Last week we saw Boo Weekley win the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and he becomes the 19th different winner on Tour, 20th if you include Scott Brown’s win at the Puerto Rico Open, so this season really is getting exciting. On a betting side of things, Tim Clark missed out on a place by just one shot, and that was certainly disappointing. Moving on from that, after another win on the European Tour, with 66/1 Matteo Manassero getting the job done, profit is at a season high and that’s what to bear in mind going forward this week.
This week on the PGA Tour we are in Dublin, Ohio for the 2013 Memorial Tournament. The Memorial Tournament is another one of “those tournaments” and what I mean by that is, Tiger Woods has won here on multiple occasions (5 in fact), so with the form he’s in, you would not be surprised if he made it 6! Tiger woods has set a record breaking season, even for himself and that is no small feat. This is the quickest Tiger has got to 4 wins on the season and he is certainly showing that he’s still the best player in the world. Enough of Tiger though, everyone who is interested in golf knows how good Tiger Woods’ is and no one needs me to point out his obvious chances of winning this week, especially at odds of 9/4. One other multiple winner of this event is in the field this week, and that is now Champions Tour regular Kenny Perry. Perry came T2 last week in the Senior PGA Championship, a Champions Tour major, and his other form for the year has been equally impressive. He has played just one regular event on the PGA Tour this season, at the HP Byron Nelson, and he finished in a tie for 33rd. Perry won this very event for the 3rd time in 2008 and also came in a tie for 17th in 2010 so he may still do well here. I don’t personally expect him to challenge but if you’re an optimist the 3-time winner is readily available at 300/1. Other than the two mentioned, the tournament has been open, with 7 other winners since 2000. Tiger is no doubt the clear favourite for the title, but this only increases value on players that can most definitely challenge him all the way. So what is needed in order to win this event? Let’s look at how last year’s champ did it, and how the course sets up for the players this week.
The Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club, 7,352 yards, par 72. The main reason Tiger Woods likes this course is the fact that you’re not particularly rewarded for accuracy off the tee. What you are rewarded for is hitting the greens, and when missing them, how you recover from that to get to the hole, in other words how you scramble. Something you hear every week is, how players scrambling saves their rounds, and players like Woods rely on their ability to conjure up something special in that department, and this course will certainly make you find your very best. Scoring does fluctuate here, with the last four winning scores being, -9, -16, -18 and -12. This does mean that you can shoot low here, and players high in the Total Birdies, coupled with Scrambling and Greens in Regulation will certainly be in with a great chance this week.
Defending Champion: Tiger Woods. The man that as mentioned previously, needs no introduction. Woods’ won his 5th Memorial trophy here last year, despite being four behind Rory Sabbatini even after birdieing the par 5 15th. The shot of his final round came at the very next hole, where he had no room for error with a flop shot from the rough, and he hit it to absolute perfection, finding the cup. Tiger went on to win by two shots, ahead of both Sabbatini and Andres Romero. Tiger will look to this week as another real chance of continuing his fine recent form, and after winning the Players, at TPC Sawgrass, a course he is publicly not fond of, his will be brimming with as much confidence as ever. At 9/4 I am more than happy to leave Tiger alone and try and take him on with four, in my opinion strong picks.
As ever I will be trying to find you the best possible value, and this week is a dream for punters happy to look at outsiders and players who, with Woods’ being in the field are inflated in price, compared to any other week. They are players in absolutely fine form on the PGA Tour this season, as well as players who have shown they like this track and a combination of the two leads me too my picks. So here they are, my picks for the 2013 Memorial Tournament.
Justin Rose 28/1 (PaddyPower 1-6) 3pts e/w: Rose has no doubt come into the spotlight, especially in the last couple of years, and he is now 4th in the World Rankings, after recently making it as high as 3rd. Justin is one of the most consistent players in the world at the moment, however he doesn’t quite win as much as I would like. With this being said he meets every bit of my criteria this week, 11th in Greens in Regulation and 8th in Scrambling, as well as some extremely impressive course history. Rose won the Memorial back in 2010, and to add to that he came 8th last season. Although he missed the cut in 2011 he has improved since then and 28/1 I’m happy to take a chance. I watched Rose at Wentworth last week and his main issue at this moment in time is his Putting. He is not Putting anywhere near as well as his ability suggests, so I’m hoping by returning to a course he has history on, his putter will get hot and he will go well. Justin also came T2 in 2008 so he has proved that his results here are far from luck and he should go well again.
