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PGA Tour Memorial Tournament Betting Preview
The run-up to the U.S. Open really begins this week at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Nicklaus is the founder and host of the event that annually boasts one of the stronger fields on tour.
Need To Know
Jack’s Place is the only venue to host all three of U.S. pro golf’s team match-play showcases – Ryder Cup (1987), Solheim Cup (1998) and Presidents Cup (2013) – and the U.S. Amateur paid a visit in 1992. Muirfield Village averaged -0.102 strokes to par last year, its lowest split in seven years. What's more, it was the hardest par 72 in a non-major in the previous two seasons.
Masters winner Jordan Spieth and Players champion Rickie Fowler join defending champ Hideki Matsuyama atop a lineup that annually ranks as one of the strongest outside the majors or World Golf Championships. Fifteen of this week’s world top 25 are entered. A few big names who aren't: Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson.
Spieth and Fowler seek to build on their big wins earlier this spring, in likely their final starts before the U.S. Open in two weeks. Spieth seeks to become the Tour's first three-time winner of 2015; Fowler looks for his first multiple-win season. Tiger Woods, a five-time Memorial champion, ends a three-week layoff since THE PLAYERS. It’ll be just his fifth start of 2015. Steve Stricker, the 2011 winner, also tees it up for just the fifth time this year following back surgery. Phil Mickelson also is playing but has never won here.
Last year, Hideki Matsuyama earned his first victory outside Japan, forcing a playoff with a birdie at No. 18 and beating Kevin Na with a par on the first extra hole. Matsuyama’s closing birdie gave him a 3-under-par 69 to draw even with Na, who had completed his 64 nearly two hours earlier. Matsuyama became just the second man to win in his first Memorial start. Roger Maltbie was the other, capturing the inaugural edition.
Justin Spieth (13/2): Spieth failed to get it going last week in his hometown event, but he still has five top-2 finishes in 15 starts this season. Spieth finished T-19 a year ago, leads the Tour in scoring average and is second in birdie average.
Dustin Johnson (12/1): D.J. added to his growing reputations as the most talented yet head-scratching player on tour in last week's AT&T Byron Nelson. He recorded four birdies and 13 pars in Sunday's round, but made a messy quadruple bogey on the par-4 sixth hole to knock himself out of contention. The longer hitters usually fare well at Muirfield, and Johnson certainly is that. He has struggled avoiding big numbers at Muirfield Village but has three top 20s in last six trips.
Hideki Matsuyama (18/1): The defending champion has seven top 10s and another five top 25s this season. Ninth in GIR, 10th in scrambling, third in bogey avoidance.
Justin Rose (20/1): The Englishman is the ultimate feast-or-famine fantasy choice at this event. He has missed three cuts over the last seven years, but the other four trips resulted in a win (2010), runner-up (2008) and top-10 finishes in both 2012 and 2013.
Rickie Fowler (20/1): T30 in Ireland last week. Sixth start here; solo second in 2010. Ranks T16 in par-5 scoring.
Matt Kuchar (25/1): : Kuchar has not been much of a factor in his last three starts, but the 2013 champ knows his way around Muirfield Village. Kuchar has made seven starts at this event since 2007 and hasn't finished worse than T-15, with a win and a runner-up finish (2011) among that stretch.
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