124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



Fantasy Advice

Memorial Tournament DFS picks 2024: Why it’s Collin Morikawa’s week

June 03, 2024
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 19: Collin Morikawa of the United States reacts after a putt on the first green during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 19, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour hosts another signature event, the iconic Memorial Tournament, a final tune-up for the U.S. Open. The Memorial Tournament has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour since the creation of Muirfield Village in 1974 by Jack Nicklaus, and it remains one of the most recognizable events in golf. Nicklaus’ goal was to create his own version of the Masters in his home state of Ohio, and while nothing will be able to replicate Augusta, Muirfield Village might be the strongest test of professional golf on the regular PGA Tour schedule. Under the 2024 signature model, the Memorial has a field of only 72 players but still feature a cut of the low 50 players and ties, or those within 10 shots of the lead after the completion of the second round.

Muirfield Village Golf Club
Private
Muirfield Village Golf Club
Dublin, OH, United States
4.9
172 Panelists
This is the course that Jack built, and rebuilt, and rebuilt again and again. Since its opening in 1974, Jack Nicklaus has remodeled every hole at Muirfield Village, some more than once, using play at the PGA Tour’s annual Memorial Tournament for some guidance. The most recent renovation in 2020 was one of the most extensive and included the rebuilding of every hole, the shifting of greens and tees, strategic changes to the iconic par 5s and a new, more player-friendly par3 16th. That’s how a championship course remains competitive. But with every change, Nicklaus always made sure the general membership could still play and enjoy the course as well. The latest word is that Nicklaus is still not happy with the 16th hole and has plans for yet another version.
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Coming off a strong PGA Championship performance, Viktor Hovland will return to defend his title, yet he will be challenged by the best that the PGA Tour has to offer, including Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and former champions at Muirfield Village Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay. Muirfield Village should provide a strong indication for which players are in top shape heading into Pinehurst, as both courses strongly test long iron play and around-the-green skill (albeit in different ways). Let’s dive into the DraftKings DFS slate.

$10,000 range

Play: Scottie Scheffler, $12,500:

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Sam Hodde

It’s been a whopping two starts since Scottie Scheffler last tasted victory. It’s safe to say the reigning Masters champion is due. Whether to play Scheffler in DFS is always golf course dependent for me. There are certain tracks where I do believe he is very beatable, yet other tracks that play perfectly into his skill-set and allow him to easily separate. Muirfield Village is the latter, as it remains one of the toughest tee-to-green tests on tour, a blueprint for Scheffler success.

I don’t have any fades among the $10,000-plus options. All four guys and they are all amazing options.

$9,000 range

Play: Collin Morikawa, $9,800:

There’s a lot to love about Collin Morikawa this week, and I’m fairly surprised he isn’t carrying a $10,000 price tag. The two-time major winner has already recorded a win and a runner-up finish at Muirfield Village, and he is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes at the PGA Championship and Charles Schwab Challenge. The ball-striking is beginning to reach peak-Morikawa levels, and his short game has been vastly improved.

Fade: Hideki Matsuyama, $9,000:

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Andrew Redington

Hideki Matsuyama is always a high risk/high reward play, and I’m just not sure the juice is worth the squeeze in this spot. While Matsuyama is a former winner at this event, he has failed to find any form of consistency since his win at the Genesis Invitational in February. Matsuyama still carries too many concerns with the driver and putter to justify this price.

$8,000 range

Play: Matt Fitzpatrick, $8,200:

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David Cannon

This is a wonderful buy-low opportunity on a pedigree player and ideal course fit. Matt Fitzpatrick has already recorded two top-10s in six appearances at Muirfield Village, including a third in 2020 and a ninth last year. The former U.S. Open champion always raises his baseline on long and difficult courses with firm greens and thick rough, and he has actually been playing a lot better than his results would suggest. Even though he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, Fitzpatrick still gained over a stroke in both ball-striking categories.

Fade: Wyndham Clark, $8,900:

While Wyndham Clark had a torrid start to the season, I worry that he is on the wrong side of a good run. Clark has now failed to gain over a stroke on approach in five straight starts, and it appears to be getting worse before it gets better. The reigning U.S. Open champion just lost five strokes on approach at the PGA Championship, good for his worst iron performance of the season. Muirfield Village is statistically the toughest approach course on tour, and I have no interest in paying this price tag for a player in such questionable iron form.

$7,000 range

Play: Will Zalatoris, $7,500:

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David Cannon

I was fairly surprised by this disrespectful price tag on Will Zalatoris this week. Zalatoris already has a top-five finish at Muirfield Village, and he always raises his baseline on longer and more difficult courses with thick rough and firm greens. Coming off another solid approach week at the PGA Championship, Zalatoris feels primed for a strong performance in Ohio.

Fade: Denny McCarthy, $7,600:

I certainly understand the course history angle with Denny McCarthy, but not at this price tag. McCarthy has gained over 16 strokes putting in his last two appearances at Memorial and remains the ultimate course fit outlier. The 31-year-old is significantly behind the eight ball at Muirfield Village due to his lack of ball-striking prowess, and his path to success here is narrow and unsustainable at best.

Flier: Rickie Fowler, $7,000:

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Ross Kinnaird

Don’t look now, but Rickie Fowler is starting to play some much better golf. While the results are not there yet, the ball-striking is really beginning to come around. Fowler is coming off a week at Colonial where he gained four strokes off the tee and 3.8 strokes on approach, his best ball-striking performance of the season by a healthy margin. Now he returns to one of his most comfortable golf courses on tour, where he has recorded eight top-25 finishes, including two runners-up.

$6,000 range

Play: Austin Eckroat, $6,700:

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Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Coming off a disappointing MC at the Charles Schwab Challenge, this is a phenomenal bounce back spot for Austin Eckroat. The recent Cognizant Classic winner finished 30th on debut at the Memorial last year, falling out of contention with a Sunday 77. He still gained strokes in all four major categories, and his game has still improved leaps and bounds in the last 12 months. Eckroat is one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in this field, and a great long iron player as well, two skills that should play beautifully at Muirfield Village.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports