The Memorial Tournament: Augusta form points to Spieth going green again

Pat Perez ain't no PGA Tour robot
Pat Perez ain't no PGA Tour robot

Dave Tindall selected second-placed Charley Hoffman at the AT&T and brings us his each-way tips for this week's PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village where he can't resist backing the current Masters champ...

"Spieth averaged 1.50 putts per green at Augusta so put him on slick putting surfaces and he should come up with the goods again."

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Favourites - best bet: Jordan Spieth @ 8.07/1

Seven of the last eight winners of Memorial (Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, Tiger Woods (x2), Justin Rose, Kenny Perry, KJ Choi) have a top five finish at The Masters to their names.

It's not a surprise.

There are obvious differences between the two courses but it's well known that the greens at Muirfield Village are probably only second in speed to Augusta National.

So, step forward April's Green Jacket winner Jordan Spieth.

Speaking at the rain-hit AT&T Byron Nelson last week, he said: "The course didn't play to me this week. Next week, Muirfield greens are some of the fastest we play, they're similar to Augusta as we'll see. So, I'm excited about that to get on some wicked fast greens."

Spieth could only manage T30 at the Byron Nelson but before that was T2 at Colonial. His eight rounds in those two Texas events were 64-73-67-65-69-64-68-69 so there are signs that he's ready to produce another breakout performance after an understandable little dip following his momentous Masters win.

Overall, his last 10 strokeplay events show two wins and four other top four finishes so he's operating in rarified air. The stats have him 1st in Scoring Average, 5th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, 14th in Strokes Gained: Putting and top of the Money List with $5.7m.

The 21-year-old averaged 1.50 putts per green at Augusta so put him on slick putting surfaces and he should come up with the goods again. In fact, we have evidence as he was ranked 6th in putts per round (26.25) in last year's Memorial. In that event he was fifth going into the final round before a disappointing 75 on Sunday. Given the giant strides he's made in the last 12 months, you'd expect Spieth to cash in if he finds himself in a similar position this week.

Mid-range - best bet: Kevin Kisner @ 51.050/1

While many of the field scratch about for form, Kevin Kisner is absolutely flying and he knows it.

"Got a lot of confidence in my game. Hitting the golf ball really solid. Working it both ways. Seeing every shot, hitting them," said the American when interviewed at the Wells Fargo.

"So it's one of those stretches in your career where you know you're playing well, you're hot so you better keep playing and do it as long as you can. Hopefully it will last the rest of the year.

"If I keep playing the way I'm playing, I'm going to win one sooner or later."

The stretch of form he's referring to consists of a five-tournament spell over April and May which produced second places at The Heritage and Players Championship (he lost play-offs in both) and a fifth in the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Pattern spotters may look at his form figures of 2-28-2-38-5 and say he's due one of his minor dips having finished fifth last time. However, the T28 and the T38 came when he played the very next week after his near misses. Kisner didn't take part in the Byron Nelson so the batteries should be charged again here.

Given his sudden emergence, current form counts for much more than course form but it's still encouraging to see that he safely made the cut here last year and twice shot in the 60s.

There's plenty of correlating form between this tournament and The Players/Heritage (the events Kisner did so well in). Three of the last four Heritage winners (Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Carl Pettersson) have all won The Memorial while KJ Choi has won at both at Sawgrass and Muirfield Village.

In his current form, Kisner looks a very backable 50/1 shot.

Long-shot - best bet: Pat Perez @ 81.080/1

Pat Perez doesn't quite have Kisner's form figures but they're not too far off.

Starting with the Texas Open at the end of March, he's put together an excellent run which reads: 20-11-26-17-20-5.

The latter trio (Players, Wells Fargo, Crowne Plaza) all came in May following a small break and after closing with a 64 to claim fifth spot at Colonial, Perez said: "We had a good three-week stretch there and it was just kind of a nice exclamation mark on it."
Some more detail of PP's strong recent play can be found on his website.

The most interesting revelation is that Perez has made 14-of-15 cuts since working with coach Drew Steckel in the off-season. Steckel encourages an approach based more on feel and that would seem to fit in more with Perez's personality as he's a far cry from a PGA Tour robot. Check that hair which is getting more Alice Cooper by the week.

As for The Memorial, he's played it pretty well in recent years, making his last six cuts there.

Five of those have been top 30s with a best of T8 in 2013 so in his current form it's not hard to envisage the 39-year-old banking his third top five of the season and pushing for the title.

Other golf previews this week:

Memorial Tournament 2015 Betting Preview from The Punter.
Nordea Masters 2015 Betting Preview from The Punter.
Nordea Masters 2015 Tips from the betting.betfair Golf team.

Dave's 2015 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection)

Staked: £540
Returned: £248.75
P/L: -£291.25

(Includes last week’s Byron Nelson)

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