Webb Simpson 50/1 (General) 1pt e/w: Simpson is a player I have always liked, and that opinion has in no way changed in 2013. Webb has posted some great results this year, with his best coming 2nd to Graeme McDowell at the RBC Heritage. He has 7 other top 25’s, two of those in the top 10. His form here is far from great, with only one good showing of note, coming in a tie for 7th in 2011. He is in reasonable form this season, and he will be looking to improve on his current good form ahead of his U.S Open defence. Simpson is 40th in Greens in Regulation and 30th in Scrambling so he currently stands in good order ahead of this week. I think he’s a big price given recent form, and I don’t want to let his chequered past at this course come in the way of him being a generous 50/1 shot in my opinion.
John Huh 100/1 (General) 1pt e/w: Huh is 100/1 this week, and I was surprised to see that. His last two performances on Tour are, T11 in last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational, and T8 at the HP Byron Nelson, two extremely impressive results. Huh is 28th in Scrambling and that is something as previously mentioned that I am taking a keen interest in this week. John was Rookie of the Year and for good reason, this guy can really play. Not only can he play in general, but he came T19 here in 2012, on his very first appearance. What more can you ask for from a 100/1 shot? I do feel that Huh is over priced but only time will tell, but if the last two weeks are anything to go by, Huh should give us something to look forward to this coming week.
Matt Every 125/1 (Bet365 & Coral) 1pt e/w: Matt Every is fresh off the back of a T4 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and he also meets the criteria for a couple of categories I’m interested in. Every is 44th in Greens in Regulation and 11th in Total Birdies, two big parts of what I think will be important this week. He has one past showing at this track and he impressed coming T6 last season. These three things were enough to make me take the 125/1 and I hope he can better last year’s performance. Apart from everything previously mentioned, Every also has two very impressive results this year, one at the Players’ Championship, where he finished T26 and also his T9 at the Waste Management Phoenix. Every is certainly someone I’m interested at this price and I hope he can repay the faith.
Nordea Masters Tips
Mikko Ilonen 33/1 (General) 1pt e/w
Ilonen is in fantastic form this year, and last week was no different. Ilonen finished T12 at the BMW PGA Championship, after two runner up finishes in his last four events. He won this event in 2007 and that should be enough to keep him on the form bus for now, and give him the confidence needed to get himself another win on tour. He came T3 in 2012 so he is still in touch with the course and at 33/1 I think he’s worth considering.
Jonas Blixt 50/1 (Coral) 1pt e/w
Blixt has finally posted a finish that proves his ability, when he finished T11 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational last week. This is Blixt’ home event and he will be looking to impress on the European stage. He is already a winner on the PGA Tour, so I’m sure he could pose a threat to the favourites of this event. At 50/1 I’m happy to include him this week. He did miss the cut last year, but I’m hoping last week in America has given him confidence and he can take that home with him!
Gregory Bourdy 66/1 (General) 1pt e/w
Gregory Bourdy is playing well in recent times on tour, and he played extremely well on the last day of the BMW PGA Championship last week. Playing alongside Ernie Els, Bourdy shot a 68 in Round 4 and that capped off a good week for the Frenchman. He finished T21 at the Open De Espana as well as T11 in the Maybank Malaysian Open and T2 in the Africa Open. This proves he is in form this year, and despite a few disappointing results I still believe Bourdy is playing at a very high level. He hasn’t played in this event before so it’s a fresh challenge for him, and I look to him to relish the chance to impress.
I am in high spirits after yet another win last week, albeit on the European Tour. This is brilliant none the less as profit is at a season high, but now the points need to come in on the PGA Tour. Brandt Snedeker gave us an early win this year at Pebble Beach and I really hope that these four players can take on Tiger Woods at this years Memorial Tournament. I have not previewed the Nordea Masters this week, but I feel good about my picks and I hope you will take a look at them. Good luck and I hope you enjoyed the read. Follow me on Twitter @TomJacobs8
Total Points staked for the week: 18
Profit/Loss for 2013: +106.5