The host of this week’s Memorial Tournament, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village, has undergone some changes since last year. Tees, fairways, bunkers, and greens have been altered. The course can play slightly longer now, and players will have to adjust to the new contours on and around the greens.
In the past, Muirfield Village has placed a marked emphasis on approach shots, especially those over 150 yards. That skill may be even more important this year because when players miss from that range, they will struggle with the unfamiliar contours on and around the greens.
With all of that in mind, here are a few players to target in your fantasy leagues at the 2021 Memorial Tournament:
Charley Hoffman $8,300
Hoffman has finished 18th or better in seven of his past eight starts. (He finished 34th in Punta Cana only because he blew up on his last two holes of the event.) In the Memorial field, he is second on approach and fifth from over 150 yards. Hoffman has gained at least 4.8 strokes on approach in seven of his past eight events. If he performs similarly this week, expect a result much like his T-3 at Colonial last week.
Kyle Stanley $6,100
Stanley got into this field late as an alternate, which partly explains why DraftKings drastically mispriced him (he should be $7,100). He led the field at the Charles Schwab Challenge on approach, which is the most important stat at Muirfield Village. In his last two events, Stanley has gained 13.7 strokes on approach, and in four of his past five starts, he has finished inside the top 40. He also has placed sixth or better in three of his past six starts at the Memorial.
Finau has finished 13th or better in four of his six starts at Jack’s Place. He is in the top 20 of Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Approach, and Around-the-Green, as well as in proximity from over 150 yards. Finally, he has finished in the top 40 in 17 of his past 20 starts, so you know he has a high floor.
Cantlay has never done worse than 35th in five starts at the Memorial, and he won the tournament in 2019. He is top 25 in SG: Off-the-Tee and Approach, and his short game is phenomenal. Cantlay had been in a bit of a slump in 2021, but he regained his form at the PGA Championship. While he finished just 23rd at Kiawah Island, he gained more than four strokes off the tee and nearly eight approaching the greens. If he tightens up his short game this week, he may well cruise to a top-10 finish.