This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of over/under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one over and one under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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This week the Tour will head to Dublin, Ohio, to once again tackle Jack's tournament, the Memorial. Let's take a look at the layout.
Muirfield Village Golf Club – Par 72, 7.352 yards
Much like the Schwab Challenge last week, the Memorial is an invitation event, and with only 120 players in the event, the top 70-and-ties rule means that approximately 58 percent of the field will make the cut. This doesn't really matter to us as we are only focusing on Thursday's rounds, but getting all of your DFS picks to the weekend becomes a slightly easier task. The Nicklaus-designed course usually yields a winning score in the mid-teens, so you can readily expect the final Thursday leaderboard to display scores of 5- to 6-under par. While the fairways are wide and forgiving, you will pay the price in the rough here at Muirfield Village. The rough here is at major-level length, and with numerous sand traps and water hazards, there are many ways to get in trouble.
Recent winners in our PrizePicks field include Bryson DeChambeau (2018) and Matt Kuchar (2013), and a pre-injury Tiger Woods took the title in 2012. All three won with a score of around -13, so some low scores are going to show up for sure.
Round 1 Scoring Average – We like this metric for obvious reasons.
Par 5 Birdie Or Better – With four reachable Par 5s on the course, we should expect quite a few birdies on these holes, so I'm placing a special emphasis on players who excel in this category.
Sand Save Percentage – I think that stats like Par 4 average and approach proximity will also be vital this week. Players with the ability to get up-and-down from the course's numerous sand hazards is a crucial stat to monitor, as sand will likely come into play for almost everyone, especially given the weather conditions below.
It looks like storms will enter the area in the afternoon Thursday, so if you are trying to gain an extra edge, give a look at Thursday's tee times and identify players who are teeing off in the morning. They likely will see a slightly easier course with less wind, though the afternoon pairings will get some extra forgiveness from the greens if rain falls as predicted
Matt Kuchar – 18.5
The Kooch is probably the most obvious over in the field. He leads the Tour in round 1 scoring, and he notched a 68 on this course when he won the event in 2013. Not only has he never missed the cut at the Memorial, but he's managed top-10 Finishes in over half of his many appearances here. You could say the Kuchar feels right at home here, and I have no problem giving him an over endorsement.
Bryson DeChambeau – 17.5
DeChambeau is a guy that could crush this over on Thursday, and I like the more forgiving threshold here. He ranks third on Tour with a 58.2 percent par 5 birdie-or-better average. He's also 13th on Tour in approaches from 175-200 yards, which further magnifies his ability to get there in two. His round one and par 4 averages aren't as high as you might like, but he should be able to make significant ground on the long holes.
Gary Woodland – 17.5
Woodland checks all the boxes statistically for this layout. He struggled earlier in the month but surged back with an eighth-place finish at the PGA Championship, which gives me a bit more confidence in him as an over candidate. Like DeChambeau, Woodland shines in par 5 birdie or better percentage (4th on Tour) and also sports an excellent par 4 average. He came close to winning this tournament in 2016, so he should hit the ground running on Thursday.
Tiger Woods – 19.0
I'm sure Tiger is eager to right the ship after missing the cut at the PGA, but Tiger's speed out of the gate is well-documented, and despite his pedigree, you almost never see Tiger light it up in the first round. Whenever he's in the field, he's practically a lock for the under unless he's teeing off at Augusta or a more challenging layout like the Players (or the upcoming U.S. Open at Pebble Beach). The course sets up well for Tiger, but I think he'll have trouble off the tee once again and come in way under this threshold.
Patrick Cantlay – 18.5
A lot of people are picking Cantlay to win the week, and I can't say I blame them, but I think he'll make his move over the weekend. Surging in the later rounds is a trend for Cantlay, who often takes his time getting settled off the tee. Hitting the fairway consistently is his Achilles heel, and Muirfield's rough won't be doing him any favors. I think he'll be in the mix on Sunday, but a low round Thursday won't be a contributing factor.
Rory McIlroy – 19.5
You can never count Rory out, and he can rack up birdies quickly. He looked like a lock to miss the cut in the PGA, but one hour later, he was safely in after a streak of birdies. His round 1 average of 69.7 makes him a slightly scary pick, but an O/U this high is very difficult to achieve in this scoring system. An eagle from Rory could wreck this pick, but I'm almost always going to hang my hat on someone who has an O/U close to 20.