Thanks to Emiliano Grillo's come-from-behind victory at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday, I've had the eventual winner five weeks in a row in this DFS article previewing the week's PGA Tour event. Let's try for six in a row in my 2023 PGA DFS: The Memorial DraftKings Preview.
The PGA Tour moves to Ohio and one of the most prestigious events of the season, The Memorial. This is due to the host of the event, the "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus. The Memorial tournament started in 1976 and is one of the most visually beautiful courses on the PGA Tour.
The course Muirfield Village is known for its thick rough, generous fairways and its firm/fast greens. Players will need to put their tee shots in the fairway to find success at this venue. This event plays in many ways like a major championship. For your betting cards and DFS lineups, you need to target players with a strong all-around game. This week I will target players who are elite in strokes gained around the greens and on approach.
#theMemorial @ Muirfield Village
-Par 72, 7,571 yds
-Nicklaus design, tree-lined parkland, 12 holes with water danger - 7 OTT, 11 on Approach
-Played +1.02 over par (5th hardest) since the 2020 renovation - tougher OTT
-15th widest fairways, penal 4" rough, toughest missed… pic.twitter.com/j0Uas7LCO2
— Ron Klos (@PGASplits101) May 29, 2023
You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going! Be sure to listen to me during my weekly guest appearance Wednesdays at 1pm eastern on The Inside Drive on ESPN Northwest Radio. Where I will preview that week's PGA Event.
2023 PGA DFS: The Memorial DraftKings Preview
The field this week is packed with the best players in the world. Max Homa and Tony Finau are the only players inside the top 50 of the OWGR to skip this event. Billy Horschel returns as the defending champion following his dominant victory last year. Horschel is joined by fellow former champions Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm, Jason Dufner, David Lingmerth, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, and Justin Rose in the field.
Muirfield Village - Course History for #theMemorial
-Includes average finish position and Strokes Gained per round since 2015 - including Jon Rahm's 2021 forced withdrawal
— Ron Klos (@PGASplits101) May 29, 2023
Venue (Muirfield Village)
Muirfield Village is a Par 72 that plays nearly 7600 yards since its latest renovation. The four par 5s are the only holes on the course that have a scoring average under par. This puts a huge emphasis on par 5 scoring and bogey avoidance this week. Any player who hopes to contend this week needs to feast on par 5s and avoid any big numbers.
There are nine players in the field with multiple top-15 finishes over the last five years. That list includes Patrick Cantlay, Si Woo Kim, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Streelman, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffle, Hideki Matsuyama, and defending champion Billy Horschel.
The top ten players in the field in terms of total strokes gained over the last five years are in order Patrick Cantlay, Si Woo Kim, Xander Schauffle, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel, Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, and Kevin Streelman.
Muirfield Village looking good for the Memorial pic.twitter.com/Xu9qqXtRHu
— TG (@TGcanes) May 29, 2023
- Bay Hill
- Torrey Pines
- Augusta National
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Strokes Gained Off The Tee
- Strokes Gained Around The Green
- Par 5 Scoring (550-600 yards)
- Par 4 Scoring (400-450 yards)
- Strokes Gained Putting (Bent)
My 2023 PGA DFS: The Memorial DraftKings Lineup
Jason Day ($9,400)
Westerville resident Jason Day out on the practice chipping green. Excited to see what he does this week after finally getting back to winning on tour this season. @MemorialGolf @nbc4i pic.twitter.com/m00ThEBNAA
— Whitney Harding (@WhitneyNBC4) May 29, 2023
Jason Day is a local resident of the Dublin, Ohio area. Day did not play well at the PGA Championship, but he is having a huge 2023 season. He has a win at the Byron Nelson and four other top-10 finishes in his last nine tour starts. Day is in the top 21 of the field in my three key categories strokes gained approach, around the Greens, and off The Tee for this event.
