The eighth "designated event" of the PGA Tour season begins Thursday with The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.
Long one of the favorite stops for many tour players, the buzz around "the house that Jack built" is elevated further this year. Jack Nicklaus' signature course now features a $20 million prize pool, which has drawn seven of the top 10 and 38 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking to Dublin, Ohio.
Our golf experts preview the Memorial, and provide their favorite prop picks along with the best bets to win this week.
THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Location: Dublin, Ohio, June 1-4
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club (Par 72, 7,571 yards)
Purse: $20M (Winner: $3.6M)
Defending Champion: Billy Horschel
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
--Jon Rahm to Beat Scottie Scheffler (105 at DraftKings): Yes, Scheffler got to sleep in his own bed last week, but he is still finishing a three-week stretch of events that included the PGA and the Charles Schwab Challenge. Rahm took last week off and has a growing love affair with Muirfield Village, where he was well on his way toward defending a title when a positive COVID-19 test forced him to withdraw in 2021. He also tied for 10th last year while Scheffler skipped the event after finishing third the previous year.
--Jason Day to Finish Top 20 (100 at BetMGM): Day's best result in 13 previous event starts was a T4 back in 2016. But the Columbus, Ohio, resident and Muirfield Village member has generally been in his best form in years. He did miss a pair of cuts around a win at the Byron Nelson, but Day does own eight top-20s in his past 11 starts.
--Patrick Rodgers to Miss Cut (160 at DraftKings): A streaky player, Rodgers began 2023 by missing five of his first six cuts. He has made the weekend in five of his past six events, but a T19 at the RBC Heritage and a T29 at the PGA are his best results against elite fields. Rahm called Muirfield Village "target golf" and that doesn't play to Rodgers' strengths. He is 156th on tour in driving accuracy this year -- hitting only 54 percent of fairways -- and 135th in strokes gained on approach shots.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 23-30-2
--Scheffler (600 at BetMGM) leads the tour with 11 top-10s season and has finished no worse than T12 in his past 14 starts on tour. He finished third at the Memorial two years ago. Scheffler has accounted for the third most money at the sportsbook with 9.0 percent of the money backing him to win this week. He's also third with 9.6 percent at DraftKings, where Scheffler is 600 to win this week.
--Rahm (750) won the event in 2020 and held a six-shot lead after 54 holes in 2021 when he was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. He is attempting to become the first player to win five times in a season since Justin Thomas in 2016-17. Rahm opened at 800 at BetMGM, but his odds shifted with 6.6 percent of the total bets backing him. He is being offered at 700 at DraftKings, where Rahm leads the field with 11.1 percent of the bets and 17.3 percent of the money.
--Patrick Cantlay (1000) has two wins at the Memorial and four top-five finishes in six career starts. He also holds the tournament scoring average record of 69.96 among players with at least 10 rounds played since 1983. Cantlay has drawn the most money at 13.4 percent at BetMGM along with 6.1 percent of the total bets. Meanwhile, he is second at DraftKings with 13.8 percent of the money at the same odds.
--Rory McIlroy (1200) is making his 12th start at the Memorial, with his best finish thus far a T4 in 2016. The same odds at DraftKings has drawn a modest 2.7 percent of the total bets and 4.1 percent of the money.
--Viktor Hovland (2000) is in the midst of a busy stretch, sliding to a T16 with a closing 73 last week after a T2 at the PGA Championship. Having made 23 consecutive cuts and with eight top-20s already this year, the Norwegian is BetMGM's biggest liability this week as he leads the field with 8.9 percent of the total bets backing him.
--Hideki Matsuyama (4000) has rarely been in contention on Sunday of late as the Japanese star has been battling a neck injury. He did finish fifth at The Players but has not finished higher than T15 in five events since. Still, he is BetMGM's second biggest liability as Matsuyama has drawn 5.0 percent of the bets and 6.6 percent of the money to win.
--Sahith Theegala (5000) continues to be a sentimental betting favorite following his featured episode on Netflix's "Full Swing" documentary. Despite still seeking his first PGA Tour title while competing against an elite field, Theegala is fifth at DraftKings with 5.9 percent of the money backing him.
--The only player to successfully defend at the Memorial was Tiger Woods (1999-2001). Billy Horschel (9000), who will attempt to join him, has only two top-10s this season and sits at 108th in the FedEx Cup Standings with 10 weeks remaining before the start of the playoffs.
--Day (3000), who won two weeks ago at the Byron Nelson, lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is a member of Muirfield Village. His best finish in 13 previous starts was a T4 in 2020.
--Rickie Fowler (4000) has five top-10s through 15 starts this season. He had four combined top-10s over the previous three seasons. Fowler qualified for The Open Championship by moving into the top 50 in the world rankings with last week's T6 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
--2022 Jack Nicklaus Award recipient Chris Gotterup (35000) will make his 13th start on tour, with his best finish to date a T4 at the 2022 John Deere Classic.
--Reigning U.S. Amateur winner Sam Bennett (25000) will make his professional debut. He finished T16 at the Masters.
--Tom Lehman holds the tournament scoring record of 268 set in 1994.
--Field Level Media