Welcome to the 2019 The Memorial Fantasy Golf Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
The Memorial will be played at Muirfield Village – a Par 72 course that plays just under 7400 yards long and was 30th on tour last year in difficulty relative to par. The course plays as the 21st longest on tour in par adjusted distance and has middle of the road fairways that rank as the 24th narrowest on tour. With the course design, several tee shots restrict golfers ability to get full leverage out of their driver and the course generally cannot be overpowered by a pure bomber. Instead, Muirfield plays as a second shot golf course where finding the right angles of approach in the fairway and capitalizing on those approaches can be beneficial.
This event is an invitational – a 120 man field where the Top 70 and ties will make the cut. This means more lineups will generate 6/6 golfers through to the weekend and generally, golfers have a higher made cut expectation which erases some of the benefits of taking an aggressive contrarian stance against a good value.
The wind this week could play a factor and the forecast shows the potential for gusts in the afternoon on most days. The current forecast isn’t clear but it does look like it could be detrimental to tee off on Thursday afternoon. For Showdown formats it is recommended to adjust the projections for AM golfers on the Thursday-Saturday slates. For Sunday R4 Showdown you should let the course difficulty on Thursday-Saturday guide your roster construction. If the course is playing easy and scoreable than targeting one or two golfers from the back of the field could be beneficial, while if the scoring environment is challenging you’ll want to remain more concentrated towards the top of the leaderboards and bank placement points.
Going for the Green The Memorial Fantasy Golf Picks and Preview
Muirfield Village Course Fit and Course History
The event has a long history and in DataGolf’s new predictive course history tool it has more signal than many other courses on tour. This makes sense given the longer sample size, a relatively consistent and top end field, and a unique course fit. Some of the players with stronger course history bumps in DataGolf’s model would be Matt Kuchar (+0.25 strokes per round), David Lingmerth (+0.16), Ryan Moore (+0.16), Stewart Cink (+0.14), Rory Sabbatini (+0.14), Kyle Stanley (+0.21), Ben An (+0.08), and Tony Finau (+0.06). As mentioned, there is also a strong course fit element to Muirfield Village.
This event sets up as a “second shot course” with nearly 40 percent strokes gained via approach versus a tour average of just below 35 percent. The event should place a slightly lower emphasis on strokes gained off the tee and putting compared to a traditional tour event.