FanDuel PGA: the Memorial
FanDuel PGA: the Memorial

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.

The Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village Golf Club (7,392 yards, par-72)
$9.1M purse
$1,638,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner

Tournament Preview

On the heels of a three-day weekend celebrating the lives and sacrifices of veterans who so valiantly served this country, Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village lends an opportunity to honor contributing legends to the game of golf. A reduced field of 120 invitees heads to a Columbus suburb near the birthplace and upbringing of Nicklaus, who has enticed 31 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking to tee it up as many of them make their final tweaks ahead of the upcoming U.S. Open. The state of Ohio could use some positivity after severe weather crept in earlier in the week and caused destruction, but beware that additional weather delays throughout the tournament might put a strain on your viewing schedule at home.

Recent Past Champions

2018 - Bryson DeChambeau
2017 - Jason Dufner
2016 - William McGirt
2015 - David Lingmerth
2014 - Hideki Matsuyama
2013 - Matt Kuchar
2012 - Tiger Woods
2011 - Steve Stricker
2010 - Justin Rose
2009 - Tiger Woods

Key Stats to Victory

GIR percentage
SG: Approach
Proximity 175-225 yards
P4: 450-500 scoring

Champion's Profile

Jack Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village to play quite difficult with a slew of lengthy par-4s, quick and tiny putting surfaces, tough greenside bunkers and thick Midwestern rough, but it's actually been susceptible to lofty birdie or better percentages over the past couple decades. It certainly helps that all four of the par-5s are reachable, but nearly a third of those who made the cut last year managed to collect 20 or more par breakers. The weather appears rather unlikely to cooperate this week, which will keep conditions soft as long irons may be necessary into a majority of the greens. Six of the 18 holes at Muirfield Village are par-4s that measure between 450-500 yards, each of which have played to an over-par average as proximity from 175-plus is continuously emphasized.

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Rory McIlroy, $12,000 - It took a backdoor effort, but McIlroy snuck into a T8 at the PGA Championship for his eighth finish of T8 or better through nine stroke-play events so far in 2019. Headlining this week's field as the betting favorite over a big cat listed below, Rory has already compiled four top-10s in seven career trips to Muirfield Village, and he currently leads the PGA Tour in all of SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Total.

Tiger Woods, $11,700 - A five-time champion here at one of the many venues Jack Nicklaus built, Woods last won at Muirfield in 2012 by two shots over Andres Romero and Rory Sabbatini at nine-under-par, which was still 10 strokes worse than his preposterous 19-under performance back in 2000. Tiger didn't appear in tournament action between the Masters victory and the PGA Championship, ultimately missing the cut at Bethpage Black as the rust didn't wear off in time for another weekend run. Nonetheless, he has jumped to No. 5 in the OWGR and has hit 74 percent of the greens in regulation through 396 holes this season.

Matt Kuchar, $10,900 - He should be a no-brainer at this price given his recent form and course history, but there might be enough firepower surrounding Kuchar on the board to keep his ownership at a modest level as Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele draw interest in the upper-$10K to lower $11K range. The 2013 Memorial Tournament champion, Kuchar owns seven top-10s in 13 appearances at Muirfield Village and he resides atop the FedExCup standings during his first full season as a member of the 40-year-old club.

Hideki Matsuyama, $10,700 - Continuously held back by a lousy putter, Matsuyama just needs an average showing with the flat stick in order to contend if his irons are on. He ranks top-10 on Tour in both SG: Approach and scrambling, but he also won here as a first-timer in 2014 and has added a pair of top-15s at Muirfield since.

Longer Shots Worth a Risk

Emiliano Grillo, $9,700 - The Argentinian ranks top-10 among this week's field in SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Approach over his last 12 rounds, which has led to results of T33-T23-T19 from the RBC Heritage through the Charles Schwab Challenge. Additionally, Grillo has posted a top-25 in two of three visits to the Memorial and he ranks 14th in proximity from 175-200 yards.

Peter Uihlein, $8,600 - One of the better values on the entire slate, Uihlein tied for 25th during his Muirfield debut in 2017 and followed it up with a solo-fifth here last year. More recently, Uihlein's short game has been a weapon, as he gained a collective 10.2 strokes putting over his last two starts en route to top-15s at the AT&T Byron Nelson and Charles Schwab Challenge. He'll need to stay hot with the flat stick in order to mask his accuracy issues off the tee.

Kevin Streelman, $8,400 - Streelman, who ranks fifth on Tour in rough proximity, has gathered a trio of top-20s over his last four voyages to Dublin, Ohio. He's made four consecutive cuts to climb back inside of the top-130 in the OWGR and he rallied back-to-back sixth-place finishes at the RBC Heritage and Valero Texas Open just last month.

Talor Gooch, $8,000 - Gooch first returned from a thumb/hand injury at the Web.com Tour's Knoxville Open in impressive fashion as he tied for 13th overall, led the field in driving accuracy and hit over 75 percent of the greens in regulation. He then placed top-30 at Colonial CC to prove the injury is seriously a thing of the past, racking up six final-round par breakers on the way to tying for 14th in terms of GIR percentage. He'll be making his Muirfield Village GC debut, but Gooch is top-7 on Tour in both SG: Approach and GIR percentage this season.

Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)

Much like last week's Charles Schwab Challenge, a significantly larger portion of the field will make it through the 36-hole cut due to the rare invitational structure of the Memorial Tournament. With only 120 entrants and an even smaller player pool once you remove the handful who simply have no chance, it's perfectly fine to take additional risks in the lower price ranges in order to gain advantages from an ownership perspective. Sweating a GPP is no fun when your fellow competitors have identical lineups.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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