The Memorial Tournament picks 2022: The OTHER comeback story we’re betting on
In an almost genius move, Stephen Hennessey touted Harold Varner III at 55-1 in this column last week, and for much of Sunday that was looking like a strong call. Then, Varner shockingly imploded so badly that he failed to even finish in the top 20. Betting on golf is certainly not for the faint of heart.
But there’s no time to dwell during this prime stretch of pro golf. From Southern Hills we went to Colonial, two iconic venues, and now we roll on to a third straight top-tier venue: Muirfield Village, host of Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.
Historically, this event has produced elite winners, Patrick Cantlay (x2) and Jon Rahm (almost x2) being the latest examples. However, longshots who can cook with their irons have had their moments at Muirfield in the not-so-distant past, too. Jason Dufner, William McGirt and David Lingmerth have all picked up a win at this tournament in the past eight years, which is a wild sentence to type.
As a result, our experts are constructing cards starting with an elite player at the top and leaving room for some bombs toward the bottom of the odds board.
Scroll down to see our picks and complete analysis for who we like this week at the 2022 Memorial Tournament.
The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Will Zalatoris (30-1, DraftKings) — This ain’t a bold call. The guy battled all weekend at the PGA and nearly bagged a big one. Plus, it seemed like he figured out his putting a bit more at Southern Hills. This place makes it easy—get your line right, and you’ll make confident strokes. This is within reach for Willy Z.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Collin Morikawa (18-1, DraftKings) — Morikawa at a Jack Nicklaus-designed course? Yes please. Especially behind the overall favorites. Hopefully he remembers how to putt this week.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Xander Schauffele (17-1, FanDuel) — There are no holes in Schauffele’s game, and that’ll help at Muirfield Village, where he has three straight top-15 results. He’s quietly playing great golf under the radar—as usual.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Jon Rahm (+800, DraftKings) — The forced WD last year with a six-shot lead for Rahm was devastating and one of the most talked about storylines of 2021. While everyone remembers that, they don’t seem to remember that Rahm was on the verge of successfully defending his 2020 victory. That means that over the last seven rounds at Muirfield Village, Rahm has gained 38.71 strokes to the field, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. That’s a staggering number that no one else can even sniff. It’s “Rahm Revenge” week
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Viktor Hovland (24-1, FanDuel) — Hovland was third in total driving last week, and his irons are elite. The only concern is that his short game costs him here … but this number is too enticing not to jump on with his off-the-tee strengths.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Patrick Reed (65-1, DraftKings) — Reed already sucked me back in with strong performances at the PGA and at Colonial, but what really sucked me in (other than the juicy odds) is that he quietly has excellent history at Muirfield Village. His last two trips have resulted in a fifth and 10th-place finishes, and he’s made the cut in all four of his other appearances at the Memorial, too. He said himself last week that while the scores haven’t shown it, his game has been in better shape than anyone has realized. Hopefully this is the week it all clicks.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Jordan Spieth (22-1, DraftKings) — Spieth comes into this event with notable finishes of seventh, second and first in his last four events. Spieth’s razor-sharp approach and around-the-green game means he also ranks sixth in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking at Muirfield.
Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.
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The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Luke List (180-1, DraftKings) — Guys on tour have a lot more respect for List than the oddsmakers do, apparently. List is elite off the tee, and he had his irons going earlier in the season. If the irons click a little bit, he’s a threat to win.
Mayo: Mito Pereira (45-1, DraftKings) — Mito rebounded very nicely after the collapse at the PGA Championship and has proven himself to be a legit threat every time the difficulty of a course gets patched up a notch. Muirfield Village should play pretty tough, and Mito’s bogey avoidance in combination with elevated GIR rate is a perfect mix for this layout.
Gdula: Chris Kirk (65-1, FanDuel) — Kirk is one of the best tee-to-green golfers in the entire field and is coming off of a 26th here last year. If the putter shows up, he’s a high-upside golfer.
Gehman: Brendan Steele (150-1, DraftKings) — After a slump from the Sony Open to the Honda Classic, Steele has broken out. He’s made six straight cuts and has earned two top 10s in his last three starts. The advanced metrics look great for Steele who has gained strokes off-the-tee in nine straight events and he’s gained multiple strokes on approach in four of his last five. His ability to win will rely on his putter, but he can find the first page of the leaderboard without the flat stick.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Mito Pereira (45-1, DraftKings) — Mito’s got the perfect recipe for success at Muirfield Village: He has been top 10 in total driving over the past two weeks, and he’s fifth in SG/approach over the past 12 rounds, per Fantasy National. The only concern is that he’s burnt out … but he’s also 25 years old, so I’m willing to bet on the upside.
