The Memorial Value Plays
Note: Odds used are from the opening lines at Circa Sports, Las Vegas
Abraham Ancer (45/1)
Since the restart, Ancer has finished 14th at the Charles Schwab, 2nd at the RBC Heritage, and 11th at the Travelers before taking the last few weeks off for the Rocket Mortgage Classic as well as the Workday Charity Open.
On the season, he’s both 11th in SG: tee-to-green as well as SG: approach, and 12th in SG: total. Since the restart, Ancer is number one on Tour in shots gained: approach with Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas (top three finishers last week at Muirfield) behind him.
As evidenced by his recent string of results, 45/1 odds feels like tremendous value.
Sungjae Im (67/1)
At one point earlier this season, the golf community was talking about Im the same way we were mentioning DeChambeau, Morikawa and Berger. He has six top 10 finishes on the Tour in 2020 including a win at the Honda Classic and is third in FedEx Cup scoring.
The 22-year old is incredibly streaky and went from -1 on the final day to a +5 final score at Muirfield. His triple-bogeyed at the sixth hole and then just collapsed with four more bogeys on the back nine by the time he was fully out of contention. Now that he knows the course, I expect far better approaches and putts from Im which have been his Achilles heel over the last several weeks, despite making three straight cuts. He is as high-upside and high risk of a play as you can get.
Other Values to Consider
Tony Finau (75/1)
Joaquin Niemann (75/1)
Billy Horschel (80/1)
Sergio Garcia (95/1)
Workday Charity Open Longshots
Joel Dahmen (145/1)
If I loved Joel Dahmen last week at this course, I still feel compelled to play him again after a complete disaster last week.
In all seriousness, how can we not look at what happened as a complete and total anomaly based on his recent performance?
Dahmen went from ranking fourth in SG: tee-to-green and 7th in SG: approach to 20th and 18th in just two days! Take the odds discount and give him another chance at Muirfield.
Shane Lowry (145/1)
Lowry is getting himself back on track after missing the cut in his first two events after the restart. He finished 60th at the Travelers and then 39th last week at the Workday. His game around-the-green is really starting to come back into shape, ranking 24th over the last 24 rounds.
I also like targeting longshot golfers when they’re placed in a featured grouping on Tour for a little added motivation. In this case, Lowry gets matched up with Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson for this week.
Sepp Straka (155/1)
Straka, like the golfers above, is in terrific form, having finished eighth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and 14th last week here at Muirfield.
He’s also an outstanding final day player. According to The Action Network’s Jason Sobel, Straka has the lowest final round scoring average on the PGA Tour. Straka will be playing in his sixth consecutive tournament which concerns me if he starts to hit a bit of fatigue, but this is still after three months off and in the midst of some of the best golf of his career.
Chez Reavie (225/1)
Reavie would have been a great play for Muirfield purely on his SG: approach, as well as SG: around-the-green where he ranks top-40 in both. However, over his last 24 rounds, he’s been brilliant around the green, moving up to top 11.
Then there’s recent form, where Reavie has vastly improved over his last three events: 74th at the RBC Heritage, 46th at the Travelers Championship, and 17th last week on this course for the Workday Charity Open.
It’s never a guarantee a player will make the cut, especially at this price range, but he’s absolutely trending in the right direction with a game that suits Muirfield Village awfully well.
Troy Merritt (225/1)
Merritt finished 17th at the Memorial last season and is coming off 22nd last week in the Workday. He’s made the cut four consecutive weeks and has been excellent over the last weeks with his short game and putting; ranking 22nd and 17th respectively. As we saw down the stretch last week, putting played a factor at Muirfield. That’s not a concern for Merritt, especially as of late.
Other Longshots to Consider
Emiliano Grillo (185/1)
Taylor Gooch (330/1)
Sebastian Munoz (400/1)
Charl Schwartzel (500/1)