Golf

2023 PGA Memorial Tournament Preview: Top Contenders and Matchups

August 22, 2023

This weekend, the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio will be the site of the Memorial Tournament for the 47th consecutive year. After renovations in recent years, the par 72 course measures in at 7,571 yards.

The primary characteristics of Muirfield are the difficulty of its approach and green, so golfers that excel in the short game are likely to fare well this weekend.

That may be even more true given the recent weather trends in Ohio, as the temperature has risen and there hasn’t been heavy rainfall in recent weeks.

Aside from its lengthy tradition, another nice factor about the Memorial Tournament is that it generally draws a robust field thanks to both the purse ($20 million, $3.6 million to first) and its proximity to the U.S. Open.

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Top Contenders

Unsurprisingly, Scottie Scheffler (+650) is the favorite. He’s been in incredible form, with 11 top-10 finishes across his last 15 official PGA tournaments. Given those results, it’s difficult to find a course that doesn’t suit him well, though his style of play is a mixed bag in terms of fit at the Memorial. He ranks first in Greens in Regulation (GIR%) rate (74.1%), but he has been a poor putter relative to the field. At short odds, that’s a significant problem.

That’s particularly true when we compare Scheffler to Jon Rahm (+720). While Rahm has been a bit more inconsistent in his results as compared to Scheffler, he still has four wins in 12 events since the calendar flipped to 2023 with an additional second- and third-place finish.  Then, considering both his strong approach (third in GIR%) and putting (seventh in strokes gained) game, he’s the preferable option among the favorites.

Patrick Cantlay (+1000) has played well, but not to the level of these odds. Instead, that number is likely based on his track record at the Memorial, as he’s won the event on two occasions (2019, 2021) and also had a top-three finish in 2022. We talk about theoretical fits based on stats at our disposal, but Cantlay has proven with his performance that he knows how to stick around and ultimately win this event.

Xander Schauffele (+1300) has been knocking on the door of an outright victory for the last two months. Of his last six entries, he has four top-five finishes and an additional 10th-place showing. He has a well-rounded game that is particularly good in the short and intermediate areas, and on a course that doesn’t require heavy drives, he’s a good fit.

For those looking to bet based on their Buckeye pride, Jason Day (+2500) is the guy to back. The Australian is married to an Ohio native and the couple has a residence in Westerville, Ohio, only miles away from Muirfield. A nice narrative isn’t the only reason to consider Day, however. He checks in with above-average marks in both SG: Approach the Green (22nd) and GIR% (17th). Similarly, his putting isn’t elite, but it’s still superior to the majority of the field, as measured by most metrics.

Tyrell Hatton (+2500) is similarly a strong fit from a skills and odds perspective to Day, though he doesn’t have hometown narrative on his side. He’s had some bumps in the road – he missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open – but has four top-10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments. There’s a path to victory here, so his odds are quite attractive.

Finally, Billy Horschel (+15000) deserves some longshot consideration as the defending champion of the event. He has had an abysmal season, but if there is one positive to his game right now it’s his putting. Even so, a bet on him is akin to a scratch-off ticket — albeit one that we’ve seen pay off in the past.

For more in-depth analysis and odds of all the players in this year’s Memorial Tournament field, check out our PGA Tournament Previews page.

Matchups

In addition to outright betting, Tipico offers matchups between golfers. That’s another fun way to put your golf knowledge to the test, and it eliminates the chances of a dark horse emerging to ruin your perfect picks.

Based on the factors discussed in the outright betting section, some matchups to consider include:

  • Xander Schauffele (-133) over Rory Mcilroy (-107)
  • Jason Day (-111) over Collin Morikawa (-111)
  • Jon Rahm (-105) over Scottie Scheffler (-116)
  • Tyrell Hatton (-133) over Jordan Speith (+112)

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