Memorial Tournament: Odds, value picks, predictions for Jack Nicklaus’ Signature Event

Following a thrilling RBC Canadian Open, the PGA Tour heads to Ohio for the Memorial Tournament, the event Jack Nicklaus hosts every year.

Xander Schauffele will tee it up for the first time as a major champion, fresh off his electric PGA Championship victory at Valhalla. So, too, will Scottie Scheffler, who will compete for the first time since Louisville Police dropped the assault charges levied against him.

Other top players in the field include Rory McIlroy, Wyndham Clark, and Viktor Hovland, the latter of which triumphed at Muirfield Village a year ago.

Hovland defeated Denny McCarthy in a playoff, which marked the biggest win of his career then. But Hovland’s victory here marked the beginning of the ‘Summer of Hovland,’ as he went on to win the BMW and Tour Championships in August.

Of course, Hovland arrives at Muirfield Village fresh off a solo third finish at Valhalla, his best—and only—top-10 finish thus far in 2024.

PGA Tour, Memorial Tournament

A view of the 18th hole from the fairway during the final round of the 2023 Memorial Tournament.
Photo by Ben Jared/PGA Tour via Getty Images

Overall, 23 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) will tee it up this week, with LIV Golf’s Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton being the only outliers.

This course will surely test the best players in the world in what should be an excellent preview before next week’s U.S. Open.

Memorial Tournament Odds:

Here are the latest odds for this week’s Memorial Tournament, provided by DraftKings:

  • Scottie Scheffler +360
  • Rory McIlroy +800
  • Xander Schauffele +900
  • Collin Morikawa +1400
  • Viktor Hovland +1800
  • Ludvig Åberg +1800
  • Patrick Cantlay +2500
  • Justin Thomas +2500
  • Wyndham Clark +3500
  • Tommy Fleetwood +3500
  • Max Homa +3500
  • Hideki Matsuyama +3500
  • Sahith Theegala +4000
  • Jordan Spieth +4500
  • Matt Fitzpatrick +5000
  • Cameron Young +5000
  • Byeong Hun An +5000

Viktor Hovland, PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament

Viktor Hovland smiles while sitting alongside Jack Nicklaus after the 2023 Memorial Tournament.
Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour via Getty Images

Memorial Tournament Predictions

Muirfield Village Golf Club tests the PGA Tour’s best year in and year out, despite Nicklaus constantly tinkering with the layout. His latest renovation came a couple of years ago, as the Golden Bear re-did all the greens and bunkers, hoping to further challenge the professionals while keeping playability intact for the members.

Accuracy is paramount on this golf course, which hosted the 1987 Ryder Cup, but so is distance. This course measures 7,571 yards, one of the longer layouts on the PGA Tour.

The Curious Case of Tom Kim

Tom Kim is one of the most talented young players on the planet, but he has not lived up to the hype thus far in 2024. Before last week’s RBC Canadian Open, where he tied for fourth, Kim’s best finish this season came at the WM Phoenix Open, where he finished in a tie for 17th.

Yet, the 21-year-old does not have any glaring weaknesses in his game. But he does not do anything spectacularly, either. If anything, he is relatively accurate off the tee, finding 68.55% of fairways this season—good for 19th on the PGA Tour. Then again, he missed plenty of fairways on Sunday at the Canadian Open, but still shot a 6-under 64.

His putter got hot, and no matter what happens from tee to green, a hot putter typically produces good results for the pros. We like Kim to continue to rely on his putter this week at Muirfield Village, where he will snag his second top 10 of the year at +400.

Viktor Hovland Continues to Bounce Back

Before the PGA Championship, Viktor Hovland’s game was in a funk. He missed the cut at The Masters, where he shot an 81 during his second round. His short game had completely abandoned him, leaving him without any confidence going into the heart of major championship season.

Then he took some time off, rekindled with his old coach Joe Mayo, and fired three straight 66s at the PGA Championship. He looked like a top player again at Valhalla, signaling that another big win could be imminent.

Viktor Hovland, PGA Championship

Viktor Hovland during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/PGA of America via Getty Images

Yet, Hovland continues to let his short game trouble him, as he ranks 174th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained around the green.

Despite that, if Hovland finds fairways and greens like he did at Valhalla, he should have no issue contending. Plus, he won here a year ago and repeatedly talks about how much he loves this golf course. Comfort often breeds confidence, so we believe Hovland contends again, finishing in the top 5 at +360.

French Fever

Matthieu Pavon and Victor Perez have had solid seasons, their first as full-time PGA Tour members.

Pavon won earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and has two other top 10s to his name. He has not played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, but something tells us that Pavon will re-discover his form at Muirfield Village—a course that, like Torrey Pines, tests all facets of one’s game. At +1400 to finish in the top 10, Pavon is worth the longshot pick to contend.

Perez, meanwhile, arrives in Ohio fresh off a tie for third at the RBC Canadian Open, which included two 64s over the weekend. The former New Mexico Lobo is a terrific ball-striker, ranking 13th on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation. Yet, he does not find a ton of fairways, which makes us somewhat skeptical of him at Muirfield Village. However, Perez putted well in Canada, a sign that he will contend again this week. We like Perez to finish in the top 10 as well, at +1200.

Longshot Winner

Alex Noren, PGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open

Alex Noren at the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Alex Noren received one of the sponsor’s exemptions for this week, and we like him to take full advantage of the opportunity. The 41-year-old Swede has played admirably this season, recording two top 10s and tied for 12th at the PGA Championship.

Noiren missed the cut at last week’s RBC Canadian Open—his first MC of the season—but his early exit means he will arrive in Ohio feeling refreshed and ready to go. His exquisite play from tee to green suits this course well, and we believe Noren at +8000 to win is worth a shot.

Memorial Tournament Pick

Since The Players Championship in mid-March, Tommy Fleetwood has shown nothing but consistency. He tied for seventh at the Valero Texas Open and third at Augusta. Other solid finishes followed at Quail Hollow and Valhalla, and Fleetwood should have fared better last week in Canada. But a double-bogey to open his final round dropped him out of contention, as he ultimately shot a 2-over 72 on Sunday. He tied for 21st.

Tommy Fleetwood, PGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open

Tommy Fleetwood hits his tee shot from the 13th hole during the final round of the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Nevertheless, Fleetwood’s game suits Muirfield Village perfectly. He is accurate off the tee, putts well, and rarely makes a mistake—Fleetwood ranks eighth on the PGA Tour in bogey avoidance.

But what makes us like Fleetwood even more is that he showed improvement with his ball-striking last week in Canada. He currently ranks 137th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained approaching the green and 88th in greens in regulation percentage. Yet, Fleetwood gained 5.28 strokes with his iron play in Hamilton, which ranked fifth among the field.

We believe that the Englishman continues to give himself plenty of opportunities this week, and at +3500, Fleetwood has a great price to win. He finally breaks through on the PGA Tour, as the Golden Bear will deliver his trophy to a European player for the second consecutive year.

For all other sports betting content, check out SB Nation’s DraftKings site.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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