Paulie's Picks: 2018 Memorial Tournament

This week, the Tour heads to Muirfield Village, the Jack Nicklaus design that hosts the Memorial. The field of 120 players is very strong with the likes of DJ, JT, Spieth, Day, Rose, Rory, Rickie and some guy named Tiger. Muirfield Village is a very demanding golf course. Players who are excellent ball strikers will have a big advantage this week. The course favors elite iron players who can keep it on the planet off the tee. Many off the tee shots provide ample landing areas, but if you miss those areas you can be in major trouble. The greens are some of the fastest on Tour and have plenty of undulation. Being able to hit an iron shot in the correct place on the green will be paramount to making birdies and eliminating three-putts. Let’s take a look at some players to consider for this week:

DraftKings

Marc Leishman $9,000

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Leishman is a very streaky player. When he is on his game, he can play some amazing golf over the course of a few weeks. Since 2017, Leishman has had back-to-back top 10 finishes on three separate occasions. With Leishman finishing second at the Byron Nelson, I look for him to finish in the top ten again this week. He has gained 13 shots on approach over his last four events. Leishman has finished no worse than 15th in his last three appearances at Muirfield Village. He is also in the top 10 in the field in strokes gained putting on fast bent grass greens.

Charl Schwartzel $8,200

Schwartzel’s game has turned around over the last few events. He finished third at the Zurich, ninth at the Wells Fargo and second at the Players Championship. He now heads to a course where he has recorded three top 11 finishes in his last five appearances.

Bryson Dechambeau $7,700

Bryson has been playing very well over the past few months. He has gained strokes off the tee and on approach in six straight events. During that timeframe, he has gained 22 shots on approach and 17 shots off the tee. That solid ball striking is a recipe for success at Muirfield Village.

One-and-Done

Justin Rose

Rose’s win at Colonial could be the precursor to many more victories this year. He now heads to an event where has finished in the top 10 in five of his last eight starts, including a win and two runner-up finishes.

Ryan Moore

Moore is trending in the right direction and now gets to test his game at one of his favorite courses. In his last five events, he has gained 21 shots on approach and 14 shots off the tee, which is amazing considering he is not a long hitter. His game fits the mold for Muirfield Village perfectly. He has finished in the top 25 in seven of his last eleven starts at this event.

Matt Kuchar

Kuchar is your typical horse for a course. He has finished in the top 10 in an astounding seven out of his last nine appearances at this event. Kuchar’s game is predicated on keeping it in play off the tee and hitting precise approaches to the green. Kuchar is also one of the best putters on very fast bent grass greens.

Longshots to Win:

Luke List 90-1

I’m convinced Luke List will get a win this year. At 90-1, I’m willing to back him this week. He has shown the ability to contend against the best on some of the more demanding courses on Tour, such as the Honda Classic this year.

Kevin Chappell 125-1

Chappell is just too good of a player to be priced at 125-1. He finished runner-up here in 2013, and his solid tee-to-green game suits this course well. 

Ryan Armour 275-1

This is a home game of sorts for Armour. The Ohio native played golf at Ohio State and has had past success in Ohio. In 2017, he finished runner up at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Classic in Columbus, Ohio, which is one of the events in the Web.com Finals. Armour comes into the event after finishing 14th at Colonial. Armour’s game is based on accurate driving and precise irons. Nothing would mean more to him than to capture this title in front of friends and family.