The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational gets underway on Thursday as a stacked 70 player field descends on Memphis, Tennessee for the third and final WGC event of the year. With a whopping 550 FedEx Cup points on the line this week, it will be a massive opportunity for players to climb the leader board before the playoffs get underway in August.
As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the event, which kicks off on Thursday morning from TPC Southwind.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Betting Picks
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday 12 p.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Featured Groups), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Holes).
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).
As they always do, the World Golf Championship event has attracted a great field of 70 of the best players in the world. The event kicks off a two month stretch in the PGA Tour which will also see two majors as well as the FedEx Cup playoffs played.
Players will be hunting a share of the FedEx Cup points available this week before in an attempt to advance their standings before the playoffs start.
45 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings will be in attendance this week including the brand new No.1 ranked player in the world, Spaniard Jon Rahm. Rahm will be playing his first tournament since winning the Memorial two weeks ago.
After winning the WGC-FedEx last season, Brooks Koepka will be defending his title for the next two weeks with this event leading straight into the first major of the season, the PGA Championship, next week. Koepka desperately needs to find some form if he wants to be competitive at the major, and is one of a few star players who still sit outside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup standings. Other players who sit outside the top 125 include Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett and Shane Lowry.
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Designed By: Ron Prichard
Length: 7,244 Yards
Slope Rating: 144
TPC Southwind is regularly ranked as one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour. It’s main defences lie in it’s narrow fairways and small green complexes, both of which have proven difficult to hit in recent years. Throughout the history of the St. Jude Classic and it’s recent upgrade to a WGC sanctioned event, the winning score at TPC Southwind has generally been in the low-mid teens under par.
The most famous hole on the course is probably the Par 3 11th, which is a replica of the famous island green 17th at TPC Sawgrass.
Both fairways and greens will be tough to hit this week so we’ll be targeting players with strong GIR percentage as well as scrambling and bogey avoidance.
1 – Jon Rahm (+1100)
The new No.1 ranked player in the world comes in as the top guy on our power rankings this week after a brilliant performance at the Memorial two weeks ago. Finished 7th in his first ever trip to TPC Southwind last year and although he had a slow start after the PGA Tour resumed, has to be at the top of this list given his performances in big tournaments over the past year.
2 – Justin Thomas (+1200)
JT comes in at No.2 for us after a strong run since the PGA Tour resumed. He has played five events in that time, racking up three top 10 finishes and just one missed cut. He sits atop the FedEx Cup standings and will want to keep it that way to give himself the best chance at winning his second FedEx Cup. Is a past winner of this WGC event back when it was the Bridgestone Invitational and finished 12th in his first trip to TPC Southwind last season.
3 – Rory McIlroy (+1200)
Unlike the likes of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka who are battling some serious form issues at the moment, we have a lot more faith in McIlroy to break a run that has been average by his lofty standards since the Tour resumed. He is still yet to miss a cut in his four events back, finishing 32nd, 41st, 11th and 32nd but no doubt has a lot of room for improvement. Finished 4th at TPC Southwind last season and is hunting FedEx Cup points here.
4 – Daniel Berger (+2800)
One of the most underrated players on tour at the moment and a real chance to take the next step and compete with the big boys this week based on current form. Was fantastic when the PGA Tour resumed, winning the Charles Schwab challenge before coming 3rd at Harbour Town. Missed the cut at the Memorial but has fantastic pedigree at TPC Southwind, winning his first two PGA Tour events with back to back St. Jude Classic titles in 2016 and 2017.
5 – Billy Horschel (+4500)
Love the look of Horschel as the value play this weekend. TPC Southwind has been one of his favourite courses over his career and although he is yet to record a win there, he has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six trips dating back to 2013 including a T9 at the inaugural WGC event last season. Also comes into the event in decent form, finishing 7th at the Workday Charity and 13th at the Memorial.
Going off the board for our best bet this week and looking in the direction of Ryan Palmer. Palmer had a fantastic result at the Memorial a few weeks ago, finishing 2nd to good friend Jon Rahm. With so many players out of form at the moment and a few European Tour players coming back from a long spell, we think that finishing in the top 40 won’t be too difficult for the PGA Tour players who have been grinding for the last 6-7 weeks. Back Palmer to finish in the top half of the field this week.
Ryan Palmer (+14000) – Comes into the tournament in some great form after a 2nd place finish to good friend Jon Rahm at the Memorial Tournament. TPC Southwind has been a regular stop for Palmer throughout his career, recording two top 10s and just one missed cut in his last seven trips there.
Max Homa (+10000) – Homa narrowly missed out on the win at the 3M Open, a good way to bounce back after two missed cuts in his two previous tournaments. Doesn’t have a lot of experience at TPC Southwind, this is just more of a gut feel one.