Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Bet this horse for the course not named Patrick Cantlay
After picking off five winners in six events, the panel has cooled off at the PGA Championship and the Charles Schwab Challenge. Brooks Koepka was an unacceptable miss. Emiliano Grillo? That one was a bit unexpected.
This week, though, we’re back on that elevated-event grind. It’s the type of week where you don’t have to scroll past the 35- to 40-1 range to find the winner. Save for Wyndham Clark at the Wells Fargo, it’s been all elite players all the time in these major-like tournaments.
Our experts believe this week will be no different, though they’re not thinking of the top-of-the-board star everybody else is thinking of.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2023 Memorial Tournament.
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Jon Rahm (+750, BetMGM) — A buddy of mine was paired with Rahm at Oak Hill. He said he couldn’t believe how many putts seemed to burn the edges. The strokes-gained data backs that up—he lost strokes to the field on the green in three of the four rounds but gained more than three in the ball-striking categories. Muirfield Village is a good place to get the mojo going—and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t contend for Win No. 5 of 2023.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Hideki Matsuyama (30-1, DraftKings) — Deki’s numbers were insanely good at Oak Hill … except with the putter. Good news is, not only is he familiar with the greens at Muirfield Village, where he’s won and picked up two other top-six finishes, but a hot putting week isn’t required to win at Memorial. Case in point, Jason Dufner winning here. The former Masters winners can ball strike his way into contention on Sunday and then we just need one or two putts to fall late.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Sungjae Im (35-1, FanDuel) — I’m going back to Im this week at a course that doesn’t demand driving distance. His SG/approach numbers are jacked up due to some water balls, and he still nearly made the cut a week ago. The long-term data says the value is there for Im.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Patrick Cantlay (10-1, DraftKings) — Over the last 36 rounds, Cantlay has gained 2.19 strokes per round from tee-to-green. That’s second to only Scottie Scheffler during that period, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. Now he goes to Muirfield Village where he’s been nothing short of spectacular. He’s won this event twice in the last four years and has four top-four finishes in his last five trips.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Collin Morikawa (25-1, PointsBet) — Morikawa’s ball-striking continues to be red-hot—he’s gained nearly 24 strokes to the field in the ball-striking categories in five measured starts since the Masters, per RickRunGood.com. We know he loves Muirfield Village, evidenced by his win at the Workday event in 2020. It’s time the ultra-talented 26-year-old ends this long win drought.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Tyrrell Hatton (25-1, BetMGM) — Over the last five seasons, this event has gone to the most complete player in the field, which should lead me to a choice between Scottie Scheffler or Jon Rahm. But I’d argue that Tyrrell Hatton has been right there with them since February, boasting seven top-20 finishes in his last 11 starts. During that stretch he’s gained nearly six strokes tee-to-green on average, and he’s been in the green in every major SG category in each of his last three starts. The only thing missing during this run is a win, and while Scheffler and Rahm will more than likely be there on Sunday, I like the fiery Englishman’s chances at staring them down at this price.
Andy Lack, RickRunGood.com and Inside Golf podcast: Hideki Matsuyama (40-1, BetMGM) — Already with one victory under his belt at Muirfield Village, Hideki Matsuyama is in a prime position to contend again at Jack’s place. The former Masters champion is coming off a 29th at the PGA Championship where he gained 1.9 strokes off the tee, 4.1 strokes on approach, and 4.5 strokes around the green. It was an incredibly impressive and well-balanced tee-to-green performance and the exact type of form that I am looking for heading into a golf course of this nature.
Past results: As we head into summer, the panel remains as hot as ever, with 11 outright victories on the year as a group. Brandon Gdula leads the way with five of his own, and our newest expert picker, Andy Lack, checks in next with two. After a run of five winners in six events, we’ve gone 0-for-2 at the PGA and at Colonial. With another elevated event on tap, we’re ready to get rolling again.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "The Loop," where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "The Loop" wherever you get your podcasts!
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Corey Conners (50-1, PointsBet) — I’m surprised the Canadian isn’t getting more respect for how great he played at Oak Hill. The snafu in the bunker on 16 on Saturday clearly shook him. Would he have taken down Koepka? Doubt it. But if he brings that same ball-striking to Muirfield Village, he should have another chance at a big win.
