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The Memorial Tournament Tips & Predictions: Six against the field in Jack's house

Gary Woodland features amongst our tips & predictions for the Memorial Tournament.
Gary Woodland features amongst our tips & predictions for the Memorial Tournament.

The PGA Tour returns this week with The Memorial from Muirfield Village in Ohio and our man Russell Palmer has another six golf tips for this week's tournament...

There's a feeling of de ja vu this week as the PGA Tour stays at Muirfield Village for a second consecutive week for The Memorial Tournament. Whilst the course is the same and a good chunk of the field will have lined up in last week's Workday Charity Open, we have four of the top ten golfers making a reappearance this week plus a particular big cat in the shape of Tiger Woods.

Collin Morikawa was the splendid winner of last week's event here, winning in a play-off with favourite Justin Thomas to land his second PGA Tour title in just 24 starts.

I won't dwell on it too much and it wasn't too bad a week for my picks with Vikto Hovland finishing third when put up at 25/1 each way in last week's column whilst 60/1 poke Kevin Streelman took some place money finishing in a tie for seventh.

Neither player really got it going in their final round, Streelman shooting a level par 72 whilst Hovland, despite a bright start, couldn't keep up pace with Morikawa who started the day a shot behind him.

Followers of this column will know that I like to look at both course form and recent form and Morikawa coming off his first ever missed cut on the Tour the one and only time I tip him, I completely overlooked him last week and feel rather silly as a result.

With his putting solid but not spectacular I was put off including the American last week in what I thought would be a bit of a shootout.

Onto this week and although its the same course I'm not expecting the scoring to be as good.

The greenskeepers at Muirfield Village won't be cutting the rough this week and we can expect the small greens to be firmed and fastened, so I'll be looking at past form here along with shots gained tee to green, GIR and scrambling as the metrics.

Golf Odds
The Memorial At A Glance

The Market Leaders

Bryson DeChambeau returns from a week off and lines up as favourite following his win in Detroit a fortnight ago. He was mightily impressive that week but best price 10/1 favourite in a far stronger field here, he looks pretty short in the betting.

Justin Thomas lost in last week's play-offs when going off favourite and he's an 11/1 shot this week, again looking pretty short given there could be some mental chinks following his final round, which included bogeys in two of his three opening holes and two of his finishing two.

Rory McIlroy played his way to a tie for 11th at the Travelers before taking the last couple of weeks off and at 14/1 he's the biggest price yet from the four tournaments he's played in since returning.

Other recent winners Dustin Johnson (18/1) and Webb Simpson (28/1) make a return this week in what is a really strong field.

Winning prices in the five events so far have indicated that cream is rising to the top, so this week I'll be predominantly looking at players in the top quarter of the betting, with a couple of bigger priced selections for those who like some each-way value.

Hovland can emulate Morikawa
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I'm going to put up Viktor Hovland to have another big week.

The Norweigan has played all five of the events since the return to action just over a month ago, finishing 23rd, 21st, 11th, 12th and last week 3rd.

The nagging doubt I have is his price, 22/1 this week with Bryson, Rory, DJ all introduced ahead of him in the betting and the likes of Patrick Cantlay, a 16/1 chance this week and last year's winner here who will surely come on for last week's seventh place finish, thanks to a stunning final round 65.

The main reason I'm sticking with Hovland this week is just how phenomenally consistent he's been since the return, a birdie machine without even putting that well. His score of 273 last week, equated to another 15 shots under par to add to the -49 he was for the four tournaments prior.

Hovland carded 24 birdies and an eagle here last week averaging two shots worse than the shots gained average for putting! He's putting himself in the right positions and I'm hoping it's all going to click this week.

Hovland is eight months younger than Morikawa but looking for his second Tour win this week in five less professional starts than the American.

Woodland playing his way into form
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Next up I'm looking at Gary Woodland at 45/1 with William Hill who are paying eight places.

Last year's US Open winner has done the opposite of Bryson DeChambeau during lockdown in terms of losing weight instead of gaining, but it hasn't affected his length, still ranking in the top 20 for driving distance.

Woodland finished in a tie for fifth place last week with rounds of 73, 68, 66 and 69 with his putter doing the damage. Usually pretty accurate off the tee, I'm banking on his sorting out his driving this week having had a dreadful 30% driving accuracy last week, less than half his season average. He made his shots up with the putter, gaining half a shot on the field with the flat-stick.

Woodland has two top-10 finishes in his four events back plus another couple of top tens in his last nine outings in The Memorial.

At 45/1 he looks a sporting price each-way.

Masters Betting
Past winners and odds this week
Ancer under the radar
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Another at a similar price who I think has gone under the radar this week is Abraham Ancer at odds of 50/1 with Hills.

The Mexican has taken the last couple of weeks off but played his first three tournaments back in 44 under par with 14th, 2nd and 11th placed finishes.

Stats wise Ancer is hitting all the right notes. He ranks top 12 for shots gained: approach the green, SG: tee to green and shots gained in total and he'll come here full of confidence.

Like I say, if he hadn't had a couple of weeks break I think his price would have been at least ten points shorter in the betting and 50/1 makes for a sporting price.

We need to talk about Kevin
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Hovland rewarded each-way backers last week as did my next selection Kevin Streelman. The 60/1 chance a week ago finished in a tie for seventh despite a level par final round of 72, which involved just one birdie.

In fact, Streelman, who finished on 11 under par only shot one round in the sixties all week and like Hovland ranked a couple of shots worse than the average for shots gained putting. His driving accuracy for the week was 85%, which was second behind only Jerry Kelly (89%) all week.

Streelman's tie for seventh was his second consecutive top ten finish having finished second at the Travelers three weeks ago and simply loves it at Memorial, with three top ten finishes in his last nine visits including a fourth place here 12 months ago.

At 70/1 the American is ten points bigger than last week's price despite the top ten finish and he looks a value play each-way with those books offering eight places.

Another American with some course form to speak of is Kevin Kisner who is a big price this week at 90/1 with William Hill.

Kisner has two top ten finishes in his last five visits and is coming off the back of a third place in Detroit on his last start.

The 36 year old has a good all round game and ranks top 25 for such stat metrics as driving accuracy, scrambling and sand save percentage, which should hold him in good stead this week with bunkers surrounding the small greens.

Keegan would love it if he beats them, love it
Odds are currently not available for this event

For a longshot this week I'm chancing my arm with Keegan Bradley to sneak a place at 175/1 with Betfred who are paying seven places. The major winner is another who has struggled on the greens but I'm hoping he's got his eye in with the extra week's practice at the Workday Charity Open.

Bradley's tee to green game is pretty solid but he's never really recovered from having to stop using the belly putter a few years ago. Finishing in the top 40 last week, Bradley had 15 birdies but only finished four under par for the week. If he can eradicate some of the silly mistakes leading to bogeys he looks a sporting chance at where he recorded back to back top-10 finishes in 2015 and 2016.

As ever, good luck with your betting and please make sure you gamble responsibly.

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