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the Memorial Preview: DeepDiveGolf’s Tournament Analysis, Weather, And Advice

Firstly, thank you all for being a little patient with me over the last fortnight with article production. I’ve been gallivanting around the world again for some work commitments, in this instance to the Philippines. And, as is often the case, I managed to get a bug on the way home. Initially, something I dubbed the “Manila Thriller” followed by a cold, but fortunately not COVID. It is great to be back into the swing of things for a signature event with our Memorial Tournament preview.

However, the golf tips have kept rolling for a great couple of weeks. We hit Nacho Elvira at the Soudal Open for a 75/1 winner on the DP World Tour. We then backed that up with another fabulous week on both sides of the pond. At the European Open, we had both Niklas Norgaard and Julien Guerrier in 4th. Fellow Kiwi Ryan Fox held a 4-shot lead with 25 holes to play, before he looked at a leaderboard. 5 of our selections at the RBC Canadian Open finished 21st or better (with 4 of those in the top 10). It was especially pleasing considering we had limited data on a relatively rare appearance of Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Muirfield Village Golf Club – Course Analysis

The signature event returns to Muirfield Village Golf Club, affectionately known as “Jack’s Place”. Jack Nicklaus designed the course in 1974 before the inaugural PGA Tour tournament in 1976. He then undertook a renovation in 2020 which saw all green complexes remodeled, restored bunkering, and lengthening of the course. As such, we have a wealth of data to delve into this week.

The course is perhaps Nickalus’ most iconic design and his stylization of this track is clear to see. A key for all of Nicklaus’ courses is that they should reward players for the gifts they possess. If you have distance, you should be able to use it. However, if you miss the fairway, you will be penalized. Muirfield Village was designed with Augusta National in mind, visible in the heavily undulating greens.

Muirfield Village hosts our preview of the Memorial tournament

Despite on paper being a very long 7,533 yard par 72, driving accuracy has been a better predictor of success. The rough is thick and lush at 4 inches Kentucky bluegrass. It has been the highest missed fairway penalty on the PGA Tour in 5 of the last 7 seasons. Adding to that, heavy rain has been experienced throughout May in Ohio.

Greens are relatively small at 5,000sq ft on average. The course has ranked in the top 5 most difficult for SG: APP on the PGA Tour every season since the 2020 restorations. We see 35% of all iron shots occur from 200+ yards and 50% of all approaches from 175+ yards. Notably, the Par 5s are still reachable by even the shorter hitters.

Finally, SG: ATG is a key factor. The course ranked in the 6 most difficult for SG: ATG since 2015. As such, we honed in on driving accuracy, SG: APP (particularly over 175 yards), and SG: ATG this week.

Muirfield Village Golf Club – Course Comps

Given the Nicklaus signature design across the property, we can look at a couple of other designs from the Golden Bear for guidance. PGA National has always proven a stern major like test, and that is what we can expect to find this week. Winning scores should not get out of hand there, and a total of -10 to -15 can get the job done. Valhalla stacks up very well also. This has the added benefit of featuring bentgrass greens and ticking the box on recent form, given the PGA Championship was held there just a fortnight ago.

The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is also analogous. The Valspar Championship has always rewarded driving accuracy over distance (although both are preferable at each). That largely comes down to similar reasons to Muirfield Village: that the rough is long and the fairways are tree-lined. You see a disproportionate number of shots from over 200+ yards, as golfers favour accuracy off the tee and leave themselves a longer approach.

I’ll give a nod to the Wells Fargo Championship host, with Quail Hollow also looking for longer but accurate drivers and providing a stern test. And, of course, I do think it is a benefit if you have played well at Augusta National. Particularly, look for solid performance there around and on those undulating green complexes which we see emulated by Nicklaus here.

the Memorial Weather Preview

Often with signature events, there is little to say about the weather. With most of these events having no cut, they also feature condensed tee-times with all golfers hitting the course within two hours of the rest of the field. Without a cut, you are far more likely to see the cream rise to the top by the end of the week.

However, it is worth noting the differences this week. The event does feature a cut, albeit only to 50 golfers and ties or those within 10 strokes of the lead by the conclusion of round 2. Additionally, all groups will start on the 1st tee this week. That means there is a substantial gap between the field. The first players (a lone Davis Thompson) begin play at 7:40 am local with the final pair not going out until 2:00 pm.

There may be a benefit for those going out earliest on Thursday morning. Prevailing winds should sit in the single digits until around 11:00 am, before rising to mid-teens for the remainder of the day. Heavy gusts are predicted for later in the afternoon, reaching as strong as 25-28mph. Friday should be windy all day, with gusts of between 28-35mph.

With heavy rain overnight Wednesday, I suspect Thursday AM get both softer and calmer conditions. I would not be surprised to see lift, clean, and place in-play. That would further benefit those who gain on the field for driving accuracy.

Ensure you have signed up for WinDaily Premium to access all our final weather decisions closer to tee time. Information is available right up until play starts to provide you with any identifiable weather edge that can be gleaned. This is particularly for DFS, with players priced under $7,500 most affected by any weather edge.

the Memorial Tournament Preview Golf Betting Tips

If you want to read my golf betting tips for the Memorialyou can preview these in the WinDaily Premium Discord here.

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Thank you for reading our preview and tournament analysis of the Memorial tournament. I look forward to welcoming you into the WinDaily family and celebrating many, many wins with you in 2024!


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