weekend. We haven’t seen him on course since he teamed up with Peyton Manning to face Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, while this is his first start on Tour since a disappointing weekend at Riviera back in February. The track record speaks for itself though: five wins and a T9 last year.
Hideki Matsuyama – $26.00
Matsuyama continues to make headway towards another win. T22 last week on this course with two opening rounds under 70. Faded in the late stages though.