In this Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks out after teeing off for the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. China has canceled all sporting events, such as golf and tennis, for the rest of 2020 because of the coronavirus.
In this Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks out after teeing off for the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. China has canceled all sporting events, such as golf and tennis, for the rest of 2020 because of the coronavirus.|Ng Han Guan | Associated Press
Golf

Bet Golf! Kern has odds and picks for the Memorial Tournament as the PGA Tour stays at Muirfield Village

If I threepeat I might have to retire. The Memorial starts Thursday at 10:30 am.

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

I have to admit it’s a little scary.

Two weeks ago, I had Bryson Dechambeau, who admittedly was the favorite at 6-1. And he won. I also gave out Matthew Wolff as my longshot, at 100-1, and he finished second. I can only hope you had the exacta. Or at least also bet Wolff to get a Top 10 at about 10-1, which I always recommend doing just in case it’s only a close call.

Last week as one of my guys I had Collin Morikawa, at 33-1. And he won, in a playoff. I also had said you might want to take a look at Viktor Hovland, at 25-1. I didn’t say to bet him, cause you can’t be everybody. But he finished third. Of course, I also had Justin Rose at 25-1, and he did nothing. Hey, you can’t hit them all. And don’t I know that.

And you thought the big news was that Tiger Woods was back. Yo.

Now we move on to the Memorial, which is being played on the same Jack Nicklaus Muirfield Village course outside Columbus Ohio as they did a week ago. But this will be different, and not just because Tiger is making his first appearance since February. This one will feel like a major. The field is stacked, and the course promises to play much tougher this time around.

There still won’t be any fans, even though there was supposed to be. A virus will do that. And keep in mind that the first real major in over a year will be played next month in San Francisco, when the PGA Championship goes to Harding Park. Where there won’t be any fans either. And yes, this week would have been the British Open, in which I had Rory McIlroy. But that was cancelled. In these times it happens.

Justin Thomas, who lost last week in the playoff, is the favorite at 9-1. Dechambeau is next, at 10-1, followed by McIlroy at 12-1, defending champion Patrick Cantlay at 14-1 and Dustin Johnson at 16-1. Johnson is my pick in the yearlong pool that I’m in, which usually isn’t a good sign. But it did lead me to pick Morikawa last week, since I had him in the John Deer Classic that was replaced by whatever last week’s event was called (OK, it was the Workday Charity Open, I’m pretty sure). I love to ride the karma thing.

Jon Rahm is 18-1. Hovland and Morikawa are 20, as is Xander Schauffele and Webb Simpson. Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama and Tiger are all 25-1. Tiger of course has won this five times, but not in awhile. Hideki won it in 2014 but hasn’t won anything in awhile. Gary Woodland is 30-1, while Daniel Berger and Rickie Fowler check in at 33-1. Berger has five straight top 10s. He has the longest odds of anyone who’s won since the restart.

Patrick Reed is 40-1. Abraham Ancer, who has been playing well, is 45-1. Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau are 50-1. Justin Rose, who last week notwithstanding has a solid history here, is 55-1. Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im and Kevin Streelman are 66. Streelman tied for seventh last week and posted a runner-up in his start before that.

Sergio Garcia and Billy Horschel are 70-1. Adam Hadwin, Marc Leishman and Ian Poulter are 80-1. As is Jordan Spieth, which of course would have seemed absurd not that long ago. Times change. So do swings. Scottie Scheffler is 90-1. An Byeong-hun, Corey Conners, Harris English, Lucas Glover, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na and Bubba Watson are 100-1.

There are others. Don’t let me stop you from looking. That includes Matthew Wolff at 125-1. And Phil Mickelson at 150-1 (plus $33 for a top five).

And remember there are all kinds of prop bets available, which can be a lot of fun but can also sometimes get you in trouble. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

For someone who’s gone back-to-back after a rather prolonged drought, I honestly don’t have a huge feel for this one. But we’ll try anyway, since that’s what we do.

As for the favorites, I know a lot of people are probably going to back Justin Thomas or Bryson Dechambeau. And I totally understand. Dechambeau is coming off a win and has seven straight top 10’s – not too shabby. I’m just not sure that’s where I want to go. I think I might actually lean toward Rory McIlroy, at 12-1, but not for any particularly good reason and not for too much. He hasn’t done much of anything since they came back, but if he’s one he can get it done. And like I said, I was supposed to have him this week in the British. Karma.

I think I would take a shot on Viktor Hovland, at 20-1. Just because. He’s young and good, like Morikawa, and he might be due. I would also put something on him to finish in the top five, at plus $450. Of course, that could mean he’ll miss the cut.

I guess you have to throw a buck or two on Tiger, just in case. He does stuff you don’t expect. But I just have a hard time going there. But like I said, just in case it can’t hurt to dabble. Lightly. If nothing more than simply to be able to say you did.

I do think Daniel Berger is worth something at 33-1, given what he’s been doing. And ditto the plus $400 for a top 10.

As for long shots, nobody stands out. Then again, they’re probably not supposed to, or they wouldn’t be long shots. Since I had Rose last week, I will go with him again, at 55-1, just cause I had him last week and he stunk. I would also take him at plus $550 to get a top 10. And I’ll give Kevin Streelman a stab at 66-1, and back it up with a top 10 at plus $550.

So, there you have it. If I threepeat I might have to retire. The pressure would be too much. Or I could ask for a raise. And I don’t even know where they’re playing next week. Oops, it’s the 3M Open in Minnesota and I probably have Hovland there – so maybe don’t get too carried away with him this week. Never too early to do some research.

Kern’s picks

The fave karma pick: Rory McIlroy

Just because: Viktor Hovland

Worth something: Daniel Berger

Long shots: Justin Rose and Kevin Streelman

Memorial Tournament info

Site: Dublin, Ohio.

Course: Muirfield Village GC. Yardage: 7,456. Par: 72.

Purse: $9.3 million. Winner's share: $1.67 million.

Television: Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. (Golf Channel-PGA Tour Live), 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 12:30-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3:30-7 p.m. (CBS).

Defending champion: Patrick Cantlay.

FedEx Cup leader: Justin Thomas.

Last week: Collin Morikawa won the Workday Charity Open.

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