This week, I'll be trying to nail the 2022 PGA DFS: The Memorial Tournament FanDuel Picks as the PGA Tour heads to Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio - "the course that Jack (Nicklaus) built."
The Memorial Tournament is on par with that of THE PLAYERS Championship in being one of the biggest non-majors of the year.
Again, like THE PLAYERS, it is always held at the same golf course, Muirfield Village in this case.
The Jack Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village is a true test for the world's elite players. It comes in at a very long 7,533 yards and has some of the toughest greens on the PGA Tour. Muirfield Village is also home to some of the toughest greenside bunkers in the world which leads us to an easy decision on our key indicators for the week.
I will be using three key indicators to make my selection for this week; SG: Approach the green, SG: Putting, and sand save percentage.
2022 PGA DFS: The Memorial Tournament FanDuel Picks
Aaron Wise - $8,800
Sometimes, one key indicator is all I need if a guy is in good form. That is the case with Aaron Wise. The only key indicator he hits for this week is SG: Approach the green, as he sits in 26th. His putting has been mediocre as he sits in 129th in SG: putting. Lastly, his sand save percentage is pretty poor, ranking 164th.
The thing I'm banking on here is his approach game. The hope is that Wise will be close enough to the hole where his putter won't hurt him and he'll hit good enough iron shots to avoid green-side bunkers.
I'm also basing this pick on his current form. Wise has made four consecutive cuts with finishes of T21st, T6th, T51st, and T23rd. There's also the fact that Wise played well here last year, finishing T9th in the 2021 Memorial Tournament.
We've been hitting pretty well lately on our lowest salary selection each week, let's hope that continues this week.
Marc Leishman - $9,200
Marc Leishman at $9,200 seems like insanely good value for a guy with his short game and history at Muirfield Village. Quite honestly, his potential value is too hard to pass up this week, I think Leishman competes for a top 10 finish.
Leishman is widely regarded as one of the best bunker players in the world, despite his average ranking in sand save percentage, where he ranks T98th. I expect water to find its level here, and potentially as early as this week.
One area where Leishman is keeping his reputation is as one of the best putters in the world. He currently ranks 14th in SG: putting. Lastly, Leishman has been very solid in the approach game, ranking 45th in SG: Approach the green.
As I mentioned earlier, Leishman has been solid at Muirfield Village. He finished fifth in 2019, T40th in 2020, and T57th last year.
Jason Day - $9,500
I'm going back down under for my next pick and taking Jason Day. The withdrawal factor with Day is always high, but this is a guy who has an excellent short game and has a house on the property, so he knows this golf course.
Day didn't play in this event last year but finished T4th in 2020. His recent form is also solid. After three consecutive missed cuts, Day has made the cut in each of the last four events and has two top 15 finishes in that stretch.
While he only hits on two of our three key indicators, I still like this selection at this price point. Day is currently 146th in SG: Approach the green, 50th in SG: putting, and 71st in sand save percentage. Take Day this week and be sure to monitor any news coming out of Dublin about Day and a potentially ailing back that has caught up with him many times over the last few years.
Corey Conners - $9,700
Even though Corey Conners potentially cost me a big week at The PGA Championship, I'm going back to him this week. He's too good of a player to get for under $10,000 in salary. He's also shown well in the Memorial Tournament; T22nd in 2020, and T53rd last year.
Conners has a known weakness in his game, putting. However, he shows a little better in SG: putting than his reputation would lead you to believe as he currently sits in 84th. Though that sort of balances out because he has a reputation as an elite ball-striker yet only shows in 60th in SG: Approach the green. Of our last key indicator, sand save percentage, Conners is currently in a tie for 75th.
I like Conners again this week, as per usual, to compete for a top 10 finish.
Viktor Hovland - $10,900
In order for this selection to be a successful one, I've got to hope that Viktor Hovland's iron game is on and he's not missing greens. Not only is Hovland the worst scrambler on tour, but he is also miserable out of bunkers. He currently sits in 161st in sand save percentage, which is actually up from T196th going into last week.
The hope is that Hovland's elite iron game is on point to avoid those tricky up-and-downs from the beach. He is currently fourth in SG: Approach the green.
Hovland has, however, found a little something on the greens. He is in 38th in SG: putting, a very respectable ranking.
Hovland has played in the Memorial Tournament each of the last two seasons and has had ho-hum results. He has made the cut each time but has finished in T48th in 2020 and T47th in 2021. If his iron game is on, he'll improve on those finishes. If it's not on, and he finds himself in the sand more than David Hasselhoff, he could be in for a long week.
Rory McIlroy - $11,800
My ace in the hole this week is Rory McIlroy. McIlroy is always a "horse for a course" guy and is really matchup-proof because his only perceived weakness, his putter, is actually that, a perceived weakness. He is currently 34th on tour in SG: putting.
Granted, when his putter is cold, it's frigid. But more often than not, he just putts it relatively average. When it's hot, he can put up some stupid-low rounds.
Not only is he at the top of the list when the argument is made on who the best driver of the golf ball is, but his iron game is also rock solid. McIlroy currently ranks 38th in SG: Approach the green.
McIlroy also shows very well in our third key indicator, he is 19th in sand save percentage. Everything lines up for him this week.
Though it appears his game matches up with Muirfield Village, he has struggled, somewhat, in his career at the Memorial Tournament. He has just four top-10s, with his best finishing coming in 2016 when he tied for fourth. It's hard to bet against McIlroy, however, his swing is so good that he has a chance to win every time he tees it up.