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Collin Morikawa
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
FanDuel Strategy

DFS FanDuel Fit: Memorial Tournament

by Josh Culp
Updated On: May 31, 2022, 10:03 am ET

Muirfield Village Golf Club returns to host another edition of the Memorial Tournament. 

This Nicklaus Design is perhaps most well-known for the elite milkshakes and speedy greens. 

When diving into some history here we can look at a few other course-fit angles, though. We see that golfers are putting a lot of woods into their hands on the tee box and also see that scoring is typically very tough. Let's see who has historically played well on similar setups. 

 

Less than Driver Decisions

Muirfield Village has a lot of beefy par 4s but doesn't cater to the bomb-and-gouge approach. There are a lot of 3-woods off the tee here. 

"I think what's happened here is everyone is just now playing from the same spot with their second shot. It's not an easy driving golf course by any means, but everyone is hitting to the same spot."  -Rory McIlroy

"I would say about a little over half the holes I'm hitting driver out here. There's a few holes 3-wood just fits better to my eye and there's a couple holes where you just hit a hybrid or an iron off the tee." -Wesley Bryan

Here are the top performers on less-than-driver layouts, over the last two years: 

Bryson DeChambeau
Daniel Berger
Viktor Hovland
Rory McIlroy
Jordan Spieth
Patrick Cantlay
Billy Horschel
Hideki Matsuyama
Corey Conners
Abraham Ancer
Matt Fitzpatrick
Collin Morikawa
Jason Day
Jon Rahm
Cameron Smith

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Bryson DeChambeau
Billy Horschel
Adam Svensson
Lucas Glover
Cameron Young
Gary Woodland
Jason Day
Jordan Spieth
Matt Kuchar
Abraham Ancer
Camilo Villegas
Daniel Berger
Seamus Power
Hideki Matsuyama
Corey Conners

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Bryson DeChambeau, Daniel Berger, Jordan Spieth, Billy Horschel, Hideki Matsuyama, Corey Conners, Abraham Ancer, and Jason Day.

Bryson is the exception to the rule in that on many courses he can find a way to attack with driver where others are stuck laying back. 

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Tough Scoring

The field scoring average has been 72.56 (+0.56 RTP) or tougher in four of the last five Memorial Tournaments. 

That makes it one of the tougher annual stops on the PGA TOUR rota. It can expose you quickly if you are a little off your game. 

Here are the top performers on other tough courses, over the last two years: 

Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Collin Morikawa
Will Zalatoris
Matt Fitzpatrick
Xander Schauffele
Viktor Hovland
Bryson DeChambeau
Chris Kirk
Aaron Wise
Hideki Matsuyama
Patrick Reed
Cameron Young
Jordan Spieth
Corey Conners

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Kurt Kitayama
Chris Kirk
Aaron Wise
Cameron Young
Will Zalatoris
Mito Pereira
Brandon Hagy
Adam Svensson
Brendan Steele
Collin Morikawa
Patrick Reed
Rory McIlroy
Matt Fitzpatrick
Davis Riley
Luke List

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Kirk, Aaron Wise, Patrick Reed, and Cameron Young

Jim "Bones" Mackay is enjoying his time with Justin Thomas lately but after he filled in for Fitzpatrick back in 2020 he had this to say about him, "The thing I told him out there today is his game matches up really well for the majors. It might not be as great in Palm Springs, but my goodness – you get to the U.S. Open, you get to these tough courses with some rough, and he can do a lot of damage." The stats back that up as he outperforms his baseline on tougher tracks. 

FanDuel Focus 

Collin Morikawa ($11,300): He's going to cost you a pretty penny but his track record at Muirfield Village, and other Nicklaus designs, makes him worth it. Three of his five PGA TOUR titles have come on Nicklaus courses including one at Muirfield Village for the 2020 Workday Charity Open. He also played his way into the playoff at last year's Memorial. 

Chris Kirk ($9,200): Over his last 20 TOUR starts he's bringing a balanced attack to the table with an average (weekly) strokes gained over 1 in each of the following categories (off-the-tee, approach, around-the-green). The exception is putting which is where his weeks are won or lost. Perhaps working in his favor, Muirfield Village is the cite of his career-best putting performance, gaining 7.7 strokes on the greens during the 2014 Memorial. 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.