Preview: WGC FESJI

Tough to find value in a field with this depth but what the hell?

The winner won’t be a surprise so let’s try to find him.

Few longer shots in here might make a bit of sense in Top 10 or Top 20.

Or just balls.

World Golf Championships – FedEx St Jude Invitational

TPC Southwind

Memphis

Yards (per official scorecard):7,233
Par:70 (35-35)
Greens:Champion Bermuda; 4,400 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12.5 feet.
Rough:419 Bermuda at 2.5 inches.
Bunkers/Water75/11 (water in play on 11 holes).
Architects:Ron Prichard (1988).
Purse:$10.5 million and $1.82 million (winner); 550 FedExCup points.
Defending Champion (event):Justin Thomas.
Fact of the Week:Third and final edition here before TPC Southwind hosts the first FedExCup Playoff event in 2022.
Fact of the Week II:PGATOUR has had an event here every year since 1989.

Notes:

  • 66 players invitational field
  • No cut

2020-21 Winners

** – first time winner on TOUR

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak**
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz**
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland**
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen**
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns**
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy
AT&T Byron NelsonKH Lee**
103rd PGA ChampionshipPhil Mickelson
Charles Schwab ChallengeJason Kokrak (2)
Memorial TournamentPatrick Cantlay (2)
Palmetto Championship (Congaree)Garrick Higgo**
121st US OpenJon Rahm
Travelers ChampionshipHarris English (2)
Rocket Mortgage ClassicCam Davis**
John Deere ClassicLucas Glover
149th Open ChampionshipCollin Morikawa (2)
Barbasol ChampionshipSeamus Power**
3M OpenCameron Champ
2020 Tokyo OlympicsXander Schauffele

WGC Winners at TPC Southwind:

YearPlayerNotes
2020Justin Thomas, 13-underWon this event for the second time in three years on two different courses.
2019Brooks Koepka, 16-underPicked up his first WGC title as he smoked Rory McIlroy by six shots in the final pairing to win by three.

TOUR Winners at TPC Southwind:

— Please check Horses for Courses for all relative data from the previous TOUR events —

Facts and Figures:

Course Record:61; Last done by Tom Lewis in Round 3 in 2020; not entered this week.
Tournament Record:264 (-16); Koepka, 2019.
Recent Defending Champion(s):Daniel Berger won at this track in 2016 and 2017.
Multiple Winners – WGC EventsSee Horses for Courses table.
Multiple Winners – CourseDustin Johnson (2012, 2018), Berger.
First Time TOUR:Shane Lowry (2015).
First Time EVENT:Lee Westwood (2010), Dustin Johnson (2012), Harris English (2013).
Odd Fact:TPC Southwind has gobbled up the most balls in the water since 2003 on TOUR.
Odd Fact II:TPC Southwind has allowed the most hole-outs since 2003.

Quick Thoughts

Final WGC event of the season means BOX OFFICE leaderboard so we should bet accordingly.

30 folks from Tokyo make the trip over, including gold medal winner Xander Schauffele.

The course is incredibly fair and will reward tee-to-green players as noted in Horses for Courses.

The greens are perfect and the rough is down so that should increase scoring across the board.

Attacking small greens means advantage to those who hit the most. Putts will drip in on perfect Champion Bermuda greens. Chips and pitches will have chances to go in.

Errant shots can and will find watery graves. With only two Par-5 holes on the card, there’s not a ton of places to make up shots.

Just 12 players over the first two WGC events here have broken 10-under par. That’s 9 better than the last two TOUR events played here in 2017 and 2018.

Scores above 70 this week need not apply for contenders. Digging a hole on a course that doesn’t barf up birdies should ratchet down the aggressiveness for most.

This is a gravy week for most of the big hitters as this is the last event for most before the FedExCup Playoffs start in two weeks in Baltimore.

The other angle can be precious Ryder Cup auditions are on the line for both sides of the Atlantic.

Let’s recap last “week” first:

Last Week – 3M Championship

Cameron Champ wasn’t on my radar at all as he found “it” and took home his third victory on TOUR.

Chalk

Dustin Johnson (+7500): Solid week last week will entice some but I’ll pass. He’s a beast in Memphis and that’s my next focus. MC as he didn’t break 70.

Louis Oosthuizen (+1600): His only TOUR win is the 2010 Open Championship. That feels weird to type. Close again, but no cigar again, T2.

Tony Finau (+1600): His only TOUR win is the 2015 Puerto Rico Open. That feels weird to type. T28.

Patrick Reed (+2000): Prefer him on more difficult courses and bigger events. You gotta do you. Save him for Governor’s Island. T34.

Matthew Wolff (+2800): His course form sets this number, not his recent play. Beware or jump on the HORSE FOR COURSE. I’ll pass. T39.

Emiliano Grillo (+3300): Hitting every green won’t matter if you two-putt all of them. Wonderfully erratic weekly. MC.

Next Wave

Cameron Tringale (+3500): Sign up for your Top 20 and cash late on Sunday. T16, our first winner.

Robert MacIntyre (+3500): Playing with house money as he’s inside the OWGR Top 50. Just might be free enough to not care and win. I’ll take a nibble that he does just that. Win ticket. MC – L. Sounds like a shitty rapper.

