The Week In Golf – Matsuyama to down big three in Memorial
Given that the top three players in the official golf world rankings are teeing off in the Memorial Tournament and each arrive on the back of victories on their latest starts, it is understandable how much of the betting focus for the PGA Tour event focuses around Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Day won the Players Championship and is the slight favourite at 6/1 to triumph again here, Spieth (7/1) landed the Dean & Deluca Invitational and McIlroy (7/1) shot the lowest score at the Irish Open.
If any of the trio are to secure back-to-back tournament successes preference is for Spieth, largely on account of the similarities between the Muirfield Village course and Augusta National, the home of the Masters.
Spieth hasn’t finished worse than a share of second in the last three editions of the Masters, with his ability to judge the speed and ridges of the greens a critical reason for his success.
Similar levels of imagination and touch are required at Muirfield, making it a far tougher challenge for players that are more at home overpowering easier courses.
Meanwhile, because of the participation of the big three in world golf, there are good prices on offer for some of those further down the Memorial betting.
Matsuyama followed up on his debut PGA Tour success by sharing fifth spot last year and it could have been so much better after starting with a 64.
The slightly wider fairways than the norm tend to suit his attributes, while Muirfield is considered on tour to be a second-shot course, favouring those with good control and focus on attacking specific parts of the green. Matsuyama has previously described second-shot courses as his strength.
In terms of current form, the 24-year-old Japanese player is also on song, finishing in the top 11 in each of his last four stroke-play starts.
Over on the European Tour, the main attraction is the Nordea Masters in Sweden, with world number six Henrik Stenson the headline act and betting favourite.
However, in an event when players are expected to go low, there are enough doubts over Stenson’s sometimes suspect putting to oppose him at 7/1.
Romain Wattel showed a return to form on his last start at the BMW PGA Championship when finishing in the top four for the first time in over a year. Much was due to some improved putting.
At 50/1, it could be worth a saver that the Frenchman carries this form into Sweden to gain a first European Tour victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.