For the first time since 1957, a PGA tour event will be held on the same course in back to back weeks. This week the tour returns to Jack’s place at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Last week Collin Morikawa won on the third hole of a playoff defeating Justin Thomas. This week returns a lot of the same players with a few more of golf’s biggest names, such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson.
Morikawa won last week with a four day total score of -19, but don’t expect the scores to be quite as low this week. The average winning score over the past 5 years has been 15-under, with past champions all being prolific birdie makers. The rough most likely hasn’t been mowed this week, and the greens will be much firmer and less receptive while rolling about 1.5-2 feet faster on the stimp meter.
Muirfield Village calls for excellent iron play. With severely undulating greens, players must find the correct portion of the green to leave themselves flatter putts.
The last 13 winners have ranked inside the top 60 on tour for par 5 scoring. Of the last 13 winners only two ranked outside the top 40 on tour for adjusted scoring average. Birdies are key at this event, so those who are inside the top 60 on tour for birdie average will have a big advantage.
Justin Thomas (+1100) is a clear favorite this week, with only Bryson Dechambeau (+1000) having worse odds. Thomas finished second last week after losing to Morikawa in a playoff. Thomas has now finished in the top 10 in 5 of his last 7 events. He ranks 4th in Adjusted scoring average, 2nd in par 5 birdie or better scoring, 3rd in Birdie average, and 2nd in strokes gained approach to green.
Webb Simpson (+2500) is having a strong year ranking second in FedEx Cup points trailing only Justin Thomas. Simpson has 2 wins and 6 top 10 finishes in the 2020 season. He ranks 1st in Birdie average, 5th in strokes gained approach to green, 3rd in adjusted scoring average, and 6th in total strokes gained. Look for Webb Simpson to have a big week.
Tiger Woods plays great at Muirfield Village and may be the greatest iron player of all time, but after 5 months off we shouldn’t expect Tiger to be at the top of his game. He has, however, finished in the top-10 nine times out of 17 appearances with 5 wins.
Other players to watch out for this week: Tony Finau (+6000), Matt Kuchar (+8000), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+8000).