Powers, Golf Digest: Abraham Ancer (80-1, DraftKings) — Ancer was a wildly popular play last week and he subsequently missed the cut. Naturally, everyone will now ignore him. I’m willing to go right back to him at this 80-1 number. He’s only two weeks removed from an impressive top 10 at Southern Hills and if there was one positive to take from Colonial it’s that he finally had a good week around the greens. If he can replicate the approach performance from the PGA (Ancer gained 4.6 strokes with his irons that week), he’ll be a factor in Ohio.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Mito Pereira (45-1, DraftKings) — Pereira’s seventh-place finish last week showed that his PGA Championship near miss was neither a fluke nor resulted in any long lasting scar tissue. The Chilean ranks fourth in this field for SG/total over the last two months and first for Opportunities Gained over the same period. He also ranks fifth in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week.
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The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)
Caddie: Cameron Smith (19-1, FanDuel) — The Aussie gets in too much trouble off the tee, which he can recover from on most weeks with his brilliant iron play. But here? No good, which is also what his results here are.
Mayo: Xander Schauffele (16-1, DraftKings) — Is this a no-cut event, played in teams, or with Stableford scoring? No? Then I’ll take a pass on the outright victory.
Gdula: Matt Fitzpatrick (28-1, FanDuel) — There are a ton of big names in this field, and while Fitz can get in the mix among them, the historical lack of upside gives me little interest in going there this week.
Gehman: Max Homa (40-1, DraftKings) — It pains me to put Homa here but it’s really a testament to the strength of this field. Over the last 50 rounds, Homa’s long short-coming has been around-the-green – where he’s lost 0.30 strokes per round. He’s lost three-plus strokes around-the-green in three of his last five starts and that worries me considering Muirfield Village has some of the most difficult short-game areas on tour.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Cameron Smith (19-1, FanDuel) — He’s always struggled at Muirfield Village, and it’s actually a tougher off-the-tee test post-renovation. This is not the course for his wildness off the tee.
Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Young (40-1, DraftKings) — This pains me because I’ve bet Cam Y numerous times this season and, sadly, have not reaped the rewards. If I miss out this week I’ll be an emotional wreck, but I can’t stomach this 40-1 number when he was just at 90-1 in an equally-tough field at Southern Hills. He’s earned this respect, that’s for sure.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Cameron Smith (19-1, FanDuel) — I truly believe Smith is one of the best players in the world right now, but Muirfield Village is not the place that brings out his best game. His very average off-the-tee game means he ranks just 64th in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week. In fact, in six visits here to Muirfield Village he has never finished higher than 65th.
The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: Matchups
Caddie: Ryan Palmer (-115) over Cameron Tringale (DraftKings) — Palmer’s off-the-tee game is a weapon, which is why he played in the final group here with Jon Rahm in 2020. Tringale can get very wayward off the tee … so I think Palmer has a huge edge in this one.
Mayo: Cameron Smith (-110) over Jordan Spieth (DraftKings) — Spieth has been excellent recently, but we witnessed a downturn in his irons a week ago, and if that doesn’t rebound, he’ll have to rely on the elite short game again. Something he can do, it’s just not predictable week-to-week. Smith? He’s having an elite tee-to-green run right now but just can’t putt. That’s going to flip very soon. Probably this week.
Gdula: Jordan Spieth (-108) over Collin Morikawa (FanDuel) — The data is close overall between the two, yet it’s Spieth with a big advantage around the green. I’ll take that as a coin flip win between the two.
Gehman: Daniel Berger (-110) over Corey Conners (DraftKings) — Berger has been battling injury and poor play but there’s some evidence that he’s finding his stride. He finished T-23 last week and was back to gaining strokes in both ball-striking categories. He’s certainly struggled with the putter, but he’s historically a positive golfer with the flat stick. I’m willing to be early on Berger.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Jordan Spieth (-110) over Cameron Smith (DraftKings) — I’ll take the reversal on Mayo here. Smith’s actually 101st in this field over the past 12 rounds in SG/off the tee, per Fantasy National. Though he’s turned into one of the best iron players in the world, I think he’ll just be in the rough here too many times to rely on him in a matchup against Spieth, whose ball-striking has been nearly as good.
Powers, Golf Digest: Will Zalatoris (+100) over Hideki Matsuyama (DraftKings) — Been making a living off these even money matchups between elites. Let’s keep that train rolling with Willy Z over Deki, who has elite course history but is coming off his worst result since early fall. Zalatoris, meanwhile, has already shown an uncanny ability to quickly bounce back from a missed cut.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Jordan Spieth (-110) over Cameron Smith (Bet365) — As you can see above, Spieth is my favorite to win because of his course fit and current form. Smith on the other hand has never finished better than 65th here in six attempts.