Mayo: Adam Scott (45-1, DraftKings) — Like my pick to win, Matsuyama, Scott has been cooking with his irons of late, resulting in two top 10s in his last three starts. Also like Matsuyama, the Aussie has a phenomenal track record at Muirfield Village. The only thing missing is a victory.
Gdula: Russell Henley (50-1, FanDuel) — The most accurate golfer in the field, Henley is a good course fit, and he’s been showing up in bigger events lately, too. His missed cut at the PGA Championship was due to the putter. Henley has gained strokes from approach play in six straight events.
Gehman: Denny McCarthy (110-1, DraftKings) — McCarthy is widening his path to victory right now. He’s still putting well but is no longer reliant on the flat stick. His last 36 rounds have been a 0.25 stroke per round improvement compared to his tee-to-green baseline. That sounds small, but it’s actually a significant boost and towards a style of golf that is much more sustainable. He might not win, but he’ll feed off his T-5 finish from last year.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Justin Suh (250-1, PointsBet) — The former World No. 1-ranked amateur proved he’s got the all-around game—contending after 36 holes at Oak Hill. He backed that up with a strong week at Colonial. I think these odds are too high—and I’ll pray to have this hedge equity in my pocket going into Sunday.
Powers, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (50-1, FanDuel) — Not in love with any true longshots this week, particularly because, as we’ve learned, longshots do not win these elevated events save for Wyndham Clark. And even he was only in the 70-1 range. Conners is very intriguing at this number considering his game is a perfect fit for Muirfield Village. All the man does is hit fairways and gain a million strokes on approach. Of course, it’ll come down to the putter as it always does, and I don’t love that he’s coming off a +4.8 SG/putting performance at Oak Hill. One would imagine a regression is imminent, though his ball-striking may still keep him in it deep into Sunday.
Lack: Shane Lowry (55-1, FanDuel) — I continue to back Shane Lowry on a nearly weekly basis in hopes that the former Open champion can finally get the putter going. His ball-striking is good enough to win tournaments over the best in the world, and he is coming off a performance at the PGA Championship where he gained 3.7 strokes off the tee and 5.5 strokes on approach. Even the putting looked better for the Northern Irishman at Oak Hill. Now Lowry returns to a golf course where he has a strong track record of success.
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Players We’re Fading
Caddie: Tyrrell Hatton (22-1, DraftKings) — It’s tough to fade anyone near the top, but Hatton’s getting a little too much respect next to the other top-tier players.
Mayo: Rory McIlroy (12-1, DraftKings) — McIlroy gained over 10 strokes tee-to-green at Oak Hill and over seven on approach and still didn’t win. It seems to be something on the mental side that’s holding him back right now.
Gdula: Viktor Hovland (20-1, FanDuel) — I honestly don’t mind Hovland from a daily fantasy standpoint this week, but the 18-1 odds are way too short. He’s an elite ball-striker who is putting well right now, so the building blocks are there, but all the value is gone, in my opinion.
Gehman: Matt Fitzpatrick (30-1, DraftKings) — Since the renovation to Muirfield Village in 2021, Fitzpatrick has struggled to figure this place out. He’s missed the cut both years, once losing over four strokes on approach and then losing 7.5 strokes putting in the other. He’s had a rollercoaster year and is coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Xander Schauffele (12-1, DraftKings) — These odds just seem way too short for someone who hasn’t won in 2023.
Powers, Golf Digest: Viktor Hovland (18-1, DraftKings) — Some of us figured he was due for a letdown last week, but he hung around until the back nine on Sunday before a late implosion. Sooner or later, all this golf and the mental and physical grind of constantly being in contention will catch up to him.
Lack: Jason Day (25-1, DraftKings) — After finally breaking through at the Byron Nelson, I think Jason Day is on the wrong side of a good run. The former PGA Championship winner looked abysmal at Oak Hill, losing over three strokes on approach, and his actual track record at Muirfield Village has been inflated by the fact that his house is close by. Day has only twice found himself in the top 15 of this event in 13 appearances here, and I expect his history of underachieving at his hometown event to continue this week.
