The stakes on the PGA Tour are going up again.
How much? Well, this week’s event, the Memorial, has a purse of $12 million with the winner walking away with $2.16 million. Even the runnerup will earn more than a million ($1.3 million to be exact). Add in 550 FedEx Cup points (rather than the usual 500 for most PGA Tour wins) and it’s no wonder anyone and everyone wants to play in this event.
Therein lies the problem as the Memorial is an invitational tournament (one of five on the PGA Tour) and is limited to 120 players.
With that in mind, count on the big stars having an open invitation. The field has seven of the top-10 players in the world rankings so everyone is ready to tee it up for the money and the points.
If you need a little more convincing, check out the fact that the last four winners are currently ranked in the top 25 in the world.
Well, that’s a little misleading as there are really just three winners in the last four tournaments as world No. 6 Patrick Cantlay has won twice (last year and 2019), No. 2 ranked Jon Rahm won in 2020 (and was leading in the final round by six strokes before having to withdraw with COVID) and Bryson DeChambeau, all the way down to 25th after battling injuries for the last few months, won in 2018.
Let’s take a minute or two and see who steps up this week and shakes Jack Nicklaus’ hand after taming The Bear Trap in 2022.
Odds To Win The Memorial (DraftKings)
Jon Rahm +700
Patrick Cantlay +1000
Rory McIlroy +1100
Xander Schauffele +1800
Collin Morikawa +1800
Shane Lowry +2000
Viktor Hovland +2000
Jordan Spieth +2200
Cameron Smith +2200
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Quite The 1-2 Punch…But Look Elsewhere
We’ve already shown that Cantlay and Rahm should just go ahead and build homes on this course as they own this event over the last three years.
The odds back us up as both are in the favored status this week, Rahm at +700 while Cantlay is next at +1000.
Not good numbers if you’re looking to make a big score. Plus, both have been playing roller coaster golf since the calendar changed to 2022–up and down.
Cantlay had a good two-week run at the RBC Heritage (second) and the Zurich Classic (where he teamed up with Xander Schauffele to win). But he had a missed cut at the PGA Championship and this is his first start since then so we’re not sure which Cantlay will show up.
One thing to remember about Cantlay that is sticking with us: Before he won last year, Cantlay had missed cuts in three of his five previous tournaments. This year? He missed the cut at his most recent tournament, the PGA Championship. Keep that nugget handy.
It’s more of the same with Rahm. He won in Mexico the first week of May in a field that wasn’t filled with stars. But that’s his only bright spot since late January when he was T-3 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Add in he was T-48 at the PGA Championship and, like Cantlay, we’re not sure what to expect from him.
Granted, you can’t keep these guys down for long but we’re betting there are players with better odds to back this week.
It’s Time For Rory To Get Back On Track
And that would be Rory McIlroy.
We’ve been on this bandwagon often…sometimes with good results, sometimes with not-so-good results. This time we’re thinking it’s time for McIlroy, at +1100 this week, to get back in the spotlight and back in the winner’s circle.
Sure the odds aren’t the best but we can’t get over the idea he’s still got a lot of great golf left in him. After all, he’s only 33 years old. He won early in the 2021-2022 wraparound season at the limited-field CJ Cup @ Summit in Las Vegas but hasn’t won since.
But it’s not for lack of effort. In his last three outings, he’s been second at the Masters, fifth at the Wells Fargo and eighth at the PGA Championship.
So he’s been right there with the trophy and winner’s check in sight. But in all three events it’s been one nine-hole stretch (or just a couple of holes) that has turned a great tournament into a solid finish.
Not the worst results…but certainly not what we expect from McIlroy. This week that stops.
He’s had four-top 10s at Muirfield Village with a best finish of T-4 in 2016. He’s also got four top-10s in seven starts this season.
He’s right there and there’s no better time than the present to get back in the winner’s circle in preparation for the year’s final two majors.
One For Longshot Bettors
Now we’re not the biggest Patrick Reed fan, but we don’t have to be a fan to hopefully cash a ticket.
At +6500 this week, we like the odds. Granted he’s not having a great year (61stin FedEx Cup ranking and 36th in the world golf rankings) but sometimes things come together for a perfect week.
This might be one of them. Reed is coming off his best finish in 2022, a T-7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and heads into this week’s event on a positive note.
Add in the fact he was solo fifth here last year as well as T-10 two years ago, and this just might just be a perfect storm for him to get back in the winner’s circle.
On The Prop Scene
Collin Morikawa is having a tough stretch…well, at least for him. In his last four outings he’s been mid-pack with a best finish of T-26 at the RBC Heritage Classic. But before this run he had three top-five finishes in five events.
It’s time to get back on track but we’re giving ourselves a little edge. We like him to finish in the top five at +450. He lost to Cantlay in a playoff here last year so he will have a score to settle.
Plus he will be looking for a spot to turn his game around and we think this is it. In fact, don’t overlook him to win at +1800 if you want to be a little bolder.