Memorial Tournament Preview - 2024

With the year’s third major, the U.S Open just a few weeks away, some of the best players on the PGA Tour are assembling at Muirfield Village for one of the most popular weeks on the calendar, the Memorial Tournament.

Hosted by eighteen time major winner Jack Nicklaus, the Memorial is the latest of the PGA Tour’s signature events with the winner this week taking home well over $3,000,000 in prize money.

As you would expect with such a prestigious tournament, the field is stacked full of talent and many will be looking to win this tournament for the first time. 

With plenty of prize money on the line and some of the PGA’s finest looking to find their form ahead of the U.S Open, everything looks set for another special week. 

Read on as we breakdown everything you need to know about the course and who we think could end the week on top.

The Course

Ever since the tournament’s inception back in 1976, the tournament has been played at Muirfield Village. A course designed by Nicklaus himself, the players this week will be met with a series of difficult challenges, which includes four par 5s and four par 3s

If a player is to be successful this week, accuracy is the key. Whilst the fairways are wide and generous, approaching the greens can be difficult. With run offs all over the greens, if a player gets their yardages wrong they will end up paying the price.

The course can also play victim to the wind and if it swirls it could result in high scoring. Last year’s winner Viktor Hovland posted a winning score of -7 which was the lowest winning total since 1985. When Muirfield bites, it can bite hard.

The Favourites

The Favourites

It’s been a strange year on the PGA Tour. Many of the tour’s biggest names are yet to win or even feature near the top of the leaderboard in the majority of events this season and there have been numerous first time winners. 

Slowly but surely the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau seem to be playing themselves into form and will hope to be in contention this week, however there is one man they will all need to beat. 

Scottie Scheffler has been in dominant form all year. A winner of four tournaments - The Arnold Palmer, The Players, Masters and RBC Heritage, Scheffler managed to put the drama of the PGA Championship behind him and finished as the runner up at the Charles Schwab Challenge a few weeks ago.

Amazingly, Scheffler has just finished outside of the top ten once all season, with that coming in the American Express back in March. 

Scheffler has yet to win this title, but came close last year when finishing 3rd. Worryingly for the rest of the field conditions could be perfect for him this week. With the fairways wide and generous, Scheffler should find himself in plenty of positions to track down pins and there is no better player at putting the ball close to the hole.

With golf firmly in his grip, not since the days of Tiger Woods have we seen a player dominate like Scheffler. If he plays to the best of his abilities, nobody will be able to run him close. 

Rory McIlroy heads to the Memorial bang in form and he will hope to get the better of Scheffler for the first time this season. A winner of the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship, both of those wins came with Scheffler being absent from the lineup and he will want to gain an edge ahead of the U.S Open. 

Despite not being in contention at the PGA Championship, McIlroy bounced back nicely to finish in the top five of the Canadian Open last week and he will hope to continue his good momentum into this week. 

Rounding out the top three in the betting is Xander Schauffele. The recent winner of the PGA Championship, Schauffele has finally landed the major his talents deserved and you get a sense that this could be just the beginning.

Brimming with confidence, Schauffele won’t want to lose the winning feeling and looks to be fantastic value for another victory this week. 

Value picks

With so much talent in the lineup there will be several players at a bigger price who could represent some fantastic value. 

Viktor Hovland enjoyed a wonderful 2023 which ended up with him being crowned the FedEx Champion. His good form started at this tournament twelve months ago and he travels to Ohio with high hopes of defending his title.

2024 has been a disaster for Hovland, who after remodeling his swing has largely struggled for form. However, after returning to the coach who helped him enjoy tremendous levels of success, Hovland showed signs of life as he finished third in the PGA Championship.

By far his best showing of the year, Hovland will hope to build on that effort here and he could be one of the best value picks of the tournament. 

Justin Thomas has had a lean two years and hasn’t won on Tour since the PGA Championship in 2022. Needing to rebuild his game, Thomas has been on a slow and steady climb upwards and has posted two top tens in his last three starts. 

In order to win, Thomas will need to produce four good rounds which at the moment he hasn’t been able to do, however, you get a sense that Thomas is getting his confidence back and this could be the week where it all finally comes together. 

Shane Lowry is arguably playing the best golf of his career and will head to Memorial hoping to build on his recent run of good form. A winner of the Zurich Classic alongside McIlroy, Lowry has backed that victory up with a good showing at the PGA Championship where he finished sixth. 

As talented a ball striker as you would wish to see, the set up of the course this week could really suit his style and he could be a player at a big price.

Long shots 

Long shots

In last year’s Memorial, Denny McCarthy almost shocked the field when winning, at a massive price, the American would ultimately fall short and lost out to Viktor Hovland in a playoff. This year there looks to be a couple of players looking to go one place better.

Thomas Detry has become a name we are used to seeing near the top of the leaderboards. Now ranked 52 in the world, the Belgian has posted top five efforts in the PGA Championship, Children’s Houston Open and AT&T at Pebble Beach. Yet to win on Tour, Detry has been playing some really solid golf and will hope that this could be the week where he finally makes his breakthrough.

Another man to keep an eye on could be Rickie Fowler. Since rediscovering his form, it’s been a tough year for the popular American who has posted just one top twenty finish all year. He has decent form at Muirfield Village finishing in the top ten last year and a return to a set up that he clearly likes could see him post a positive result.