So now that the “practice” Memorial tournament is out of they way in the Workday Charity Open, we move on to the “real” Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. Of course I’m kidding when I say practice but that is essentially what we got to see with the Workday Charity event at the exact same course a week before. Having back to back events at the same course has never happened before and there are so many angles to take into account for this week’s stacked field.
Stacked may be underselling the 2020 Memorial Tournament as the field looks like this:
- 12 of the Top 15 golfers are playing and all Top 5 are here this week – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas.
- 43 out of the Top 50 are playing including notable names – Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose.
- And then there is one more player who added his name to the list that might just cause a minor stir. The legend himself Tiger Woods has entered the Rumble at Memorial this week and that just puts the icing on the cake for what could be the best tournament outside of a major this year.
As you can see this just isn’t another run of the mill tournament this year, this looks and feels like an unofficial Major tournament. The purse is $9,300,000 so needless to say this is the one to win. Everyone will be gunning for the trophy at the course that Jack built and last week might have just been a perfect warm-up event for some golfers.
Tiger Woods Returns
Love him or hate him anytime Tiger is in a tournament you have to pay special attention. The media will of course cover him from all angles because he is a ratings king but he’s also impactful on DFS lineups. His extreme popularity can equate to automatic high ownership even when not always warranted. Now Woods is not the once dominant force of the early 2000’s but what 2019 taught us is that even 40 something Tiger Woods can still win any damn tournament he enters because of that once in a lifetime skill that we may never see again.
When is the right time to draft Tiger Woods? Well if he is going to be anywhere close to 20% ownership it gets really tough to take him at all as a golfer in his 40’s. When he is projected at 12% to 15% it gets interesting depending on the tournament. Anything less then 10% owned and you almost got to pull the trigger on him for now because he can still win any event he plays in as he chases all-time golf win records. For the Memorial he is projected right at 15% according to most sites. So let’s take a peak at some stats to see how he looks for this week:
History At Muirfield
– 2019 he finished in 9th place
– 2018 he finished in 23rd
– He is 17 for 17 in cuts made at this event with 9 Top Tens
How His 2020 Season Started
– He won the ZoZo Championship in Japan, his 1st tournament of the year with a field that consisted of McIlory, Morikawa, Hovland, Spieth, Matsuyama and Xander to name a few
– Finished 9th at the Farmers Insurance Open
– Finished 68th at the Genesis Open
What About The Long Layoff?
We haven’t seen Tiger since that 68th finish at the Genesis Open which was 5 months ago. So does that long layoff hurt his chances at all? Let’s compare to the last time Tiger was away for a long time:
– Tiger missed almost all of the 2017 season due to injuries and came back in 2018 after a major back surgery.
His first 5 tournaments back on Tour went like this: 23rd, Cut, 12th, 2nd, 5th
So what do you think? Hard to not like Tiger coming into the 2020 Memorial Tournament it’s an event he likes and he usually starts strong after any time off. Here’s the X factor for me, the lack of crowd noise! The effect Tiger Woods has on a gallery is something like golf has never seen before. When he is in contention it’s like a tidal wave of people all going nuts and hovering around him with every shot and putt. It motivates him and intimidates all others on the course when they hear the Tiger roar. With no crowd Tiger may be like superman without his cape, it’s just not the same. I’m taking him in some lineups, I think he makes the cut and even cracks the top 20 but his ownership could get close to 20% so play at your own risk. I don’t think he can come right out of the gates with a win, especially in this field, but Tiger has shocked the world before.
The Memorial Tournament DFS Picks
The field this week is stacked with stars, almost all the best golfers are playing at The Memorial so I think the most likely lineup construction to win is probably going to be stars and scrubs. This is where you load up on 3 high priced guys or maybe one mid tier guy and fill out the rest with low end sleeper picks.
The Top Tier This Week
Top Tier Pick
When you have the Top 5 players in the world all going in one week you really can’t fault any pick out of this top core. Bryson, Thomas and Morikawa are all obvious picks that you can take with not much thought and many will. I try to be different from the majority and look for someone I hope is going to be overlooked. That leads me to Dustin Johnson who is coming off his first win of 2020. The thing about DJ is he is very streaky and when he wins he can go on a nice hot streak, much like we are seeing with DeChambeau currently. He won the St. Jude classic in 2018 and went on to finish 3rd at the US Open and won again 2 weeks later. He won the Mexico Championship in 2019 and his next five events went like so – 5th, 6th, 2nd, 28th and 2nd. He’s projected to be one of the lower owned guys from this group and has made the cut at the Memorial 80% of the time. His stats look great including being 26th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. He’s just an overall solid pick this week in my opinion.
Projected Highest Owned From This Tier
Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas
Mid Tier Golfers This Week
Top Mid Tier Pick
We all saw Rickie in an all too familiar spot after his 4th round finished up last Sunday. He was sitting on the 18th hole rooting for his buddy Justin Thomas after his round was complete. Just once it would be nice to see Fowler in the hunt again instead of always cheering on his friends. That being said he looked impressive all weekend at Muirfield until his usual putting woes in the final round. He gained strokes each and every round Tee To Green until that final round. He just can’t find that killer instinct he use to have but the fact he has last week under his belt and looked so good may be a nice confident boost. All we need is for him to find his putter one time in both rounds 3 and 4 and this tournament could be his for the taking. There are many nice picks in this range but Fowler has now put together back to back great tournaments and he always plays well here.
Projected Highest Owned From This Tier
Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka
Low End Golfers This Week
Top Sleeper Pick
Someone has to take the great story pick, right? If you don’t know English tested positive for Covid-19 during the Rocket Mortgage Classic and was forced to withdraw. He has missed the last 2 events recovering because of the virus. I can just picture the media frenzy if he’s in contention come Sunday it will be a thing of beauty. Well let’s pretend the virus didn’t hit him for a second; English is 18th in SG:T2G, 7th in GIR and 15th in Scrambling. So his stats lineup but how was he playing? It is a small sample size but he missed the cut in the first event but then bounced back with a 17th place finish at the RBC Heritage. He had a 18th place finish at the Memorial back in 2015 and currently sits 27th in the FedEx standings. No one is going to want to touch English this week (no pun intended) and his ownership should be less then 5%. It’s as risky a play you can take in fantasy this week but in order to win the Milly Contest you need to take big risks. English is my make or break pick this week. If he is healthy and back to normal I see no reason why he can’t compete but who knows how he is doing, we will find out soon.
Projected Highest Owned From This Tier
Last Week’s Picks
Last week was 50/50 as two picks worked out great and two failed miserably. My top sleeper pick Sabbatini was a big win getting you over 90 points at 2% ownership. My top fade Marc Leishman worked out for us as well as he missed the cut and only got you 21 DK points at a big salary. That salary just never made sense to me and he was an easy fade.
Gary Woodland –5th
DraftKings Points = 101.5
FanDuel Points = 110.6
Rory Sabbatini – 17th
DraftKings Points = 92.5
FanDuel Points = 90.5
Joel Dahmen – MC
DraftKings Points = 7.5
FanDuel Points = -3
Justin Rose – MC
DraftKings Points = 13.5
FanDuel Points = 5.6
My Fade Of The Week
Marc Leishman – Missed Cut