Hectic Moving Day opens up Sunday shootout at the Memorial
6 Min Read
Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet
DUBLIN, Ohio. – Hideki Matsuyama appeared to have the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday in the palm of his hand early Saturday as the 2014 champion led by three on the front nine.
Five holes later he trailed by four. By round end, he was just two off the pace. Such was the volatility at Muirfield Village on moving day.
David Lipsky also held a three-shot lead at one point in the round. He bogeyed his last two holes to join a tie for the lead at six under, joined by FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy and former PLAYERS champion Si Woo Kim.
In a drama-filled Saturday, the tournament was thrown wide open with 31 players within four shots of the lead. Even World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who made the cut on the number, is now just five shots back and an outside chance.
But it is McIlroy who now holds firm favoritism in the eyes of the oddsmakers, moving to +260 with BetMGM Sportsbook despite not having a top 10 at Muirfield Village since 2018.
Here’s how the latest odds look with a round to play via BetMGM
+260: Rory McIlroy (-6, T1)
+700: Si Woo Kim (-6, T1)
+800: Viktor Hovland (-5, T4)
+1200: Patrick Cantlay (-4, T9)
+1400: Wyndham Clark (-5, T4)
+1600: Denny McCarthy (-5, T4)
+1800: Collin Morikawa (-4, T9)
+1800: David Lipsky (-6, T1)
+2200: Hideki Matsuyama (-4, T9)
This sets up for a crazy Sunday where multiple champions could still be crowned, which in turn brings opportunity to cash at decent odds. So, let’s take a look at who I’m expecting to make the final push.
Patrick Cantlay (+1200 to win, -4, T9)
I can’t jump off my pre-tournament winning pick now despite a round to forget that included an ugly triple bogey on the sixth hole today. Cantlay’s 2-over 74 was far from confidence inducing, but he’s a good enough player to shake it off and reset into Sunday. With two wins at Muirfield Village to his name and the fact he’s ranked second in the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and leads the field in SG: Off-the-Tee gives me enough conviction to go back to the well. The problem thus far has been putting where Cantlay ranks 59th at -3.248 for the week.
Si Woo Kim (+700 to win, -6, T1)
It’s not often you get a +700 number against a former PLAYERS champion who is tied for the lead with 18 holes to go. Kim won the Sony Open in Hawaii earlier this season and was runner-up to Jason Day recently at the AT&T Byron Nelson. His last three results at Muirfield Village read T18-T9-T13, so he’s no stranger to being amongst the top of the boards. He’s fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green this week, second in SG: Off-the-Tee and 10th in SG: Around-the-Green. At 34 of 42, he’s hit more fairways than anyone in the field and he’s second in scrambling.
What he said: “I feel I hit a lot of great tee shots and a lot of great iron shots and hopefully it goes in with the putter. But I feel great, especially making two doubles and shoot under par on this course, I'll take it.
Jon Rahm (+3500, -2, T23) and Scottie Scheffler (+10000, -1, T32)
If you are looking for a lottery ticket, look no further than the top two players in the world who sport odds you won’t see often. There is no doubt that they have mountains to climb, but consider the fact that Keegan Bradley made the cut on the number on Friday but then shot a 65 to sit just two off the pace going to Sunday and you see miracles can happen. Someone is going to have a chance to set a target number for others to chase. The last three holes are playing as the hardest three on the course, making it a tough finish for the final groups.
Rahm, a former winner, leads the field in SG: Approach and is fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green, but he’s been dismal on the greens, ranking 62nd in SG: Putting at -4.226. Who has been worse? Scheffler ... incredibly dropping to 66th in SG: Putting at -7.052. Scheffler leads the field in SG: Tee-to-Green! Now if… if… they can make some putts Sunday, they both have the gravitas to spook others as their names start to appear on the leaderboards around Jack’s Place. Oh… and they are playing together.
Rory McIlroy (+260 to win, -6, T1)
While it is true I’ve advocated staying off the Rory train for a while now, including pre-tournament this week, I actually like his chances of contending on Sunday. But given the vast number of players within striking distance, these are odds you just can’t heavily advocate for. One ounce of bad luck and McIlroy could be fighting against a tsunami of players in the mix. It’s possible, even probable, that he won’t be leading when he tees off on Sunday, so he will already need to be in attack mode on a golf course with disaster at every turn. He is ranking 12th SG: Tee-to-Green but 48th in SG: Approach and T49 in proximity.
What he said: “Felt like I have hit the ball pretty well this week. The big thing for me around here with how penal it is off the tee is just getting the ball in play. So throttling back, hitting a lot of 3-woods, irons off tees. Using the driver sort of sporadically. That's been the game plan and that's what's really worked over the last three days.
“It would mean a ton to me to win this tournament. I've played pretty well here over the years without really having a realistic chance to win. So, to be able to walk up that hill from 18 and get that handshake from Jack would be pretty nice. I won Arnold's tournament a few years ago, but he had already passed by the time. So, it would be so nice to be able to do it and have Jack be there. It would be really cool.”
Denny McCarthy (+1600 to win, -5, T4)
I have no doubt McCarthy will be confident in his chances given he was T5 here a year ago, but I just don’t think you can ride a substandard tee-to-green game and win here. It eventually catches up with you. McCarthy is 50th in SG: Tee-to-Green but first in SG: Putting and he rode Sunday with the help of two(!) eagles. Surely that fire can’t run all week at a place with brutal lies around every corner.
One thing is clear – it is still anyone’s game – and it’s going to be a fun ride on Sunday.
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