2023 Memorial Tournament Betting Picks

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    May 31, 2023

    During the 2023 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week. Here are his thoughts on this week’s Memorial Tournament.

    Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

    About the Tournament

    The PGA TOUR’s loaded June calendar starts this week with the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. This is one of two designated events this month with a purse of $20 million and this will be the tune-up for most players before the U.S. Open in two weeks. This event already drew a strong field because it’s hosted by Jack Nicklaus, but now the designated event status ensures that almost every top player on the PGA TOUR will play this week.

    Top of the Board

    The top of the board looks a little different this week. The usual suspects at the top have been Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, but this week, Patrick Cantlay (10/1) and Xander Schauffele (14/1) find themselves in the mix.

    The adjustment in Cantlay’s odds are justified because of his course history at Muirfield Village. Cantlay won this event in 2019 and 2021, and also just missed out on a three-man playoff in 2018. Cantlay, who was tied for third last year, has had a strong season despite not having a win yet. His current price obviously factors in his course history so he’s no bargain if you want to back him outright.

    Speaking of strong course history, Rahm (+750) has to be mentioned in the conversation with what he’s done at this Jack Nicklaus-designed track. Rahm won this event in 2020, and was very likely to repeat the next year when he held a six-shot lead after the third round on Saturday. But he was told he tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw, opening the door for Cantlay to win. Rahm is certainly a threat here but I’d rather bet him at the U.S. Open in Los Angeles because of his past dominant performances in California.

    Scheffler (6/1) comes into this event as the justified favorite despite not having much history at Muirfield Village. His strong run of recent results is why he’s the betting favorite. He just finished tied for third at the Charles Schwab Challenge, ranking first by a significant margin in strokes gained tee-to-green. If Scheffler just putts field average he’ll likely be in contention late on Sunday. But the shaky putting is hard to overcome when betting a player at 6/1, so I’m going to pass and hope he doesn’t figure it out on the greens this weekend.

    I made a bet on Xander Schauffele at 16/1. Schauffele, who was my favorite bet to win two weeks ago at the PGA Championship, entered the year’s second major in outstanding form with two close calls, but the start of Schauffele’s time at Oak Hill didn’t go as planned as he played the first three holes +4. Schauffele showed some resilience getting back to even par midway through the second round. But late double bogeys made him a non-factor on the weekend before ultimately finishing tied for 18th. At the Memorial over the last four years, Schauffele has finished as high as 11th place, and he ranked fourth in the field last year in strokes gained approach.

    Mid-range Targets

    One of my first bets on Monday morning was placed on Si Woo Kim at 80/1. He’s finished in the top 18 in each of the last three years at the Memorial. His strong ball-striking week at the Charles Schwab Challenge makes him even more intriguing. Kim has always been a high-upside player, which is a trait I want when looking for bets to win the tournament.

    Adam Scott (55/1) is the other player I have bet in this range. He’s another player I bet at the PGA Championship, and he found himself near the top of the leaderboard early in the tournament before fading. Scott’s pre-tournament form featured a pair of top-ten performances, which led to me betting on the 42-year-old. He has played this event many times and has some high finishes, most notably being runner-up to Cantlay in 2019.

    I’m also considering Corey Conners (40/1) and Sahith Theegala (50/1). Conners was very good at the PGA Championship before a final-round 75 dropped him to a tied-for-12th finish. He’s made the cut all four times at Muirfield Village with his best showing being last year when he finished 13th and led the field in strokes gained approach.

    Theegala seems to be on the verge of his first win. He finished 32nd in his debut at Muirfield Village two years ago and improved to finish fifth last year. It’s just a matter of time before Theegala is victorious.

    Longshots

    Byeong Hun An (100/1) is a player with a good course history, and he’s coming off a strong ball-striking week in Fort Worth. Last week, he ranked fourth in strokes gained tee-to-green and finished the tournament tied for 21st. He’s had some quality outings this season, and he’s definitely worth a flier at this number.

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