The Memorial Tournament is held yearly just outside of Columbus in Mike Drennen II’s hometown of Dublin, Ohio at the end of May. The tournament was founded by Jack Nicklaus back in 1976 and it is now one of the most popular non-major events of the golf calendar. This year we’re getting a double-dip at Muifield Village Golf Club.
The PGA Tour will be in the middle part of Ohio for the next two weeks and some players are using this weekend to rest up before a bunch of people show up for the Memorial. Thanks to the John Deere Classic being a late scratch, Columbus will be the golf capital of the world over the next two weekends starting off with the first ever Workday Charity Open.
Like we’ve done with every other tournament in post-quarantine world, it’s time to get ready for another weekend of golf but this time the megastar will be missing.
Bryson DeChambeau capped off his torrid run last week in Detroit by shooting a 7-under 65 on Sunday to erase a multi-stroke Matthew Wolff lead and bring home the victory at Detroit Golf Club. It was the 26-year-old’s sixth PGA Tour win and the California native now ranks seventh in the World Golf Rankings and is up to fourth in the FedEx Cup race. There was a bit of drama, but it’s hard to do anything with a guy that’s constantly blasting it 350-plus yards off the tee and just smashing the ball into the green on absurd approach shots.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 4, 2020
DeChambeau has been one of the biggest non-COVID stories in sports the last month or so and he’s delivering every week and a lot of people are starting to pay attention. Even Brooks Koepka is throwing some shade on Twitter.
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) July 7, 2020
He will be missed this weekend, but expect plenty of fireworks when DeChambeau returns after a weekend of doing three-a-days at the gym.
Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff all turned pro at the same time last year with each pulling out a tournament win in a PGA event. There have been some roller coaster moments, but all three appear to be future stars and we’ve seen them play well since the golf restart.
Hovland has finished in the top-25 in all four tournaments he’s played in with consecutive top-15 finishes in Connecticut and Detroit. Morikawa had a runner-up finish where he let a win slip through his fingers in a playoff at the Charles Schwab Challenge and Wolff let go of a 54-hole lead this past weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
These three guys are the future of golf and they’ll all be playing this weekend. There is some pretty good value on each golfer and it is clear at this point they each have the game to win anytime they tee it up. Don’t be surprised if one of them is in the thick of the hunt come Sunday at Muirfield.
Patrick Reed’s Roller Coaster
One of the most notorious players on the PGA Tour won the Masters in 2018 and is currently ranked as a top-10 golfer in the world, but there are a good amount of people who aren’t his biggest fans. The player that was dismissed the the University of Georgia’s golf team has eight tour victories to his name, but there are still people that like to see him struggle.
The last few weeks have been a good time for those in the Pat Reed hater group.
After winning the WGC-Mexico Championship, Reed entered The Players in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida as one of the hottest golfers in the world. However, the return to action after the COVID-19 hiatus has not treated Reed well.
After a top-10 finish at Charles Schwab in Fort Worth, Reed has gone on to miss two cuts with a top-25 finish thrown in at Travelers. It’s been a wild ride and it appears it’s time for him to be trending up after missing another cut last week. Could be a good time to jump on this top-10 player who enters the weekend with 33-1 odds.
To avoid a repeat tournament next week when the golfers return for Memorial, we will see some pretty drastic changes from Muirfield this weekend. Tees will be moved up, a bunch of rough will be eliminated and greens will be slowed down. Therefore, this will be a ball striker’s paradise. Driving and putting won’t be super important, but accuracy on your approach shots will be vital. That is where we will be looking for value.
Marc Leishman currently leads the tour in strokes gained approaching the green, but the Australian has not been good since play resumed. The 16th ranked golfer who has five career PGA Tour victories is currently sitting on 35-1 odds. Betting on him to win could be a stretch, but a top-10 finish could be a solid play.
Justin Thomas enters this weekend as the top dog sitting on 11-1 odds and I believe there is a very good chance that the favorite produces a winner in back-to-back weeks. Thomas ranks fifth in the world and is sixth in strokes gained approaching the tee. After two top-10 finishes, JT missed the cut at Travelers before taking some time off. Entering this weekend recharged and refreshed, look for Thomas to contend on Sunday and be in position to record his 13th PGA Tour victory.