PGA Tour best bets: The Memorial Tournament

May 31, 2022 07:37 PM
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Sam Burns shot a 65 on Sunday and finished nearly two hours before the final group, which included World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, before defeating Scheffler in a playoff to win the Charles Schwab Challenge at a price of 30-1. Trailing by seven strokes to begin the final round, Burns was 200-1 at Circa Sports entering Sunday. 

Neither Scheffler nor Burns, now the No. 9 player in the world, are part of this week's field at The Memorial Tournament. However, this tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, always draws a stellar field and this year is no exception. Seven of the OWGR Top 10 and 13 of the top 18 will participate at Muirfield Village just outside of Columbus, Ohio. 

Last year, Jon Rahm (10-1) looked well on his way to winning back-to-back Memorial Tournaments. He held a six-stroke lead at the conclusion of 54 holes. Upon stepping off the 18th green after finishing Saturday's third round, Rahm was informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw. Patrick Cantlay (16-1), the 2019 winner, became a two-time Memorial champion, not Rahm, after he prevailed in a playoff over Collin Morikawa (22-1). Morikawa won at Muirfield Village in a one-off event in 2020 (Workday Charity Open). 

Rory McIlroy (12-1) has contended in both majors this year. Jordan Spieth (20-1) finished seventh last week at Colonial and led the field, along with Scheffler, for Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. Xander Schauffele (20-1) and Cameron Smith (22-1) return after taking last week off. Viktor Hovland (22-1) finished third on this course at the 2020 one-off event. Hideki Matsuyama (28-1) won The Memorial in 2014. 

The Event  

The Memorial Tournament was founded by Nicklaus in 1976 at his home course, Muirfield Village Golf Club. Nicklaus first spoke of wanting to host his own tournament at the 1966 Masters Tournament and eventually made it a reality 10 years later. Nicklaus modeled this event after The Masters, and viewers with a keen eye will notice various similarities between Muirfield Village and Augusta National. As it is at The Masters, tradition is a focal point at The Memorial. The event honors accomplished figures in the game every year. This year's honoree is Ben Crenshaw, the 1984 and 1995 Masters champion and the victorious captain at the 1999 Ryder Cup.

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