2023 Memorial Tournament Picks and Predictions

The PGA Tour is heading to Dublin, Ohio, for the Memorial Tournament. OddsChecker's golf handicapper and expert Andy Lack gives us his best picks for the 2023 Memorial Tournament.

Xander Schauffele plays his shot from the fourth tee during the first round of the PGA Championship.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Memorial Tournament has been one of the staples of the PGA Tour since 1974, and it always attracts one of the strongest fields in golf. Part of the reason for this is the widespread admiration for tournament host Jack Nicklaus, and another factor is that Muirfield Village is one of the most well-respected and adored venues on Tour. For this reason, it was an easy decision for the Tour to grant this event elevated status, and as a result, we will be graced this week with many of the best players in the world. 

Billy Horschel will return to defend his title, and he will be challenged by two-time Memorial champion Patrick Cantlay, former Memorial champion Jon Rahm, and Collin Morikawa, who has also won at Muirfield Village. We will get our eyes on Rory McIlroy again for the first time since an up-and-down PGA Championship, and Scottie Scheffler will also look to continue his historically consistent season. The Memorial is an event with a ton of wonderful history, and we are surely in store for one of the best weeks of the entire season.

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Memorial Tournament: Course Preview

Muirfield Village

Muirfield Village is one of the longest and most difficult golf courses on the PGA Tour, and it got even tougher in the last two years after an extensive remodel. After Patrick Cantlay won this event at 19-under par, Jack Nicklaus decided that he really needed to beef up the course to account for advances in modern technology. Many of the greens were re-modeled, bunkers were re-positioned, fairways were pinched in, and over 150 yards were added to the total scorecard. Muirfield Village is a true tee-to-green test, ranking top-eight in strokes gained off the tee difficulty, strokes gained approach difficulty, and strokes gained around the green difficulty. While the fairways are fairly wide, like most Nicklaus designs, the penalty for missing them is dire. 

Muirfield Village ranked first out of 38 courses last year in missed fairway penalties. There is a massive correlation between playing from the fairway and hitting greens in regulation at Muirfield Village. The Ohio track features one of the lowest greens in regulation percentage on Tour and a comically low greens in regulation percentage from the rough. Accurate driving is paramount to being able to play offense on this course, but even those who find the fairway will still find themselves with some of the most challenging approach shots on Tour. 

Last year, Muirfield Village ranked fifth out of 38 courses in strokes gained approach difficulty, and over 50% of all second shots came from over 175 yards. All four of the par fives got lengthened in the renovation, which explains why a whopping 16% of approach shots now come from over 250 yards. As one can gather from a course with a sub-60% greens in regulation percentage, the short game is also incredibly paramount at Muirfield Village. 

The Nicklaus design features some of the deepest and most treacherous bunkers on Tour, and the greenside rough doesn’t provide much of a respite either. This week, I will be prioritizing accuracy off the tee, long iron play, and overall short game, as putting has actually proven to be less essential at this golf course.

Memorial Tournament Key Stats

  • Good Drive Percentage
  • Long-term Proximity 175 yards plus  
  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green

Memorial Tournament: Outright Winner

Xander Schauffele (+1400) (Bet $100 to collect $1,500) Go to BetMGM for the best Xander Schauffele odds

Xander Schauffele has done just about everything but find the winner’s circle this season, and as we saw last year when he reeled off back-to-back wins in July if he continues to put himself in the mix, it’s only a matter of time. Putting himself in the mix is just what Schauffele has done, as he has failed to finish outside of the top 20 in seven straight starts. This is truly some of the best and most consistent golf that we have seen out of the San Diego native in his entire career. Schauffele has gained over five strokes ball-striking in four straight starts, and he even ranks above Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Patrick Cantlay in the model I have created for Muirfield Village. 

The Nicklaus design is a perfect spot for the World No. 5, who ranks eighth in good drive percentage, 10th off the tee on long golf courses, fifth in overall recent approach play, first in proximity from 200 yards plus, 11th in Bent-grass putting, third in par five scorings, and second in strokes gained total over the last five years on long and difficult golf courses. It’s an absolutely flawless resume for the seven-time PGA Tour winner, and this is the ideal spot for Schauffele to pick up his first win of the 2022-2023 season.

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Xander Schauffele's Outright Odds Comparison via OddsChecker
SportsbookOdds Payout ($100 Wager)
BetMGM Sportsbook+`1400$1500
Bet365 Sportsbook+1400$1500
DraftKings Sportsbook+1200$1300
FanDuel Sportsbook+1200$1300

As you can see from OddsChecker's odds comparison above, Xander Schauffele's odds range from +1200 to +1400. This means if you were to bet $100 on Schauffele to win at DraftKings or FanDuel you would be giving up $200 worth of additional profit you could make just from betting with Bet365 or BetMGM!

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000) (Bet $100 to collect $4,100) BetMGM has the best Hideki Matsuyama odds

Already with one victory under his belt at Muirfield Village, Hideki Matsuyama is in a prime position to contend again at Jack’s place. The former Masters champion is coming off a 29th at the PGA Championship, where he gained 1.9 strokes off the tee, 4.1 strokes on approach, and 4.5 strokes around the green. It was an incredibly impressive and well-balanced tee-to-green performance and the exact type of form that I am looking for heading into a golf course of this nature. Matsuyama has once again returned to complete form with his irons, gaining over 2.5 strokes on approach in four straight starts. 

He ranks top-30 in overall approach play, long iron play, recent strokes gained around the green, sand save percentage, par five scoring, and strokes gained total on long and difficult golf courses. While it has been a quiet, injury-plagued season for Matsuyama, his results have actually been far more impressive than many would expect, given the lack of respect he receives in the betting markets. Matsuyama is, without a doubt, the best value on the board, and I fully expect him to be in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Ohio.

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Hideki Matsuyama's Outright Odds Comparison via OddsChecker
SportsbookOddsPayout ($100 Wager)
BetMGM Sportsbook+4000$4100
DraftKings Sportsbook+3500$3600
FanDuel Sportsbook+3500$3600
Bet365 Sportsbook+3500$3600

Once again you can see the power of odds comparison. OddsChecker have flagged that Hideki Matsuyama is +4000 on BetMGM Sportsbook and +3500 everywhere else. Claim an addtional $500 in profit just by betting your $100 on BetMGM this week, rather than other popular sportsbooks.

Andy Lack

A PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York, Andy Lack has contributed to sites such as Golf Digest, GolfWRX, OddsChecker Rotoballer, the Score, and now Golf Monthly. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. When he’s not writing, Andy can likely be found somewhere on a golf course pursuing his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur.