DraftKings PGA DFS Lineup Advice: The Memorial Tournament (2021)
Jason Kokrak managed to hold off Jordan Spieth down the stretch at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Forth Worth, Texas, this past weekend. The 36-year old Kokrak earned his second win on the PGA Tour this season, having previously placed first at the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek back in October 2020. Kokrak is an elite putter, showcasing why he is ranked sixth in strokes gained for putting (.836) and an ability to navigate the bentgrass greens with ease to finish two strokes (-14) under Spieth to hold the Texas native in check for most of the final round on Sunday.
This weekend, the PGA Tour heads north to Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, for the annual Memorial Tournament. It’s a historic course built in the vision of famed golfer Jack Nicklaus back in 1966 and became an official course in 1972. The course was temporarily modified to adapt to COVID-19 health and safety protocols in 2020 but underwent further permanent renovations since it last hosted. There is an even mixture of Par 3s and Par 5s with more bentgrass greens that allow putts to gain more speed than other courses that deploy different grass on their greens.
Let’s look at golfers with good value to target when constructing your DFS lineups at The 2021 Memorial Tournament.
- 2020: Jon Rahm (-9)
- 2019: Patrick Cantlay (-19)
- 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-15)
- 2017: Jason Dufner (-13)
- 2016: William McGirt (-15)
Muirfield Village Golf Club rebuilt all of its greens this offseason but will continue to implement fresh-cut bentgrass. This creates a mixture of new and familiar challenges for returning golfers. Hole 13 was the only one to avoid renovations, as the rest of the greens will run faster, and the bunkers have been beefed up to make tee-to-green and approach shots critical to early success at The Memorial Tournament.
Spanning 7,543 yards on a stock par 72, there is a difficult four-hole stretch beginning at Hole 5. It includes two of the Memorial’s Par 5s and provides little relief, ushering in another test for players on Holes 11 thru 15. The weather is certainly a factor for making the cut during the first couple of rounds on a newly designed course. However, those golfers talented enough to climb the leaderboards early will be treated to much better conditions to close out the weekend at the 2021 Memorial Tournament.
Relevant Betting Stats
- Greens in Regulation (GIR)
- Birdie Average
- SG: Tee-to-Green
- SG: Putting
Patrick Cantlay ($9,500)
Patrick Cantlay has been on a rollercoaster of performances during the 2020-21 PGA Tour, but he has been able to post two top 25 finishes in his last three tournament appearances. The 29-year old Californian has a 68.29 GIR% that ranks 32nd amongst all Tour golfers, including an absurdly high 4.24 birdie average per round. Cantlay is dominant in nearly all strokes gained categories, excluding putting, which can be attributed to trying out different putters in different tournaments recently. Cantlay is worth rostering in your lineup as a moderate risk, as he excels in strokes gained and greens in regulation and is available at a reduced salary due to missing four cuts from March to May.
Corey Conners ($9,300)
One of the most consistent threats on any golf course as of late has been Corey Conners. He finished T20 (-4) during the Charles Schwab Challenge this past weekend and placed in the top ten twice in April at The Masters and RBC Heritage. The 29-year old Canadian has a safe floor and has shown a knack for climbing leaderboards on Tour this season due to ranking top ten in strokes gained off-the-tee (.641), and strokes gained approaching the green (.871) despite an average putter. Conners will be extremely efficient navigating the fairways and hazards that will be presented at Muirfield, but the new bentgrass greens could limit his ability to compete for the first place purse due to below-average putting performances on slower greens. I still like Conners for his consistency and ridiculous efficiency in hitting greens in range.
Rory McIlroy ($10,600)
This is a great weekend to get Rory McIlroy at a slight discount in your lineups. McIlroy won at the Wells Fargo Championship with a scorching -10 before crashing back down the leaderboards at Kiawah, placing T49 (+5) during the PGA Championship two weeks ago. A statistic that bodes well for the 32-year old Irishman is that he has finished within the top 15 five times at The Memorial, albeit prior to the new alterations made to the greens and hazards. He does tend to have a wild driver, but he is elite in strokes gained categories, particularly off-the-tee and tee-to-green, ranking in the top 15 for both. A blistering 4.39 birdie average and a couple of weeks off to train could be why McIlroy finds himself among the favorites at +1400 heading into Round 1 at Muirfield Thursday. It’s okay to spend up to get McIlroy in your lineups, as his familiarity with the course and ability to generate birdies combine to make him arguably the best addition to your lineup at The Memorial this weekend.
Tony Finau ($9,200)
Tony Finau is well acquainted with Muirfield, having placed in the top 20 four times during six appearances at the legendary tournament, including a top ten finish in 2020. The 31-year old American ranks 13th in total strokes gained with 1.500 through 44 measured rounds, with putting being his biggest Achilles heel. Finau has four top 20 finishes across his last five tournament appearances, making the case as one of the most consistent golfers since the start of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season back in October. Finau is extremely safe in lineups and is available at a great value since he has struggled with his putter, missing the cut at Wells Fargo early last month. Do not let the putting woes dissuade you from rostering Finau, as he more than makes up for it with a 4.22 birdie average per round.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.