GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of The Memorial Tournament this week.
The Memorial Tournament | PGA Tour | 16th-19 July 2020 | Sky Sports
The PGA Tour stays at Jack's place this week as a star-studded field tees it up for the Memorial Tournament. Impressive youngster Collin Morikawa held off Justin Thomas to nail his second professional win at the Workday Charity Open on Sunday.
Our picks were pretty disappointing across the board but Gary Woodland snuck in a place with a superb final round 69 to finish T5th.
The course information and trends for Muirfield Village can be found in that preview, so without boring you too much with that information we'll get straight into the betting card for round two around this track.
There will be some subtle differences to consider aside from the fact that the Tour's elite are raring to go. It's expected that the course will play a little shorter, but the rough will be up and of course, the pin positions and hole locations will be vastly different. The greens are also expected to run faster.
Jon Rahm has said this week that there are murmurs that it is setup like a US Open, which is something we'll have to consider too.
With that in mind, here is who we're backing for 2020's Memorial Tournament…
Jon Rahm (22/1 William Hill)
The front of the market is awash with arguably the three or four of the most in-form players right now but for me, a JT looking for vengeance is the man to beat at 10/1 but I am happy to ignore the first five on a pure price basis and instead I'll begin the staking plan with Jon Rahm.
I think we're getting very generous odds on the big-hitting Spaniard as he started last week so poorly. Three rounds of 72-70-75 are nothing to shout home about, but his final circuit of 64 (8-under) on the final day was certainly eye-catching going into another four laps around the place.
Maybe that round will spark him into life here and at 22/1 I'm more than happy to jump aboard. He was impressive on approach and T2G and that's what you need around here.
It wasn't too long ago that he was being touted as the best in the world having won successive tournaments to close the European Tour season to follow it up with two 2nds in three PGA Tour outings – these were tough fields at the Hero Challenge and Farmers Insurance.
Gary Woodland (40/1 William Hill)
I will chance our place-maker Mr Woodland again too. We tipped him up at 10 more points last week and he finished 5th. Had he enjoyed a better opening round, then he would have been in contention on Sunday.
The reasons carry across to here and if anything, make him a stronger proposition as he's just proven he can finish well around Jack's place. Also just like Rahm, he will pick up easy scoring opportunities on the par-5s.
Rickie Fowler (40/1 William Hill)
This mid-range is full of potential choices and really those last off the shortlist are in this bracket but one I simply cannot ignore is Rickie Fowler. Some would say he's in a bit of a rut at the minute, but I would argue against that. T12-T22 isn't awful form and at the start of the year, he had notched three straight top-10s.
We know Rickie as this reliable putter but last week he barely gained any strokes with the flatstick. You would fully expect that to improve and given the tougher greens this week, he is someone I would trust more than others in this bracket. Last week's T22 was merely three strokes off placing, should his putting improve as I predict then he can gain that and more, so I will take the plunge on him.
Tony Finau (55/1 William Hill)
Someone who interestingly caught my eye in the week was Tony Finau. He didn't tee it up at Muirfield but did go around his home course to set the new record (A 59!!). It may not be PGA Tour standard, but to me, this shows that the colossal bomber is in better nick than his T53 at the Rocket Mortgage – which is perhaps why we're getting some nice odds on him this time.
His course history around here is very appealing too having gone eighth on debut in 2015, and then 11th and 13th in a string of three straight cuts. He like the others have the tee-to-green and approach game to thrive at this course as evident in the form I've just listed.
Others I really struggled to scratch off included Abe Ancer and Patrick Reed.
Corey Conners (100/1 Boylesports)
I'm going to end the staking plan with two long-shots, the first of which will be Canadian Corey Conners.
Elite players tend to clinch the Memorial but that hasn't always been the case with the likes of William McGirt and David Lingmerth clinching the title in recent years.
Conners has everything a player needs to contend. Length off the tee, strong tee-to-green, and ball-striking. He's made the cut every time he's played here, including last week. The only thing that let him down was the short game.
Putting is the most volatile part of one's game so he just needs a decent week on the greens for it to all click. Plus, the longer rough and faster greens may see others around him regress to or below his level.
Danny Willett (125/1 Betfair)
And finally, we'll end with Masters winner Danny Willett, who has enjoyed a fantastic revival in the last year. He's won twice on the European Tour since his win around Augusta, a course that can correlate well here. And last time out, he ended a run of three-straight missed cuts with a T4 in Chicago at the Rocket Mortgage.
He ranked 6th for SG:T2G which as we've mentioned is something we want onside. He like Woodland last week started opened poorly before rallying back to clinch a top-5. More than happy to chance Danny at three figures.
The Memorial Tournament – Jon Rahm (22/1 William Hill)
The Memorial Tournament – Gary Woodland (40/1 William Hill)
The Memorial Tournament – Rickie Fowler (40/1 William Hill)
The Memorial Tournament – Tony Finau (55/1 William Hill)
The Memorial Tournament – Corey Conners (100/1 Boylesports)
The Memorial Tournament – Danny Willett (125/1 Betfair)