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Matchups
Caddie: Billy Horschel (-110) over Kevin Streelman (DraftKings) — Billy’s figuring it out a little bit. Defending his title should be the perfect boost of confidence his game needs right now. Streels is playing well, but an in-form Horschel is a class ahead.
Mayo: Jon Rahm (+105) over Scottie Scheffler (DraftKings) — Rahm is due for a big-time bounce back after his 50th-place finish at Oak Hill. This one will come down to the final few holes Sunday, so buckle up.
Gdula: Jordan Spieth (+104) over Justin Thomas (FanDuel) — Spieth actually has the better ball-striking numbers over the past 50 rounds, via datagolf, than Thomas, and the putter is also better. Thomas’ game is in a strange spot, and he’s really doing a lot of damage around the green, which isn’t very sustainable.
Gehman: Jason Day (+100) over Collin Morikawa (Bet365) — Morikawa is elite but clearly doesn’t have his best stuff right now. Day, however, has been trending for the better part of eight months – despite missing the cut at the PGA Championship. If we’re willing to look past that one blemish, Day has still gained the sixth most strokes in this field over the last 36 rounds.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (-111) over Sam Burns (Bet365) — Burns has been up-and-down in 2023—a perfect candidate to fade in a matchup with Conners, whose ball-striking is back to his elite levels.
Powers, Golf Digest: Xander Schauffele (+105) over Patrick Cantlay (DraftKings) — Going against Cantlay at Muirfield Village could very well be gambling malpractice, but I’m willing to fade that noise and take his boy Xander here at plus odds. Both guys are clearly on the precipice of a victory so I don’t think it’s that bold of a play to take a gamble on one beating the other by just one, which is all we’d need here.
Lack: Hideki Matsuyama (-115) over Sam Burns (DraftKings) — This is an easy one, as Matsuyama is my pick to win, and I have serious concerns about Sam Burns’ ball-striking. Of the elite players in this field, Burns is by far the worst overall iron player, and he has a tendency to really spray the ball off the tee as well, ranking 117th in good-drive percentage. He still tends to rely far too much on his short game and putting, which was certainly the case last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge where he gained over six strokes around the green. Matsuyama’s pathway to success via elite iron play is far more sustainable.
Matchup Results from the Charles Schwab Challenge: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Rose (-108) over Henley); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Rose (-108) over Henley); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Bezuidenhout (+100) over Todd); Powers: PUSH (Fowler (-110) over Burns); Gehman: 0 for 1; Lack: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Gehman: 18-10-2 (up 6.66 units); Hennessey: 18-11-1 (up 5.64 units); Caddie: 16-12-2 (up 3.2 units); Lack: 11-9-0 (up 0.82 units); Powers: 14-14-2 (down 0.42 units); Mayo: 11-16-0 (down 5.55 units); Gdula: 12-17-1 (down 6.87 units)
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: Top 10s
Caddie: Rickie Fowler (+320, DraftKings) — He’s been in great form for months now and comes back to a place where he’s had great success.
Mayo: Corey Conners (+360, DraftKings) — When the Canadian is striping it like he is right now, he’s an auto top-10 play.
Gdula: Tom Kim (+550, FanDuel) — Kim is virtually always a positive with his iron play, and he’s one of the most accurate golfers in the field over the past 50 rounds. The putting is up and down, but the course fit is there for Kim to get a top-10 finish.
Gehman: Corey Conners (+360, DraftKings) — Muirfield Village has some generous fairways but if you miss them, you’ll be in big trouble. Conners is not only very accurate off the tee, but when he does miss, he misses small. Already with a win in his last five starts, he’s piled up a T-8 at the Wells Fargo Championship and a T-12 at the PGA Championship. His game is trending and this course should reward his strengths.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (+360, DraftKings) — All the positive Conners sentiment is warranted this week—and a top-10 feels like the responsible way to bet him.
Powers, Golf Digest: Shane Lowry (+400, DraftKings) — Your boy has gone back-to-back on top-10 plays and we’re still in the red. You know what that means - we need to make it three straight. I think Lowry is our man to get it done, coming off a top 12 at the PGA where he finally gained strokes putting. If he can do that again and hit it like he did at Oak Hill, he’s live to win and therefore, to cash a much less stressful top-10 ticket.