Sergio Garcia (+3500): T20 or better in four straight. I like a streak. Make it five. Top 20. Loser, T25.

Keegan Bradley (+3500): MC in three of his last four but when he cashes it’s top 20. So I’m in, Top 20. And I’m out. T39.

Bubba Watson (+3500): Interesting he returned after MC last year. I’ll let you read between the lines with your cash tho. T51 isn’t much better.

Hank Lebioda (+4500): It’s now three straight in the top 10 for the lefty so I’m going to jump on one final time. It’s not like the courses are getting more difficult or the fields much deeper. Top 10 and Top 20. WD after his father was admitted to hospital on Friday afternoon. He eagled the last to make the cut.

Doug Ghim (+4500): He’ll need at least two days of above average putting this week to contend. Not ridiculous. MC 68-74.

Lucas Herbert or Luke List (both +5500): Maybe on both. Both are in uncharted territory, careful. MC-T58.

Patrick Rodgers (+6000): We’ve been waiting. 6 straight and the last four have trended into T5. I’m down. Across the board Win, Top 10 and Top 20. Can’t have two rounds of par and win in the summer, T39.

Funny Money

Jhonattan Vegas (+6000) T2

Ryan Moore (+6000) MC

Patton Kizzire (+7000) T39

Brandon Hagy (+9500) MC

Brian Stuard (+10000) T6

Beau Hossler (+11000) T49

Adam Schenk (+11000) T51

Ryan Armour (+14000) T6

Brice Garnett (+20000) T16

Kevin Tway (+225000) MC

Mark Anderson (+30000) MC

This Week – World Golf Championships FedEx St Jude Classic

Thoughts on the Chalk:

Brooks Koepka (+1200): He’s been criticized, and maybe rightfully so, for mailing in “regular” TOUR events. He doesn’t care what you think and he loves Memphis. 26-under aggregate the last two years and a clean bill of health entering this week makes him hard to pass up.

Collin Morikawa (+1400): Looking to continue the trend of top three FedExCup (No. 1) or OWGR (No. 3) to win this event for the sixth year running. Tee to green numbers are staggering and these greens aren’t difficult to putt. Yes, please.

Xander Schauffele (+1400): My buddy Jay reminds me that Schauffele should be bet in EVERY SINGLE INVITATIONAL FIELD as that is where he rakes. He’s not wrong but I pointed out he was my OAD at WGC- Concession and that did me T39. I’ll let the gold medalist enjoy his time in the sun as he moves to the top of the interview list this week.

Jordan Spieth (+1400): Hotter than the pavement downtown, the Texan has been cashing on tracks that suit his style of play. Plenty of water this week will test his business tee to green.

Justin Thomas (+1800): Defending champ and NOTORIOUS summer time and invitational player is looking to join Tiger Woods as the only players to defend a WGC event since 2007. So no. Go check my Expert Picks column to see his tweet about how many miles he’s flown the last month. Is it a clue? I doubt he’d post it if he was happy and playing great. That’s me. You do you.

Dustin Johnson (+1800): Koepka has the form so I was hoping for a better price here as DJ hasn’t hit the top five in the USA in 2020. The MC in Minnesota gives me zero pause because of the soft landing here this week. I’m not crazy about a win ticket but a top 10 should be the floor.

Rory McIlroy (+2000): Optimists will tell you getting him at 20-1 is too good to pass up. Posted 62 here in 2019 and finished T4 before T47 last year. Another who will enjoy receptive hole locations and excellent putting conditions. I can’t figure him out.

Louis Oosthuizen (+2200): I mean, he’s on fire. Each way, Top 10, Top 20, go on then.

Daniel Berger (+2200): Win, win and T2 in three of his last four here and already has a win this season. Knows how to get it over the line here.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): I can’t find much evidence on Bermuda to get involved. I know, I know, the greens are friendly but not for me.

Viktor Hovland (+2200): Three straight top 15s worldwide includes a win. Machine.

Bryson DeChambeau (+2800): 11 holes with water and only two Par-5 holes keeps me safely on the sidelines.

Scottie Scheffler (+2800): Top 10s on every grass and style of course this season. He and his game travel.

Hideki Matsuyama (+3000): He has to run out of gas at some point. I’ll let the jet lag wear off and take a look next time out.

Thoughts on Next Wave – 33 to 1 or worse

Paul Casey (+3300): Sets up like Valspar so I’m guessing he’ll love it. Greens might be more favorable this week.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+3500): Make it three straight in the top 10 here.

Webb Simpson (+3500): No top 10 since his neck deal. Loves the Bermuda so a nice tune-up before his invitational next week.

Patrick Reed (+4000): If everyone is chipping in and holing putts, he’s not at any advantage.

Tony Finau (+4000): One top 10 in his last seven.

Cameron Smith (+4000): Haircut is gaining more headlines than scorecard.

Harris English (+4000): Former winner here won Travelers after finishing third at Torrey Pines.

Shane Lowry (+4500): I’ve been sniffing around him all summer. His superior ball-striking should shine this week. I like it.

Funny Money

Lee Westwood (+11000)

Ryan Palmer (+11000)

Matt Jones (+17500)

Aaron Rai (+22500)

Jim Herman (+40000)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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