The first of the week’s two tournaments in the States is a good one – it’s the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.
Being a WGC event there’s a fine field assembled, with the best players in world golf aiming to get some valuable extra Fedex Cup points before the season draws to a close in a few weeks.
Here’s the Golf Insider’s preview of the action…
WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational
This week’s event carries the “WGC” (World Golf Championships) prefix, which means it’s one of the four events held each year under the umbrella of the International Federation of PGA Tours. In other words, the world’s separate golf associations – European, PGA, Asian, JPGA (Japan), Sunshine (South Africa) and Australia – combine to stage a select number of top quality tournaments.
WGC events are viewed as being just below the Majors in terms of quality. In a usual year the quartet of WGC events are the WGC-Mexico, WGC-Match Play, WGC-Fedex St Jude Invitational and the WGC-HSBC Champions. What does this all mean? A smaller field than usual, but a stellar one in terms of quality. Slightly less well-attended this week, for obvious reasons, but still a very strong line-up.
A familiar destination for the PGA Tour, it’s TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. This is a par 70 laid out over 7,244 yards, designed by Ron Prichard. Originally opened in 1988, it should prove a good test for the players – a few years ago it was ranked the ninthth toughest track on the PGA Tour. It’s been further upgraded in recent years with the addition of more trees, a host of extra bunkers and even less shots on the scorecard (the par five 5th hole being reduced to a par 4 – making Southwind a par 70 from a 71). So don’t expect too many fireworks in terms of scoring!
263: Adam Scott (2011)
61: Bob Estes (2001)
2020: Justin Thomas
2019: Brooks Koepka
2018: Justin Thomas
2017: Hideki Matsuyama
2016: Dustin Johnson
2015: Shane Lowry
The WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational sees an invitational field of 75 players this week. Brooks Koepka is the $13 outright favourite with TopSport.
It looks like being a dry week with a daily precipitation forecast of 10%-0%-10%-20% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will also hit the mid 80s, with only partial cloud cover. Wind speeds will be light, no worse than 8-10mph for the four days.
WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational: Tips from The Golf Insider
Jordan Spieth – $15. Bet with TopSport
Spieth further underlined the fact that he’s well and truly ‘back’ after nearly claiming his second Open Championship title at Royal St. Georges a few weeks ago. His all-round game is looking as sharp as ever, and he’ll be looking to continue his fine run of recent form that has seen him win and finish in the Top 5 on seven occasions from his last 14 starts. His record at TPC Southwind is mediocre, but one of the three times he’s played here was when he was really struggling with his game. With plenty of his rivals making the gruelling trip back from Japan, Spieth will already have the upper hand on plenty of his competitors this week. He looks the man to beat for me, and at around 16/1, in a smaller than usual line-up, looks a solid investment.
Dustin Johnson – $19. Bet with TopSport
Whereas Spieth has superb current form and sketchy course form, the opposite can be said of “DJ”. His recent results have a been rather disappointing by his own high standards, but his record at TPC Southwind is second to none. He’s won at this venue twice from seven starts, and finished no worse than 24th. Although his form hasn’t been amazing, he did finish 8th at the Open on his last-but-one start, and he’s definitely one that raises his game for the big events. He hasn’t shot worse than 69 from his last 13 rounds here, and I’m expecting more of the same this week. Like Spieth, Johnson will be a lot fresher than many of his competitors this week – which could prove vital come Sunday night. His price looks big to me, and the former world No.1 easily makes the staking plan this week.
It’s a great time to get on board with the Golf Insider. COVID-19 has thrown the calendar around, and we have some great tournaments coming up over the next few months. The rich FedEx Cup Series all happens soon … click here to learn more about the Golf Insider.