PGA DFS Report: DraftKings Memorial Picks & Preview

Written By Jimmie on May 29, 2018

DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The Memorial

Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKingsFanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks for The Memorial at Muirfield Village.

As always, our goal is for DFS Report to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow PlayPicks on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.

PGA DFS Contests

Club Twirl: $44 entry, $500k guaranteeed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Drive the Green: $5 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Golden Eagle: $9 entry, $150,000 guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25,000 to 1st!
Click here for all FantasyDraft PGA DFS Contests!


The Course

Making the jump from the windy and flat courses of Texas during the past few weeks, the tour lands at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio this week. It’s a decidedly different sort of venue with plenty of elevation change.

Muirfield Village, created by Jack Nicklaus, is a 7,392-yard, par 72 that winds through part of a forest where Nicklaus himself used to hunt when he was a child. While wooded and tree-lined, Muirfield has wider fairways than you might think.

Located just outside Columbus, Dublin and Muirfield are home to plenty of gentle, rolling hills and valleys that provided the perfect foundation for Nicklaus to sculpt his masterpiece back in 1966.

How it Plays

Nicklaus says his days working with Pete Dye taught him that golf is better played and more enjoyable downhill. Thus, Jack presents players with inviting downhill looks to some generously wide fairways, allowing for a high rate of fairways hit. And that’s imperative. The greens undulate quite a bit and demand precision depending on the pin placements.

Players have lighting-fast Bentgrass to thank for some tricky putting. Generally, fast greens mean being above the hole on several greens is almost a certain 3-putt. Hitting tight spots on small, fast greens is impossible if you are out of position. “Out of position” around Muirfield generally means 5-10 yards off the fairway with all the creeks, lakes, and trees around. The fairways are generous, and because they are, you pay dearly for missing them.


The Breakdown

Since Muirfieled is a par 72, it should come as no surprise that the par 5’s jump off the page here. Two of the par 5’s are very reachable this week: 5 and 15 deliver an eagle to five percent of the field. The other two par 5’s at 7 and 11 are reachable for the longer hitters. Regardless, the par 5’s this week are crucial to scoring DratfKings points, as 5 and 15 yield a birdie rate north of 40 percent.

Now, you aren’t going to win the tournament on the par 5’s, but you can sure lose it there. With trees and water in play on the second shots, going for the green can lead to a scramble for par and a bogey for the unfortunate 10 percent.

Instead, scoring on par 4’s is likely where this tournament is going to be won. With three par 4’s averaging 20 percent or better birdie rates and a fourth that allows 18 percent, this is where the top of the leaderboard will separate this week.

Holes 3/6/9/14 are where golfers will try and find a leg up on the field this week. These are on average the shorter of the par 4’s players face this week, and it makes sense that they are also the ones where scoring will occur. Good drives in position will result in a wedge in hand and a green light, depending on pin placement.

More broadly, the front nine is a shade over 3x easier than the back nine. A scoring differential of .94 demonstrates that stark difference in the scoring. Getting off to a hot start at Muirfield is imperative to overall success, as players are almost assured of bleeding strokes back to the field on the back nine.


Key Stats

  1. Strokes Gained: Ball Striking

2. Par 4 Scoring 450 yds+

3. Par 5 Scoring

4. Birdie or Better %

5. Proximity from 175-200


PGA DFS Players:

Top Tier: $11.3K – $9.8K

Rory McIlory ($10.8K) 

Coming off a second-place finish across the pond to Molinari last week, not to mention his recent hot streak, Rory is in form. If the course is as soft as it looks, we could see another trouncing by Rory. He always seems to dominate soft courses in LCP conditions. Rory also has good history here and has posted a 4th and 15th in the past five years. He won Arnie’s event earlier this year; maybe snag a win at Jack’s place for good measure?

Justin Rose ($10.6K)

Justin Rose is the kind of golfer who can go back to back and certainly has the approach game you want around Muirfield. That’s probably why he has posted two top 10’s in the past three times he’s played here. Rose looks to be the chalk of the top range based on his Fanshare tags this week and is the top-ranked golfer in my overall blended model this week.

Jordan Spieth ($9.8K) 

Same story, different week for Jordan Spieth: great ball-striking but still can’t putt. That said, if you listened to Matt and I last night on the Bogey Free podcast, you know Matt is super high on Spieth this week. Historically, this course has allowed mediocre putters to succeed. With his ball striking, Spieth could put himself in good position below the hole, and he stands a chance to buck his putting woes, or at least mitigate them.

Other to consider: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Jason Day are all elite and in play this week.


Mid Tier: $9.5K – $8K

Marc Leishman ($9K)

Marc Leishman continues his run of solid form since the Masters and is ready to show up in another prime-time event. Leishman is a big-game hunter and gets up for the prestigious invitationals like this one, as evidenced by his results here in the past. In the last three years, he has posted a top 15’s and a top 5 as well. He clearly has the game to contend and take down events like this. I will be overweight to the field on “Leish” this week as he will be a core play for me.

Matt Kuchar ($8.5K) 

Kuchar sports the most strokes gained at this event in the past five years — 48.41 — and in doing so rattled off impressive 4/4/26/15/1 finishes at Jack’s place. Kuch does everything better than average and with a lot of consistency. That is what Muirfield demands across four days. He also knows how to manage his way around here. Look for his Fanshare start tags to be through the roof this week, as he will likely be part of a core for most players this week, myself included.

Emiliano Grillo ($8.4K)

Grillo continues to run hot with his irons. In 2018, his weekend game is improved. The knock on Grillo until this year was his uncanny ability to implode on Saturday or Sunday (or both) after hot starts. He seems to have shaken some of that and is noticeably steadier on the weekend leader boards. Grillo is ready to win, and with Bent grass in play, he might just get it done. Don’t expect to be the only person on him though; early looks at Fanshare indicate he will be even more popular than Kuchar.

Tony Finau ($8.1K)

Speaking of golfers who’ve improved their weekend games this year, Finau is a bomber who has rounded out his game well and is scoring more consistently than ever. Tony fits the course well, and in his prior outing has played as good or better than expected. This year should be no different. With the expected rain and his improved play, we could see Tony contending down the stretch. At the very least, he should score well even if he bleeds a few back with a careless mistake or two.

Others to consider: Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott


Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower

An Byeong-hun ($7.8K)

You can almost copy everything I said about Finau above and apply it to the much improved “Bennie An.” He has the ability to get aggressive here if the course is soft. Playing here twice and posting a top 25 both times says a lot about the raw talent and course fit for “Bennie An.” I look for him to keep his string of five made cuts in tact and push up the leaderboard on the weekend.

Luke List ($7.4K)

Keep a close eye on Fanshare this week as we get closer to Thursday, and check the hype meter for Mr. List. If it’s at all reasonable this week, this marks a great spot to fire List up. With great long irons and a high ball flight, List is a great fit on paper. His MC last year should keep some folks off him, which is good. An under-owned List on a soft track that negates bad putters sounds like a scoring paradise. I’ll take a few shares of List in GPP this week.

Kyle Stanley ($7.6K)

Stanley is coming off a missed cut at the Players, and I am hoping that tempers people’s expectations given his exceptional course fit and sneaky good course history. Posting a 6/74/3 in his last three tries here, Stanley shows why this course is all about ball striking. Historically putting himself in good positions both off the tee and into the green, Stanley is able to outperform the field with his approaches. This helps him exceed expectations with his putter at Muirfield. I like Stanley for some GPP upside this week.

Others to consider: Louis Oosthuizen, Zach Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Chappell, Joaquin Niemann, Bud Cauley

That does it for The Memorial breakdown. Good luck this week, and I’ll see you next for The Fed Ex St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.


Jimmie Avatar
Written by

James AKA @DFSJimmie has been grinding PGA & NFL DFS for the past three years, having gotten his start from The Fantasy Golf Degenerates. Previous PGA DFS columns include, "The Daily Contrarian" and "The Tee 2 Green" course breakdown series. In his spare time, he's built several of his own PGA analytical tools and can be found on the Bogey Free podcast frequently, and occasionally on The Pat Mayo Experience. In general, he just loves analyzing and talking about golf, and is excited to provide some tips to help you win at DFS PGA.

View all posts by Jimmie
Privacy Policy