This week the world’s best golfers head to Dublin, Ohio to play Jack’s tournament aka The Memorial from Muirfield Village. Jack Nicklaus helped design the course at Muirfield Village and created this tournament in 1976. Since then it has become one of the premiere non major events on Tour with most of the top golfers in the world coming to play this event year in and year out. Like last week this is an invite only tournament with around 120 golfers in the field and with the cut still being Top 70 and ties, an aggressive approach in lineup construction could be a good idea. Elite golfers have had a lot of success here and with nearly 60% of the golfers in the field making the cut, stars and scrubs lineups are a very viable option this week in GPPs. For cash games taking an aggressive approach is a solid play but I would stop short of a stars and scrubs approach. Like I said earlier, elite golfers usually fair the best here so having multiple golfers under $7,000 could be too risky this week in cash games especially since the field is reduced, which leads to many more lineups with 5/6 or 6/6 through than in a normal full 150+ golfer field. You will need at least 5/6 through to win in cash games this week so digging too deep in the value well could be a recipe for trouble.
Muirfield Village is a 7,392 yard par 72 with four par 3s and four par 5s which are all reachable in two by most golfers. Off the tee golfers will see wide tree lined fairways with deep fairway bunkers and water in play on 11 holes. Golfers that miss these wide fairways will have to deal with thick rough which will make the approach shots into these smallish greens way more difficult. The greens are made from bentgrass and are firm and lightning quick with a stimpmeter rating of 13 or more. Once again water and sand come into play around the greens and the greens themselves are very hilly and undulated. Since the fairways are fairly easy to hit, this course is definitely an approach shot driven course. Finding golfers with good iron play will be key this week.
Looking at the course description above and trends for the course the last few years, a few key stats come to mind. I will be using these stats, current form, and course history to select golfers for my DraftKings lineups this week.
Key Stats For The Course
***In order of importance with the most important first. Not including Strokes Gained Putting (SG:P), which is a key stat every week.
Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SG:T2G):
Looking at the trends from the last ten years SG:T2G and par 4 scoring look like the most important stats for this course. 33/40 golfers that finished Top 3 or better since 2005 were ranked inside the Top 62 in SG:T2G for the specific year they finished Top 3.
Par 4 Scoring (P4):
The par 4s at Muirfield Village are tough but golfers who perform well at par 4s have had an advantage here over the years. Since 2005 34/40 golfers that finished Top 3 or better were ranked inside the Top 62 in P4 for the year they were in the Top 3.
Par 5 scoring (P5):
All the par 5s are reachable in two and the majority of scoring will come from the par 5s this week. 31/40 golfers that finished Top 3 or better since 2005 were ranked inside the Top 68 in P5 for the year they finished Top 3.
Greens in Regulation (GIR):
As stated in the course description this course is a second shot course. Approach shots will be the most important factor on whether a golfer does well or not this week. Hitting greens and getting it close will be key. Looking at proximity stats could be helpful as well.
If golfers miss the fairway they will have to deal with some sizable rough. Add that to the small, undulating, and firm greens, no golfer is going to hit every green in regulation. How a golfer gets it up and down from these misses will play a very important part in deciding the outcome this week.
High End Picks ($9000 and up)
Jason Day ($12,400):
It’s really tough picking a favorite guy from the Top 3 golfers in the field this week but I have to give Jason Day a slight edge over Rory and Spieth. I will be using all three golfers in my 50 or so GPP lineups but I like Day the most. The big stat that jumps out at me between these three golfers is Strokes Gained on Approach (SG:A) shots. Like I said earlier Muirfield Village is a second shot driven course and Day is the best approach player between the three this year. He’s ranked 29th in SG:A while Rory is 62nd and Spieth is 106th. Day does have the worst track record of the three here at Muirfield Village but I can look past that because of the way he has been playing this year. Not much separates these three golfers in terms of skill but Jason Day has looked the sharpest out of the three this year. (GPP only due to his price)
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,600):
Hideki has been on a nice run lately with four straight Top 11 finishes including a 7th at The Masters and another 7th at The Players. He has played Muirfield Village twice winning two years ago and finishing 5th here last year. His stats for the course are elite. He’s 4th in P4, 5th in SG:T2G, 22nd in P5, 11th in GIR, and 60th in Scr. Hideki is my #1 ranked golfer overall and if he can get his flat stick working well on these quick Augusta like greens, he can contend for another victory at Muirfield Village this week. (GPP and cash)
Matt Kuchar ($9,900):
Kuchar seems to be one of my picks every week and it really has payed off recently. In his last five events he has finished 9th, 42nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 6th. He has stated in interviews that he loves playing at Muirfield Village and it really shows in his results. He has made all eight of his cuts here with SEVEN Top 15 finishes, FIVE Top 10 finishes, and a victory here a few years ago. Stat wise he’s 12th in P4, 15th in SG:T2G, 17th in P5, 53rd in GIR, 26th in Scr, and 36th in SG:P. He’s my #2 ranked golfer overall and will be a staple in my cash lineup along with Hideki Matsuyama. (GPP and cash)
Others to look at in this price range:
Dustin Johnson ($10,100)
Bubba Watson ($9,600)
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