Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM
The Memorial Prop Picks and Predictions
The second straight week at Muirfield Village for the PGA Tour means I get a shot at redemption after last week's prop plays stunk out the joint.
If you get involved in golf betting for long enough, there will be weeks where your read is just completely off and there isn't a whole lot to do but eat the losses.
There is always next week though, and for a sport that typically tees it up for 10-11 months out of the year, “next week” tends to come up awfully fast.
- Picks and Predictions
- Betting Odds
- Tour: PGA
- Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020 to Sunday, July 19, 2020
- Venue: Muirfield Village Golf Club
- Location: Dublin, Ohio
- Par-Yardage: 72, 7,392 yards
- TV: Golf Channel, CBS
Top PGA Tour
Prop Picks and Predictions
Odds per DraftKings
Subject to Change
A much better field this time around does enable us to put some coin behind more consistent (and better) players at solid prices, and hopefully better results follow.
All three guys I touched on in this piece previewing the week are well worth Top 20 wagers at worst given that they are all plus money to do so – Webb Simpson +125, Gary Woodland +163, and Jason Day +225 for Top 20 finishes – but it will be a few other names that hit this week's prop plays.
Let's get right to it.
Top 40 Finish – Yes
Tony Finau -120
Kevin Kisner +138
Finau and Kisner were two of the last names on the chopping block for the outright piece this week, and part of the thinking behind those late cuts was that this 40-place cushion for both feels like the better option. Both guys skipped on playing here last week which may end up being good or bad in the end, but ultimately their market value is probably a little lower than where it probably should be.
Kisner took a week off after finishing 3rd in Detroit two weeks ago, and it was in that event that he really had his approach game dialed in. Kisner gained just over a stroke on the field in the approach game for that week, and while Muirfield Village is undoubtedly a tougher venue, Kisner's tee-to-green game has been quite solid for a couple of years now.
Kisner's history at this event over the past six years of playing here is a bit of a mixed bag with two missed cuts, two Top 10's, and finishes of 41st and 46th. Obviously only a third of those results would cash this play this week, but I'm willing to take that chance and back him to sneak inside that Top 40 placing.
Finau is a guy that's got better course history here ver the past five years, even with him missing the cut at the 2019 Memorial event. But for the four years prior to that, Finau never finished outside of 40th, and three of those four finishes were 13th or better.
Those years that saw him finish in those Top 13 spots had Finau finding ways to be in the positives in the majority of Strokes Gained categories that matter, and maybe this is the tournament where he does finally break through with a huge win against a quality field. The Memorial Tournament has done similar things for the past two champions – Cantlay and Dechambeau, and Finau's long been thought of as one of those “next” guys that just needs another win or two under his belt to take that next step.
His inability to win in these spots in the past makes backing him outright a little tougher to do, but with the cushions that these placement props give you, Finau tends to be a much better play in that regard.
To Make Cut – No
Tiger Woods +185
Cameron Champ +110
I have held off on some of these Miss Cut props in previous weeks because nobody wants to really hear about “bad” things happening, let alone bet on them occurring. All we have to do is look around at what 2020 has brought the world in general though to know that bad things happen all the time. Heck, the general investment strategy of the two younger guys in the movie “The Big Short” was to back bad things happening so that when they were wrong they lost a little, but when they were right they hit big. Tiger's missed cut odds this week are far from hitting it big, but it's still a play that does make sense to me on multiple levels. But I'll start with the arguments against this play as I know they'll be the first defense bettors will bring up.
Tiger Woods has never missed a 36-hole cut at the Memorial in his career – 17 tries – and the only time he didn't have a Sunday tee time in all those years was the first time he placed the event in 1997 when he was cut after 54 holes. For course history guys, backing Tiger to miss the cut this week seems ludicrous from that perspective.
However, Tiger's far from the same dominant golfer he was back in his prime, and cut lines are also tighter with no more 54-hole cuts and just the Top 65 and ties advancing to the weekend. He's not played a “real” competitive round of golf since The Genesis Invitational back in mid-February, and that outing had quite an ugly end to it with weekend scores of 76-77 to finish dead last of those who did make the cut.
That's nearly five full months of not being on Tour though, and I don't care who you are, there is going to be some rust to shake off with that sort of layoff. Even with Muirfield Village being a course he knows very well and one he's had more success at than anyone else, I'm not sure how you can trust him to be near his best after that layoff, especially since his last two competitive rounds were as ugly as they were. All it takes is for a few shots to find the rough for a stretch of holes to get that bogey train fired up and going full steam ahead.
So in his 18th time at Jack's event, I'll be the party pooper that hopes to see Woods' return to the Tour be a short, two-day excursion. I can't imagine there is all the internal motivation for him at an event he's won more than anyone, especially with his likely next start being a Major, and he himself could be looking at this week as one where he does shake the rust off before heading out for the PGA Championship in a few weeks.
With how deep this field is overall, and all of those other great players being active on Tour for multiple weeks, I'll take the near 2-1 price that Tiger ends up being one of the odd men out of weekend play.
Concerning Cameron Champ, he did play at Muirfield Village last week and finished like Tiger did in his last start at the Genesis – last place of those to make the cut. More importantly though, Champ lost strokes to the field in approach in every single round last week, and had it not been for a hot putter those first two days – especially on Friday – a missed cut would have been the end result (he made the cut on the number).
With the course likely to play tougher this week, and again, the depth of the field being what it is, Champ has no shot at making the weekend if he puts up similar numbers in the approach game again. Statistically, Champ looks more and more like nothing more than the prototypical 'bomber' in the game, and when he can't go out and overpower a golf course, he ends up struggling. That's not how guys succeed here, and given that in his two career appearances at Muirfield Village he's had a missed cut (last year at Memorial) and made the cut on the number, plus money on him falling short of a weekend tee time is a relatively easy wager to get behind.