Matchup Results from the Charles Schwab Challenge: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Spieth (-139) over Morikawa); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Hovland (-110) over Zalatoris); Powers: 1 for 1 (Palmer (+100) over McNealy); Gdula: PUSH (Homa (-112) over Berger; Mayo: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1; Alldrick: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 20-6-4 (up 13.28 units); Caddie: 18-11-2 (up 5.82 units); Powers: 17-11-3 (up 5.76 units); Alldrick: 17-13-1 (up 1.61 units); Gdula: 14-16-1 (down 2.89 units); Gehman: 13-14-4 (down 2.08 units); Hennessey: 14-16-1 (down 5.73 units)
The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: Top 10s
Caddie: Aaron Wise (+650, FanDuel) — As long as his noggin’s OK after Cam Smith’s wayward drive, he should be back to driving it great and hitting stellar irons … the recipe to success at Muirfield Village.
Mayo: Will Zalatoris (+275, DraftKings) — Maybe he’s getting tired? It’s been a lot of golf for Will Z. However, a course where players have won despite losing strokes on the greens is a great spot for his breakthrough.
Gdula: Aaron Wise (+650, FanDuel) — Wise had a top-10 here last year with plus strokes gained data in all four categories. The upward trend in his stats is really promising for another top-10 here this year.
Gehman: Matt Kuchar (+550, DraftKings) — Kuchar and Muirfield Village go together like peanut butter and jelly. Since 2008, Kuchar has gained 2.28 strokes per round over 46 rounds. That’s the best mark of any golfer in this field with at least 21 rounds played. It’s not just course history for Kuchar – he enters with six consecutive cuts made with four top-16 finishes during that run.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Joaquin Niemann (+390, FanDuel) — Niemann’s got the elite off-the-tee game, elite irons and stellar short game to contend … and we saw what he’s capable of doing at Riviera on a long, tough golf course.
Powers, Golf Digest: Sungjae Im (+300, DraftKings) — In his first start since the RBC Heritage (COVID-related absence), Sungjae Im promptly threw up a top-15 finish at Colonial. So we know there’s no rust factor. Even before his absence he was finding form, too, with a top 10 at the Masters and a T-21 at Harbour Town. His limited history at Muirfield Village is not good (three starts, two missed cuts, one 57th-place finish), but I’m going to fade that noise and trust that his +9.4 tee-to-green performance from last week is a sign he’s ready to peak soon.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Kuchar (+600, BetMGM) — Kuchar comes into this event ranked seventh in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months. His solid putting on Bentgrass greens plus his solid around the green game means he also ranks 16th in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking. It’s not surprising then that Kuchar has previous notable finishes here at Muirfield Village of fourth, fourth and first.
Top-10 results from the Charles Schwab Challenge: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Kevin Na +550); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Tony Finau +350); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Alldrick: 10 for 31 (up 33.3 units); Powers: 10 for 31 (up 29.05 units); Mayo: 5 for 30 (up 0.05 units); Gehman: 6 for 31 (down 0.3 units); Caddie: 7 for 31 (down 10.6 units); Hennessey: 6 for 31 (down 5.28 units); Gdula: 2 for 31 (down 23.6 units)
The Memorial Tournament 2022 picks: One and Done
Gehman: Will Zalatoris — Can you really blame Zalatoris for missing the cut after an emotional PGA Championship week that ended with him losing a playoff to Justin Thomas? I’m willing to forgive quickly. Zalatoris has four top-six finishes in his last six starts and he won’t flinch against a deep field on a tough golf course.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Patrick Cantlay. Mexico Open: Aaron Wise. Wells Fargo: Matt Fitzpatrick. AT&T Byron Nelson: Justin Thomas. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Max Homa.
Hennessey: Jon Rahm — I won’t use him at the U.S. Open nor the British, so if you have Rahm, I think it’s a worthwhile use of him this week with a huge purse.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas. RBC Heritage: Russell Henley. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Troy Merritt. AT&T Byron Nelson: Jhonattan Vegas. PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler. Charles Schwab Challenge: Jordan Spieth.
Powers: Patrick Reed — Usually like to mix up my outright pick and my OAD, but I’m feeling too good about Reed this week. The recent form and the course history combo are impossible to ignore.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Matt Fitzpatrick. Mexico Open: Abraham Ancer. Wells Fargo: Keegan Bradley. AT&T Byron Nelson: Sahith Theegala. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Tommy Fleetwood.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.