Day's numbers across the board in strokes gained are as good as any player on tour this year. He is top ten in total strokes gained, strokes gained short game, and strokes gained tee to green. I like the value of using Day as my anchor in a loaded field.
Another option in this price range: Rory McIlroy ($10,600)
Rickie Fowler ($8,500)
Nothing to see here. Just @RickieFowler making one of the hardest bunker shots in golf look easy. ?
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) May 29, 2023
Fowler continues to be a staple in my DFS lineups for this article. In his last nine non-major PGA starts Fowler has eight top 20 finishes, seven top 15 finishes, and three top 10s. His worst finish in that span is 31st and he's coming off his best result of 2023 with his 6th place finish at the Charles Schwab.
Fowler is eleventh in strokes gained approach in the field and nineteenth tee to green. He has three top-15 finishes at this event over the last five years. I've been saying this for a few weeks, Fowler is due for a win. Muirfield Village is a course that plays to Rickie's strengths and his long-awaited win could occur this week.
Sahith Theegala ($8,400)
Theegala starts every practice session by shanking a shot.https://t.co/0ha2ZmAFOS
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) May 29, 2023
Theegala has played in this event twice and made the cut both times. Highlighted by his T-5 finish in this event last year. Theegala is known for his power but it is his scrambling ability that allows him to contend consistently at difficult venues. He is in the top 25 in strokes gained short game and around the greens. Sahith's worst finish in the three comp courses listed above is 14th.
Another option in this price range: Wyndham Clark ($8,200)
Corey Conners ($8,300)
Corey Conners’ tempo is so buttery smooth. Used to work on it religiously as a kid.
Win or lose this week, he’ll end up in the Golf Swing Tempo Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/4QBML70W65
— LKD (@LukeKerrDineen) May 20, 2023
Conners is one of the top ball strikers on tour this season. He is in the top fifteen in the field this week in strokes gained tee to green, ball striking, off the tee, and on approach. He has had previous success at this venue with four consecutive cuts made and two top 25s in the last three appearances. I am concerned with his struggles on and around the greens. However, Conners has been better in recent events in these areas. He has gained strokes around the greens and on them in four of his last five events. It is no surprise that in that span he has a win and two other top 12 finishes.
Keegan Bradley ($7,800)
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 18, 2023
I went with Bradley strictly off his performances at the three comp courses I used for my research. Keegan finished 2nd at Torrey Pines in January. Followed it up by finishing 10th at Bay Hill in March. He finished 23rd at the Masters in April. He's finished inside the top 35 in seven of his eleven events this season.
I understand if some would worry about his recent form in this event. Over the last five appearances, he has two missed cuts and his best finish in that span is 23rd. He does have previous success at this venue with back-to-back top tens in 2015 and 2016.
Another option in this price range: Byeong Hun An ($7,400)
Keith Mitchell ($7,600)
I really wish he didn’t have to have sponsors all over his gear (not the fault of the maker Sid Mashburn) but Keith Mitchell is easily the best dressed golfer on the PGA tour
Yes I realize this isn’t saying much but pic.twitter.com/fVfJXPGdi1
— Jake Woolf (@jakewoolf) March 13, 2023
I like Mitchell this week because I expect him to be low-owned. He's played badly in four straight events with three finishes of 53rd or worse and one missed cut. At Muirfield Village, he has played very well over his career. He has back-to-back top-25 finishes at this event. The reason I am not concerned about his recent poor play is he has a history of playing badly at those events.
For example, in 2022 he missed three consecutive cuts before this event and went on to finish 22nd that year. Last year he came into the event with two missed cuts in the three events that preceded The Memorial. He is third in the field in strokes gained off the tee. It is imperative for players to avoid the rough off the tee if they want to contend at Muirfield.
Another option in this price range: (Eric Cole $6,900)
Now that you have read the 2023 PGA DFS: The Memorial DraftKings Preview, be sure to check out the rest of our golf content, including my show Two off the Tee on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel Tuesday night. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays.