Final Bets the Memorial

My Final Thoughts: the Memorial 2021 Final Betting Card, OAD, And DFS Plays

I think I’m just starting to emotionally recover from Jordan Spieth’s Sunday implosion at the Charles Schwab Challenge last week. Just kidding, it’ll linger deep into my soul for the rest of the season, or at least until my next outright hit distracts me, so let’s hope the Memorial is exactly the coping mechanism the doctor (therapist?) ordered!

It’s been an interesting week of prep, as on top of the general event history and course form profiling, we’ve also had to scour media interviews for any inside tidbits on how these drastic renovations are going to effect play differently in 2021 than in years past. In short, I’d expect that players who have historically done well Ball Striking on this course will continue to do so, with the biggest changes coming into effect on and around the greens. Just as I used the Memorial in 2020 as a proxy for success on Augusta’s especially firm and fast greens in 2021, I’m looking back at performance at the most recent Masters as an indicator for how players in good recent form will respond to these new, never before played greens. With that said, here’s a look back at where I landed with my final card.

Outrights (3u)

  • Xander Schauffele +2200
  • Cameron Smith +5500
  • Charley Hoffman +5500
  • Shane Lowry +5500
  • Russell Henley +8000
  • Matt Wallace +8500
  • Marc Leishman +8500

I have a real flair for betting outrights on players who don’t win. The optimist in me says they’re just overdue for a win, and it helps this week that the notorious “non winners” on my card each do have professional wins on their resumes, they just don’t win as often as they should. Xander and Wallace each definitely fit that profile of guys who have been close lately, but not able to gut it out down the stretch. And Lowry, Henley, and Hoffman seem like players who have knocked on the door enough over the last couple years to the point where they should have a win by now in 2021. I wrote up a majority of these plays earlier this week in my Tournament Preview and Bombs & Values articles, with the exception of the mid-tier guys, Charley Hoffman and Cameron Smith. These two are essentially a hedge of whether this week boils down to a premium on Approach play (Hoffman), or if nobody can hold these greens and it becomes an Around the Green contest (Smith). In either case, both players have mediocre course history, which I’m totally willing to buy low on in a week where the course has been completely overhauled. Looking at just recent form, Smith and Hoffman have a combined 15 T20 finishes over each of their last 10 starts, and they’ve been especially strong putting on Bent grass in that span, so you have to feel good about the value at 55/1.

Placing Bets (1.5u)

  • Charl Schwartzel (T20) +500
  • Brandon Hagy (T30) +700

These are two players I wrote up glowingly in Bombs & Values, and I felt strong enough about the Charl T20 to feature it as my value prop of the week in Prop, Lock, & Drop It. Hagy T30 is a boom or bust play, but I think his distance, short game, and capability to putt on Bent grass make him worth the price for a T30 flier.

First Round Leader (.5u)

  • Jason Day +6600
  • Russell Henley +6600
  • Cameron Tringale +7000
  • Sebastian Munoz +9000

There’s nothing that would stop me from betting Sebastian Munoz FRL anyway, but as streaky as he is, it sure does feel good that he rolls into Dublin coming off his best showing of the year with a T3 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. The Day FRL is an homage to my Spotlight player of the week; I bounced him from my final outright card after I saw Leishman, who’s in better form and has better history, at longer odds. It also helps that Day may only be playing one round this week, with his wife about to go into labor any day now. Henley and Tringale are two players who always have a low round in them, so I’m down to roll the dice in this range for them.

One And Done

  • Hideki Matsuyama

There are only 11 weeks left in the Mayo Cup OAD season, which runs through the BMW Championship, so that means I am both running out of top-tier golfers to play, and running out of opportunities to play my remaining top-tier golfers. In a perfect world, I would play Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, or Rory McIlroy in this spot, however I’ve used them all up already. So although Hideki is not on my card, I know I’m not going to be tempted to use him the rest of the year, and I love his chances to repeat what he just did at Augusta on similar firm and fast Bent greens. Hideki has already won this event in 2014 and his combination of Ball Striking and Around The Green prominence should set him up well for a high finish.

DFS Core

  • Xander Schauffele ($9,700)
  • Matt Wallace ($7,400)
  • Russell Henley ($7,200)

I could have put Kyle Stanley in my core, but his ownership has skyrocketed this week to the point where it’s become easier to gain an edge on the field by fading him and hoping for a MC. It’s an egregious miss-price on Draft Kings, but $6K chalk rarely ever works out well, so instead I’m opting for a more balanced approach. With that, I probably won’t go lower than Russell Henley this week. He’s great on Nicklaus courses, he’s shown he can get hot on Bent greens, and if this becomes an approach contest, he’s a specialist with his irons like no others in this tier. Matt Wallace is another player in the same range who feels like a guy who can make a steady run at another T20. He was the only sub-$9K priced player to make his way into my Model’s Top 10 this week, and checks every box I’m looking for at the Memorial, if the T4 in his debut here last year wasn’t already proof. And finally there’s Xander Schauffele, my conviction bet of the week. The only negative thing you could say about Xander in 2021 is that he hasn’t won, and if that’s the case, I won’t complain about a T5 finish at this price to bail out my DFS lineups.