Best bets for The Memorial Tournament and European Open


This week the PGA Tour moves to Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament and Steve Rawlings is back with his comprehensive preview.

Steve says: ” The Memorial Tournament has been a fantastic tournament to trade and so too was last year’s Workday Charity Open. We’ve had five playoffs in the last eight events here now and taking on short-priced contenders is a great way to profit. Last year’s Workday runner-up, Justin Thomas, was matched at less than 1.11/10 on two separate occasions and he was matched at a low of 1.031/33!

“Jason Dufner was the only player to go odds-on four years ago but three other players traded at less than 2/1 (Rickie Fowler 2.021/1, Bubba Watson 2.77/4 and Daniel Summerhays 2.829/5) and it’s very unusual not to see at least one player trade at long odds-on and get beat.

“The runner-up, Scott, was matched at 2.56/4 in 2019 and the third-round leader, Kaymer, who finished third, traded at just 1.422/5. A year earlier, Cantlay, who came back to win last year, was the first man to make a big move in round four and when he raced to the front with a four-under-par 32 on the front-nine, his price dipped to just 1.321/3. He lost his way completely after that and it was left to DeChambeau to assume command but that wasn’t the end of the drama.

Bryson DeChambeau at Charles Schwab.jpg

“Bryson was also matched at 1.321/3 as the challengers seemingly fell away but Kyle Stanley birdied 14, 15, 16 and 17 and that late charge saw DeChambeau drift right out to odds-against again as Stanley’s price plummeted to just 2.021/1. Less than an hour earlier it had spiked to 400.0399/1…”

“It’s a venue where closers can steal the title. I’ll be looking for a few closers at decent prices with a round to go.

“One of the reasons we see so much drama here is the finish to the course. The seven hardest holes are all positioned between holes eight and 18. The par four 13th averaged below par last year and the five 15th is a chance to score but the last three holes are all tough and they ranked as the first, seventh and second hardest on the property in last year’s edition.”

Steve’s bet:
Back Patton Kizzire @ 270.0269/1

Who’s going to make a strong start in Ohio on Thursday? Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader at Muirfield Village.

Dave says: “The first-round king over the last few weeks has been Keegan Bradley.

“In his last three starts he was day one leader at the Valspar and second after 18 holes at both the Wells Fargo and PGA Championship. Add in day one positions of sixth in Phoenix and seventh at Bay Hill and this is a definite thing, not a three-tournament fad.

“Bradley has four R1 leads in his last 54 starts and, at this course, he’s been in the top 18 following the first round on six occasions. It’s a nice combination and, fuelled by some excellent SG: Tee To Green numbers, he’s been posting some strong results: he’s on a run of seven straight top 30s.

“He has an 8:56am tee-time in the pleasant company of Rickie Fowler and Lanto Griffin. Take the 50s.”

Dave’s bet: Back Keegan Bradley E/W @ 51.050/1

We’re off to Ohio in pursuit of a triple-figure winner where Steve Rawlings likes a pair of veterans and a youngster seeking his first PGA Tour title.

Steve says: “I was very surprised to be able to back the promising 25-year-old Ghim at such a huge price given this place looks absolutely spot on for his game and that he finished an eye-catching 14th last week in Texas.

“He’s not the longest off the tee, or the greatest putter the world has ever seen, but he’s deadly accurate off the tee and, from the fairways when he misses the odd putting surface, he usually scrambles nicely too.

“Length off the tee and strong putting aren’t essential prerequisites here but accuracy and great scrambling skills are important, so this looks like a perfect place for Ghim to win his first PGA Tour title.”

Steve’s bet: Back 1 u Doug Ghim @ 210.0209/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4

After banking a full each-way return on 45/1 Charley Hoffman last week, Dave Tindall seeks more profits with three tips for the annual trip to Muirfield Village.

Dave says: “When he won last year, Jon Rahm went into the event on the back of rather iffy form of MC-33-37-27. This year, Patrick Cantlay’s preparation has been even worse: missed cuts in his last four strokeplay events before a tied 23rd in the PGA Championship.

“This is where drilling down becomes interesting as Cantlay ranked 5th for Approach and 11th Tee To Green at Kiawah Island. He was also 2nd Off The Tee so those numbers were back to the levels of early season on the West Coast when he was second at The American Express and third at Pebble Beach.

“And if he’s going to showcase his return to form with another big finish, Muirfield Village is a perfect candidate.

“He won this event in 2019, was fourth in 2017 and also seventh in the Workday Charity Open last year. He was ninth after 54 holes of the following week’s Memorial but had a final-round shocker to finish tied 32nd.

“Finally, Cantlay is 31st for Par 5 scoring this year so let’s play him at 20/1.”

Dave’s bet: Back Patrick Cantlay E/W @ 21.020/1

Matt Cooper has three each-way selections for this weekend’s European Tour event in Germany with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places.

Matt says: “The Englishman is long enough off the tee (ranking 23rd last season for Distance) and, after ranking first for Strokes Gained Off the Tee last season is second this term.

“Last year he was tied fifth at Celtic Manor, second at Dom Pedro, second again at Chervo, he got in the mix briefly at The Belfry, he ended 2020 with a top five in Dubai and started 2020 with another.

laurie canter.jpg

“He posted a first round 68 to be tied seventh at Green Eagle back in 2017 before drifting into T37th. He’s a much stronger performer these days and can contend this week.”

Matt’s bet: Laurie Canter each-way @ 26.025/1

Muirfield Village has a reputation for demanding pin-point accuracy with the irons, and is very much a ‘second-shot’ course explains Andy Swales as he provides the form stats and course info.

Andy says: “Muirfield Village, which is owned by Jack Nicklaus, covers more than 200 acres, and is laid out almost 1,000 feet above sea level. It is a traditional parkland course approximately 15 miles north of Columbus city centre.

“Nicklaus has continually made changes to the course, which has included lengthening holes, building more bunkers, and increasing the number and size of water hazards. And within days of last year’s Memorial Tournament finishing, renovation began on greens, tees and fairways which have all been re-grassed.

“Putting surfaces are undulating, and there is a plentiful supply of sand, which populate the many deep bunkers. Although water comes into play on 11 holes, many of these hazards appear in the shape of ditches, rather than large lakes.”

We’ve got a Saturday start and a shorter event to evaluate this week on the European Tour. Steve Rawlings previews the Porsche European Open.

Steve says: “The defending champ, Paul Casey, looks short enough at first glance but he does well when he drops back on to the European Tour and he clearly loves the venue.

“In addition to winning here two years ago, he traded at a low of just 2.186/5 when finishing seventh on debut in 2018 so it’s hard to envisage him not contending for a third time given he arrives on the back of a fourth-placed finish in the USPGA Championship.

“Abraham Ancer is an interesting entrant but the 30-year-old Mexican can hardly be described as prolific given he’s won just two titles to date – the 2015 Nova Scotia Open on the Web.com Tour and the Australian Open in 2018.

“The world number 17 adds a bit of class but he’s yet to win on the PGA Tour and others are most definitely preferred.

Although winning back-to-back tournaments is hard and unusual, last week’s winner, Bernd Wiesberger, is worth chancing modestly at 17.016/1 in this grade on a course he’s shown a liking to. It was impossible not to be impressed by his demolition job in Denmark and he made seven birdies in eight holes here two years ago when firing 64 in round four to finish fifth.

“Having the event reduced to just three rounds my be in his favour if he gets off to a decent start and I was happy to chance him modestly at 17.016/1.”

Steve’s bet: Back Bernd Wiesberger to win the European Open @ 17.016/1

Andy provides the lowdown on the course for this weekend’s European Open as well as the latest form ahead of Saturday’s start.

Andy says: “The South Africans, who have collectively played well on the European Tour this year, are out in force again this week.

“This lengthy layout could well favour the likes of Daniel van Tonder and Jacques Kruyswijk who are both big hitters.

“And world No 85 Sam Horsfield will be chasing a third Tour title in 10 months.

“The Englishman, who was born in Manchester but moved to the United States when he was five, leads the way in the category Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, and is ninth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. So his game must be in decent shape right now.”

Sam Horsefield 28.027/1 to win the European Open