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Memorial Tournament tips: Viktor Hovland back on song in time for title defence

Golf tipster Martin Colwell shifts his focus to the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, where a star-studded line-up will contest the seventh of the eight signature events of the 2024 PGA season.

Memorial Tournament key stats:

  • When: June 6 - 9 2024
  • Where: Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio 
  • How long: 7,569 yards - par 72
  • What to expect: Tree-lined fairways, penal rough, tough bunkers, water hazards on 11 holes, undulating greens 
  • Who won last year: Viktor Hovland (-9) after play-off with Denny McCarthy

This weekend the world’s best golfers will converge on Muirfield Village Golf Club, affectionately known as ‘Jack’s place’ after Jack Nicklaus, whose course design is his homage to Augusta and the Masters. 

Jack purchased this piece of land at age 26 and built a classical masterpiece that he named Muirfield after the Scottish course at which he completed his Major Grand Slam at the 1966 Open.

A 73-player field takes on one of golf’s toughest tests, with the top 50 making the half-way cut, plus any others who manage to stay within 10 strokes of the Friday night leader.

Unsurprisingly Scottie Scheffler is the favourite with the bookmakers at threadbare odds of 7/2 that price looks easy to swerve considering what the world number one has had to face off the course in recent weeks, plus he might have one eye on next week’s US Open. 

Next on the bookies’ radar is recent Major winner Xander Schauffele, who is in excellent form of late and back on the winning trail after ending a two-year drought at the PGA last month. 

However, with Xander not looking like a prolific winner of big tournaments, I’m not tempted at these odds, and the same can be said for Rory McIlroy, continues to be in good shape but has had unspectacular results at this course in the past.

Collin Morikawa found his form at the Masters in April and in the USPGA Championship last month, and the ball-striking element of his game should suit this course. His short game has also improved in recent times, and he is rightly a top contender at Muirfield Village, but I prefer Collin at Pinehurst next week rather than here.

Holding much more appeal is defending champion Viktor Hovland at a rather tasty 16/1. 
After spending months tinkering with aspects of his game that really didn’t seem to need it, the Norwegian rediscovered his mojo at the USPGA Championship last month. 

The flawless swing was back along with his smile and with confidence seemingly restored, he is likely to put up a sturdy title defence this week.

Suggested bet: Viktor Hovland (16/1) in the Memorial Tournament


Elsewhere, although never looking like winning lately, Patrick Cantlay has a terrific record at Muirfield Village, having won in 2021 (after a play-off with Morikawa), and tying for third the following year.

He finished mid-division here 12 months ago, but being back at a favoured course could help ignite a season that has been barely smouldering up to now.

Looking deeper for each-way value, however, the eye is drawn to Sam Burns, who has been showing recent glimpses of the kind of form that earned him four straight top ten finishes earlier in the year.

Since that run, Burns disappointingly missed the cut at both the Masters and the PGA, but he looked to have his game back together at last week’s Canadian Open when he kickstarted the tournament by carding a first-round 63.

He was inevitably unable to maintain that level, and was ultimately let down by his putter on Sunday, when he was one of the few leading contenders to fail to break par.

Nonetheless, that overdue top-ten finish showed that he certainly has the ability to string four good rounds together this weekend, and at 40/1 he looks good value to make the frame in Ohio.

Suggested bet: Sam Burns (40/1) in the Memorial Tournament


Suggested bet summary:

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