2021 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village: Dark Horses

Before I jump into this week’s tournament, I wanted to do a quick recap for the Charles Schwab Challenge. My three dark horses were Matthew NeSmith, Doug Ghim, and Harold Varner III. NeSmith missed the cut after a bad first round and an even worse second. Now on a positive note, Ghim and Varner III both played excellent. Ghim was great from start to finish, but Varner was one that surprised me. He was 4-over after round one and fired a 6-under in round two to make the cut. He ended up finished 3-under in a tie for 32nd. Ghim was super low owned in the low dollar tournament that I played in at 5% and came in a tie for 14th at 5-under par. He was on $7,200 and came inside the top 15! These two guys in your lineup, saving you some salary for the higher end guys, could have made for a big week in DFS.

This week, the PGA Tour is heading to Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial. This is one of the best non-major field every season. This is where it gets tricky to find some value because so many top golfers are here. In 2020, we saw a few like Ryan Palmer (2nd), Matt Wallace (4th), Mac Hughes and Henrik Norlander (6th). We can see that some of the value guys can climb the board, but it is a matter of trying to find which ones it will be this year.

This week I will be providing three dark horses, meaning players that are longshots, but could play really well for their low salary. These dark horses are golfers that are $7,500 and below. Also I use DraftKings, so these prices will be for their website, but the players can be used on FanDuel as well.

Dark Horse Number 1

Stewart Cink ($7,500) – Cink is my first and easily one of my favorite dark horses. This guys is getting hot on the course lately. The stats back it up, the recent finishes do as well. I do not know how he is not highly owned and for the right reasons. Only thing people might shy away from is his past three finishes here. That is not a problem to me, since he seems to be a way better golfer than he has been in recent years. Also he is only $7,500 because he is not one of the new young guys, makes me want to jump on the Cink train for another possible great finish.

Last Five Finishes on Tour: 30th, 37th, 1st, 12th, 19th

Last Three Finishes Here: 62nd, DNP, MC

Key Stats:

SG Approach: 18th

SG Ball Striking: 19th

Sand Save %: 41st

Green in Regulation %: 3rd

Dark Horse Number 2

Henrik Norlander ($6,400) – Not the best recent golf, but three of the four key stats look great which is why Henrik is another one of my dark horses. He has been on and off the past few weeks, but he is inside the top 40 in SG Approach, Ball Striking, and GIR%. He is also just above min. price which is why I am perfectly fine playing him in order to get guys like Bryson and Cantlay. He also had a 6th place finish here in 2020, which is another good reason to back Norlander. And lastly he is $6,400, which means you do not need a whole lot out of him. After he potentially makes the cut, he already hits value on his salary.

Last Five Finishes on Tour: 50th, MC, 48th, MC, MC

Last Three Finishes Here: 6th, DNP, DNP

Key Stats:

SG Approach: 35th

SG Ball Striking: 26th

Sand Save %: 182nd

Green in Regulation %: 26th

Dark Horse Number 3

Troy Merritt ($6,900) – Merritt is my final dark horse because he has come inside the top 10 in three of his last four outings on tour. His last outing here was a missed cut, but he had a 17th finish in 2019. His stats are not the best overall, but something is going right for him with the sticks if he has back to back 7th place finishes. He is pretty cheap, but not as much as Norlander. I would assume he hits his value with a finish inside the top 40, which if he keeps playing like this should not be a problem.

Last Five Finishes on Tour: 7th, 7th, MC, 8th, 97th

Last Three Finishes Here: MC, 17th, DNP

Key Stats:

SG Approach: 73rd

SG Ball Striking: 148th

Sand Save %: 48th

Green in Regulation %: 117th