Lack: Adam Scott (+450, FanDuel) — There’s a ton to love about Adam Scott, who is coming off a strong week at the PGA Championship where he gained over three strokes both off-the-tee and on approach. While I have my doubts about the 42-year-old being the last man standing on Sunday afternoon, I fully expect him to record his third top 10 of the season on a golf course where he has gained over 10 strokes ball-striking on three separate occasions.
Top-10 results from the Charles Schwab Challenge: Powers: 1 for 1 (Emiliano Grillo +700); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 7 for 30 (up 12.95 units); Gdula: 9 for 30 (up 12.2 units); Gehman: 8 for 30 (up 6.6 units); Mayo: 6 for 27 (up 1.1 units); Lack: 6 for 20 (up 1.9 units); Caddie: 7 for 30 (down 0.6 units); Powers: 4 for 30 (down 3.9 units)
Memorial Tournament picks 2023: One and Done
Gehman: Patrick Cantlay — We’ve already laid out the positives for Cantlay this week, so let’s talk a little OAD strategy. Cantlay is the ultimate course horse for Muirfield Village. There are only two golfer/course combinations since 2008 where a golfer has gained +2.7 strokes per round in at least 28 rounds. Those are Jon Rahm at Torrey Pines and Patrick Cantlay at Muirfield Village. This is truly the best spot on the schedule to deploy him.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo. Sanderson Farms Championship: Sam Burns. Shriners: Taylor Montgomery. Zozo: Sungjae Im. CJ Cup: Matt Fitzpatrick. Bermuda: Denny McCarthy. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Aaron Wise. RSM Classic: Brian Harman. Sentry TOC: Cameron Young. Sony Open: Hideki Matsuyama. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Jason Day. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Scottie Scheffler. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Sungjae Im. API: Rory McIlroy. Players: Jon Rahm. Valspar: Justin Rose. WGC-Match Play: Cameron Young. Valero: Rickie Fowler. Masters: Jordan Spieth. RBC Heritage: Collin Morikawa. Zurich: Kurt Kitayama. Mexico Open: Ben Martin. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland. Byron Nelson: K.H. Lee. PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele. Charles Schwab Challenge: Min Woo Lee.
Hennessey: Corey Conners — I’m sure folks will save him for the Canadian Open, so you can catch some upside by being early on him this week.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Cam Davis. Sanderson Farms Championship: Denny McCarthy. Shriners: Emiliano Grillo. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Sungjae Im. Bermuda: Mark Hubbard. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Jason Day. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Patrick Cantlay. Sony Open: Matt Kuchar. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Will Zalatoris. AT&T Pebble Beach: Seamus Power. WMPO: Collin Morikawa. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Keith Mitchell. Players: Rory McIlroy. Valspar: Adam Hadwin. WGC-Match Play: Tyrrell Hatton. Valero: Nick Taylor. Masters: Scottie Scheffler. RBC Heritage: Jordan Spieth. Zurich: Sahith Theegala. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Xander Schauffele. Byron Nelson: Tyrrell Hatton. PGA Championship: Jon Rahm. Charles Schwab Challenge: Justin Rose.
Powers: Shane Lowry — Lowry has plenty of experience beating elite fields at big-time golf courses and he’s coming off a week where he nearly gained 10 strokes tee-to-green at Oak Hill.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Sahith Theegala. Sanderson Farms Championship: J.T. Poston. Shriners: Sungjae Im. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Tyrrell Hatton. Bermuda: Russell Knox. Mayakoba: Thomas Detry. Houston Open: Sepp Straka. RSM Classic: Davis Riley. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Gary Woodland. American Express: Cameron Young. Farmers: Taylor Montgomery. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Sungjae Im. Genesis: Collin Morikawa. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Will Zalatoris. Players: Patrick Cantlay. Valspar: Justin Suh. WGC-Match Play: Tom Kim. Valero: Matt Kuchar. Masters: Tony Finau. RBC Heritage: Rickie Fowler. Zurich: Robby Shelton. Mexico Open: Luke List. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland. Byron Nelson: Tom Hoge. PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka. Charles Schwab Challenge: Tommy Fleetwood.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME.
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. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13.
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.
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 RickRunGood.com, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for Golf.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports