2022 Memorial Tournament: Complete Betting Breakdown and Picks

Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village, Jon Rahm, (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village, Jon Rahm, (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The tour heads to Dublin, Ohio for its annual stop at Muirfield Village for the 2022 Memorial Tournament.

Muirfield Village exposes any holes in a player’s game, so the elite normally tend to top the leaderboard here. Jon Rahm won the Memorial Tournament last year, but this tournament ended up being the deciding factor for Patrick Cantlay winning player of the year over Rahm.

That’s because Cantlay was the one lifting the trophy on Sunday after defeating Collin Morikawa in a playoff. Rahm was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19 after the third round.

Jon Rahm held a six-shot lead over both Cantlay and Morikawa prior to his withdrawal. Most sportsbooks still paid out both Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay wagers though.

Rahm didn’t receive any FedEx Cup points for this event, but had he received the 550 that the winner receives, he would’ve started the Tour Championship at -8 instead of -6.

Cantlay won that event by one shot over Rahm. Voters gave the nod to Cantlay for Player of the Year because he had four wins to Rahm’s one (US Open). Had Rahm not tested positive, he likely finishes with three wins to Cantlay’s two.

Past Winners of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village

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The Field

The Memorial Tournament is one of five invitational events on tour. The standard tour event has around 156 players, but invitationals have about 20% less.

There are 124 guys playing this week and as per usual, the Memorial Tournament has a strong field. With the US Open just two weeks away, most of the top players will probably sit out the Canadian Open next week.

Rahm and Cantlay are in the field this week, and it’s hard to argue anyone has better course history than these two.

Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, and Sam Burns are the only players in the top 10 of the OWGR not playing this week. Dufner, McGirt, Lingmerth, Matsuyama, and Kuchar join both Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay as former winners teeing it up.

Muirfield Village GC

The Memorial Tournament will be held at Muirfield Village Golf Club for the 47th consecutive year. Jack Nicklaus designed the course and is the host. He named the course after Muirfield, Scotland, the site of his first Open Championship.

There are water hazards on 15 holes, but water is only threatening on 11 of them. Measuring 7,543 yards, Muirfield Village is one of the longest courses that will be played this year.

The Golden Bear is constantly tinkering with the course. If he sees players cutting the corner of a dogleg, he’ll have an enormous tree planted on that line the next year. Muirfield Village underwent a large renovation in 2020. During the final round of the 2020 Memorial, the greens started getting torn up as soon as the final group finished the hole.

The Zoysiagrass fairways are nearly 33 yards wide, which is the width of the average tour stop.

Hitting the fairways is imperative because the Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass rough is much taller than the tour average at just over 3.5” thick. Muirfield Village had the third-highest penalty for missing the fairway last year.

The firm, Bentgrass greens are 1,000 square feet below tour average and are difficult to hold.

Patrick Cantlay led the field in greens-in-regulation last year, yet he still missed 25% of them. Every player hit over 50% of greens from the fairway last year, however, only 12 players found more than 50% of greens from the rough.

Scoring on the front-nine is easier than on the back, as the five toughest holes reside on the back. 16,17, and 18 are three of the hardest four holes on the course with the finishing hole playing the most difficult.

The par fives are the only holes that play under par. All are reachable in two if the fairway is hit off the tee, but anything not in the short grass will force a layup.

Outside of the par fives the two shortest par fours, 3 and 14, provide the best birdie opportunity. Both holes have a birdie rate of at least 20%.

The tee box on 14 is moved up on Saturday to entice players to drive the green. Water bisects the fairway 250 yards down and meanders all the way past the green so most choose to layup with an iron.

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Key Stats for the 2022 Memorial Tournament

Tee-to-green is undoubtedly the key to success this week. Players hit the green in regulation less than 64% of the time last year so approaches need to be dialed in.

Most approaches came from between 125-150 and 175-200 yards for the last few years. Not enough came from between 150-175 to be factored in. Players who miss fairways and greens are going to have a difficult time contending.

Muirfield had both the third harshest rough and missed fairway penalty last year. Players need to be accurate off the tee. This is one of the longest courses that will be played on tour this year, so driving distance is advantageous.

Muirfield Village was the second hardest non-major championship course to gain shots around the green last year so players will need to scramble to avoid bogeys.

Here’s a look at the top 10 last year and where they gained their shots.

I’m going to use the numbers from last year to build the model this year. We’re still team no putt and putting is not factored into the model, but I put the top 10 putters in the chart anyways. All stats are only accounting for a player’s last 24 rounds.

Approach (36%)
·       Approach (20%)
·       Greens in regulation (6%)
·       Proximity 125-150 (5%)
·       Proximity 175-200 (5%)

Around the green (22%)
·       Around the green (17%)
·       Scrambling (5%)

Off the tee (16%)
·       Off the tee (8%)
·       Good drives gained (5%)
·       Driving distance (3%)

Scoring (18%)
·       Par 5 efficiency (8%)
·       Birdie or better (5%)
·       Bogey avoidance (5%)

Course History (8%)
·       Total at Muirfield Village (8%)

A top three player has won the tournament both times I’ve posted the entire model.

Scottie Scheffler (3) won the Masters and Justin Thomas (1) won the PGA Championship. Do with that as you will, but I would be surprised if Xander won.

He’s a solid pick for a top 10, 20, or even a top 5, but it’s hard to see him closing it out. Jordan Spieth winning wouldn’t be a shock and I wouldn’t bat an eye if Rory won.

Honestly, I don’t love how this model turned out. I don’t see 4-10 winning but I’m going to trust the numbers this week.

If things don’t turn out accordingly, I may have to adjust to the last 36 or even 50 rounds for big tournaments with elite fields.

Picks to win the 2022 Memorial Tournament

(Odds courtesy of WynnBet, are subject to change)

Jon Rahm +1000

I was pleasantly surprised to find Rahm with double-digit odds this week. Jon Rahm and Muirfield Village are a match made in heaven.

Rahm is the best driver of the ball on tour and Muirfield is in the top 10 hardest courses to gain strokes off the tee. Rahm’s preferred shot shape is a fade and Muirfield Village is a course that favors a fade.

He may not be having as good of a season this year, but he didn’t have a single top three finish entering this tournament last year.

He has three top three finishes, including a win, under his belt already this season. Rahm quietly has the longest consecutive made cut streak on tour, too, so it’s not like he’s been playing poorly.

He would’ve won by five instead of three if it wasn’t for a bogus two-stroke penalty assessed after the round two years ago. There’s no telling how much he would’ve won by last year if he wasn’t forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.

I don’t take the top of the board very often. Other than Viktor Hovland, I don’t bet on players, I make my picks based on what I perceive to be value.

+1000 gives an implied probability of 9.1%. If they play this tournament 100 times, I think that Rahm wins it way more than nine times. I can’t say the same for co-favorite Rory McIlroy.

Jason Day +8000

I was fully prepared to go with a single bullet on Rahm this week but the odds on him were longer than I expected so I have room for one long shot on the card.

I was not expecting to find Jason Day sitting this far down the board. His numbers won’t jump off the page at you, but he does have an elite short game. You can find comfort in the fact that he’s 11th in the field around the green and 17th in bogey avoidance.

His course history here is quite good too. He’s 16th in strokes gained: total at Muirfield Village.

That may be because Day resides in Columbus, Ohio, and this is his home course. He showed flashes of his former self in two rounds at the Wells Fargo Championship a month ago.

He’s struggled mightily with back issues over the past few years, but he claims he is finally pain free. There’s no question this is a longshot, but I’ll take a chance at this price on the former world number one who won seven times in 15 months.

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