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2019 The Memorial - Tiger Woods tipped for a return to the top of the leaderboard

US Masters champion returns to Muirfield Village where he is a five-time winner
tiger woods
Tiger Woods has won The Memorial five times and win No. 6 will move him level with Sam Snead on 82 PGA Tour titles (Getty Images)

2019 The Memorial Golf Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

A highly-competitive field is at Muirfield Village Golf Club this week to compete in the 2019 Memorial Tournament, hosted by the legendary Jack Nicklaus and played on a course designed by the great man himself. 

As always, much of the spotlight will be on Tiger Woods and a win in Ohio will move the US Masters champion level with Sam Snead with the most PGA Tour wins (82). Can Tiger roar for a sixth time at Jack’s Place?

2019 The Memorial Betting Odds

  • Rory McIlroy (9.00)
  • Tiger Woods (13.00)
  • Patrick Cantlay (17.00)
  • Justin Rose (17.00)
  • Justin Thomas (19.00)
  • Matt Kuchar (19.00)
  • Rickie Fowler (21.00)
  • Jason Day (21.00)
  • Tony Finau (21.00)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (23.00)

2019 The Memorial Top Contenders

Rory McIlroy (9.00)

No player has been as impressively consistent on the PGA Tour this season: of 10 stroke play tournaments, McIlroy has seven top-10 finishes and a title at The Players Championship, AKA the ‘fifth major’. Yet, that stunning form has not transferred over to the majors, although his T8 at the PGA Championship last time out was a fine display of battling golf. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is the bookies favourite and has been remarkably consistent this season (Getty Images)

Despite his form and his status as bookies favourite, there is little noise around McIlroy at The Memorial, which is strange considering he has five top-15s in seven starts at this tournament. Given the strength of the field, backing McIlroy to win at 9.00 is quite short but 1.80 for a top-10 finish is worth considering.

Tiger Woods (13.00)

The greatest player of his generation who has just returned to major-winning form, competes in a tournament where he has won five titles. Forget the missed cut at the PGA Championship - conditions were always against Woods to excel at Bethpage Black. 

A return to warmer and calmer climes is sure to play into the American’s hands, while Muirfield’s setup rewards second shots - and who better to take advantage than the finest iron player of all time? Plus, wouldn’t it be something for Woods to equal Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins at the home of Jack Nicklaus? Maybe it’s hoping for too much for the stars to align, but Woods has provided plenty of similarly iconic moments - what’s one more?

Patrick Cantlay (17.00)

Perhaps a surprise name among the leading favourites for The Memorial, but take a step back and you will see just how impressive Cantlay has been this season. The American has three top-10s in his past four starts and eight top-10s since October, behind only McIlroy and Jon Rahm. 

Cantlay finished fourth at Muirfield last year, so he knows how to score low at this course. Perhaps I’m missing something, but despite his good form, Cantlay still seems priced too low given the quality of the field. A top-20 finish could be on the cards, though. 

Justin Rose (17.00)

Rose was strangely off-kilter last week as his title defence at the Charles Schwab Challenge ended in a T58 on a course ready-made for his game. Rose will also be without long-time caddie Mark Fooch after he took an indefinite leave of absence. 

Justin Rose
Justin Rose is a winner and two-time runner-up at The Memorial (Getty Images)

However, a look at Rose’s record at Muirfield means to dismiss him at your peril: the Englishman has five top-eight finishes to go with this 2010 title. Also worth noting, the last time Gareth Lord replaced Fooch on the bag, Rose won at Torrey Pines. 

Justin Thomas (19.00)

Arguably the most complete player in the world, Thomas has, typically, spent much of the season fighting at the top of the leaderboard - five top-10s testament to his consistency. 

However, the American is without a win so far this year and is just returning from a wrist injury he deemed serious enough to skip the PGA Championship. Thomas insists his wrist is fully healed, but a win this week might come too soon. 

Matt Kuchar (19.00)

The season’s FedEx Cup points leader enters The Memorial with two wins, two runner-up finishes and most recently a T8 at the PGA Championship. Kuchar is also one of the most consistent players in Memorial’s history and ranks second on the tournament’s money list thanks to his 2013 title victory and 10 top-15 finishes. 

Given his form, past success at this course, and the overall solidity of his game, Kuchar is well placed to contend this week.

2019 The Memorial Outsiders

Hideki Matsuyama (23.00)

A solid if not spectacular season so far for Matsuyama, but there are few better iron players on the PGA Tour and he won here on debut in 2014. Has the game and the history to succeed at Muirfield and a top-20 finish @ 2.10 looks a solid bet.

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama won The Memorial on debut in 2014 (Getty Images)

Adam Scott (34.00)

For a player of his talent and experience, it’s quite remarkable Scott hasn’t tasted victory on the PGA Tour in three years. But he has been playing well this season and can usually be counted on to perform well at ball-striker paradises like Muirfield. Scott also has three top-five finishes at The Memorial. Looks another good option for a top-20 finish @ 2.50.

Henrik Stenson (51.00)

If the best iron players should rise to the top at Muirfield, then look no further than Stenson: after all, the former British Open champion is second in the field in strokes gained: approach. However, Stenson has struggled off the tee and on the green this season. That said, he finished T3 at The Memorial last year, and given his price, he is worth as the top Swedish player @ 1.80.

Rory Sabbatini (56.00)

The Slovakian will tee off at The Memorial following a fine run of form that includes four top-10s in his past five tournaments. Sabbatini also finished T2 at this tournament in 2012 so has a bit of history in Ohio. Everything appears to have clicked recently for Sabbatini and another strong showing here would be no surprise.

2019 The Memorial Statistics 

  • In 2000, Tiger Woods became the first player to successfully defend The Memorial title. He then won it again the following year for three in a row
  • A win for Tiger Woods this week will equal Sam Snead’s PGA Tour wins record of 82
  • In 2014, Hideki Matsuyama won The Memorial in his debut appearance, becoming the first Japanese PGA Tour winner since 2008

2019 The Memorial Betting Tips

Top Swedish player: Henrik Stenson @ 1.80 at bet365 - 3 Units
Top-10 Finish: Tiger Woods @ 2.10 at bet365 - 3 Units
Top-20 Finish: Hideki Matsuyama @ 2.10 at bet365 - 4 Units

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