Before we get started on this week’s preview, as always, BeerLife Sports is big on transparency in sports handicapping, so let’s take a look back at our Charles Schwab Challenge results.
Last Week’s Results
We had a decent week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, with all three of our leading picks and our ‘others to follow’ selection making the cut. All four players played steady enough golf, but they all fell behind early and struggled to get involved at the top end of the leaderboard. Ancer and Morikawa did best as they finished tied for 14th on five under par.
Connors appeared in the best shape to battle his way into the top ten heading into the final round, but he fell away tamely to finish tied for 20th, which was still a respectable finish. Zalatoris finished tied for 59th as he struggled to get a run going throughout the tournament. The eventual winner was Kokrak, who defied the odds to beat Jordan Spieth, who was the leader going into the final round.
This week we head to Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial, so let’s get stuck in and look at the history of the tournament.
The History of The Memorial Tournament
When you think of the Memorial, it’s hard not to think of Tiger Woods. Woods has dominated this tournament, winning the championship an unprecedented five times!
Woods first lifted the trophy in 1999; his last victory at the Memorial was 13 years later in 2012. Unfortunately for Tiger 13 has been unlucky for him as he hasn’t claimed a victory or come close to winning since. Last year’s tournament was taken by Jon Rahm, who was a comfortable winner over Ryan Palmer, claiming a three-stroke victory.
It was a significant win for the Spaniard as it propelled him to the number one ranking in the world. Rahm finished nine under, which was the lowest winning score since Tiger Woods’s last win back in 2012. However, it could have been so much better as Rahm shot a 75 in his final round.
Let’s look at the past five winners and their form leading heading into the tournament to see if we can pick up on any key stats to build our Beerlife profile.
2020 – John Rahm -9 (Form 27-37-33-CUT)
2019 – Patrick Cantley -19 (Form 3-CUT-3-9)
2018 – Bryson DeChambeau -15 (Form 42-37-4-3)
2017 – Jason Dufner -13 (Form CUT-13-60-5)
2016 – William McGirt – 15 (Form 47-43-17-37)
Analyzing these past winners’ rounds, it’s clear that, on average, the final round has been their worst rounds, so if you’re not up in the standings after the third round, the chances are you are not likely to be in the hunt. The odds of a final day mighty rise seem unlikely.
The Memorial is played at the Muirfield golf club in Ohio, also known as the house that Jack built as Jack Nicklaus designed it. It’s a par 72 course. John Huston holds the course record when he shot 61 in 1996. The course has been redesigned since last year’s tournament, and it will be interesting to see what effect it has on the previous winners.
Good approach and iron play are a must around here as most of the greens are heavily guarded by sand and water. It will help to be accurate off the tee to set up some perhaps slightly easier second shots to these problematic greens. Looking at the past winners, it would suggest being a long hitter is beneficial, and while that is true to a certain degree, it’s not as critical as the former two traits: good approach and iron play.
The forecast looks wet for the opening day of this championship, and with rain the day before, it could pay to go out late on the first day as the weather should clear up and dry out the greens slightly, especially given a lot of the work done last year was in regard to better irrigation. The remainder of the tournament should be dry and pleasant.
The Memorial Tournament Field
The field will consist of six former winners, including the previous five. Another couple of big names teeing off this year will be Rory McIlroy, who rediscovered his form recently, and Justin Thomas. Padraig Harrington rolled back the years recently to finish fourth at the PGA Championship, and he will line up in this year's field.
Seven of the world's top ten have put their name in the hat, proving what a high-profile tournament the Memorial is. And it's no wonder with 550 FedEx Cup Points on offer. It's a chance for someone to make a move in trying to catch Bryson DeChambeau.
Regular readers will notice this is a new section to the article as we try to become ever more transparent in our picks. We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
- Four of the previous five winners all had at least four top-ten finishes before lifting this coveted trophy.
- Three of the last five winners all had a 37th placed finish leading up to the tournament.
- As mentioned, many of the past winners have led from the front, so we are keen to find players that have started well recently.
- Two of the previous three winners finished 3rd at the Heritage before entering and winning around here.
- Solid iron play, linking to strokes gained, tee-to-green
- Driving accuracy and, in particular, fairways hit percentage
Fantasy Draft Picks
After looking at the above data and running the field through our BeerLife Sports profile builder, we have selected the following picks. As you will notice, the format has changed slightly this week to help look at different angles of building your lineups.
Must-Have Players – these players may cost a bit more but trying to fit them into your team is vital.
|Odds to Win +1800|
|Draft Kings $10,400|
|Yes, we’re sticking with Morikawa as we feel another win is close, and he fits the profile better than any other player this week. He has one of the best averages before the cut, so he should make a solid start for us, he is ranked number one on tour for tee-to-green, and he has five top-ten finishes to his name this season.|
|Odds to Win +1100|
|Draft Kings $11,100|
|It's hard to ignore the form that the reigning champion brings to the Memorial. He has ten top-ten finishes, which is more than anyone on tour, and he has arguably the best approach game around.|
The Steady Eddies – These are middle-of-the-road players who should give a solid account of themselves.
|Odds to Win +12500|
|Draft Kings $7,300|
|Kizzire offers the most value this week. He ranks fourth on tour for his scoring average before the cut, which has led to five top-ten finishes this season.|
|Odds to Win +5000|
|Draft Kings $8,000|
|Bradley certainly has the iron game to navigate his way around this course, and with four top-ten finishes this year, he brings decent form into the championship.|
Long Shots – These guys will offer the most value as they won’t cost you much but could return a tidy score.
|Odds to Win +20000|
|Draft Kings $6,700|
|Werenski is most certainly overpriced, and he follows in the footsteps of Rahm, DeChambeau, and McGirt in that he has a recent 37th placed finish. He also has a couple of top-ten finishes this season, and you feel he has a big championship in him this year.|
|Odds to Win +20000|
|Draft Kings $6,500|
|Like Werenski, Rodgers has a 37th placed finish coming at the Wells Fargo Championship a few weeks back. He is worth a look at a hefty price.|
*The ActionNetwork provides all odds.
I'd love to get your feedback on my analysis, my picks, your own thoughts, and who you might be drafting this week into your fantasy golf lineup for the Memorial. Comments welcome below.