This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
Course: TPC Southwind (7,233 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,820,000 and 550 FedExCup points
An elite field that will include 48 of the top 50 players in the OWGR is set to tackle TPC Southwind in Memphis. A handful of players from last week's Men's Olympic Golf Competition in Tokyo will be making the trip back over to the U.S. for the final World Golf Championship event of the season. The WGC-HSBC Champions was not contested this season due to COVID-19, but Collin Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championships at The Concession and Billy Horschel took home the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this year. This will be the third edition of this event contested at TPC Southwind after it was held at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio for 19 of the first 20 editions of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. TPC Southwind has been a regular stop on the PGA Tour since 1989, however, and the PGA Tour elected to give its biggest sponsor elevated status.
Xander Schauffele is in the field coming off his gold medal performance in Tokyo and will be looking for his first PGA Tour win since the 2019 Tournament of Champions. The other medalists of Rory Sabbatini and C.T. Pan did not qualify for the exclusive field. World No. 1 Jon Rahm will not be participating this week following another positive COVID-19 test that held him out of the Olympics. Bryson DeChambeau will return to action this week following his positive COVID-19 test. Two-time TPC Southwind champions of Dustin Johnson and Daniel Berger will be in the field looking to make it three, but the first since the event went to WGC status. Brooks Koepka won the first WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2019 and then finished in a share of second last year to Justin Thomas. Harris English (2013) and Lee Westwood (2010) are the other former winners at TPC Southwind in the field this week. With just two more weeks before the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the pressure is on to try and position yourself in the best position to have a shot at the TOUR Championship and the $15 million bonus that comes along with winning the FedEx Cup.
The forecast this week is what you would expect from Memphis in August. Temperatures will increase to the mid-90's as the week moves along. There is not expected to be any precipitation fall during the tournament week either, so the course should have a little more spring to it than normal. Winds will be very mild in rounds one and two, but should pick up a bit on the weekend. There will be no 36-hole cut this week, so players have four guaranteed competitive rounds to get their game in shape for the stretch playoff run.
2020 – Justin Thomas (TPC Southwind)
2019 – Brooks Koepka (TPC Southwind)
2018 – Justin Thomas (Firestone CC)
2017 – Hideki Matsuyama (Firestone CC)
2016 – Dustin Johnson (Firestone CC)
2015 – Shane Lowry (Firestone CC)
2014 – Rory McIlroy (Firestone CC)
2013 – Tiger Woods (Firestone CC)
2012 – Keegan Bradley (Firestone CC)
2011 – Adam Scott (Firestone CC)
2010 – Hunter Mahan (Firestone CC)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- Driving Accuracy
TPC Southwind has been year in and year out one of the leaders in most balls in the water. There are 10 different water hazards on the course that will challenge players both off the tee and approaching the green. There are also close to 100 bunkers scattered around the course, which is about the most we see on U.S. courses. With all the trouble lurking around, it is safe to say that this will be a ball-strikers paradise. The course is not overly long by any means, and will play even shorter given the high temperatures and firm fairways. That being said, accuracy off the tee should take precedent over distance. The zoysia fairways are also pretty undulating, which should put added pressure on iron play even when you are able to find the short grass. The greens are slightly below average in size and can be penal if you are unable to find the putting surface. Overall, approach play should once again rule supreme this week, but having a high ranking in scrambling or SG: Around-the-green can't be overlooked. The greens should be familiar for most every player in the field and not overly challenging, so I'd put some of the putting numbers on the back burner this week.
FanDuel Value Picks
Brooks Koepka ($12,200)
Koepka is again playing some really solid golf with four top-6 finishes in his last five starts on the PGA Tour. He absolutely loves TPC Southwind as well, as evidence by his win in 2019 and his runner-up in 2020. Koepka ranks 10th in both SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Approach, and is also third in SG: Tee-to-Green and fifth in scoring average. He is rightfully the top salary this week.
Jordan Spieth ($11,700)
We all know about his ability to make 15-25 footers with ease, but there might not be another player with a better combination of approach play and short game. This season Spieth ranks 20th in SG: Approach, seventh in SG: Around-the-Green, and seventh in putts per round. The Texan hasn't missed a cut since his first start of 2021, and is coming off a runner-up at the Open Championship, which is his seventh top-four finish of 2021 alone. Spieth is one good week from jumping back into the top 10 in the OWGR.
Louis Oosthuizen ($11,200)
If Oosthuizen keeps playing this well, that winless streak will have to end at some points. He has finished top-3 in five of his last seven PGA Tour starts. The other two in that stretch were a T8 and a T18, so the consistency has been unreal. Oosthuizen ranks second on Tour in both SG: Total and scoring average. He leads in SG: Putting and is 12th in SG: Around-the-Green. The South African went 68-67-68-68 en route to a T6 finish last year at TPC Southwind.
Daniel Berger ($10,900)
There's no other way to say it, TPC Southwind is Berger's best course on Tour. He earned his first two career wins in back-to-back years here in 2016 and 2017. The Florida State product also finished runner-up here last season behind a final-round 65. Berger hasn't missed a cut since the Masters, a stretch that includes five top-20 finishes, including a T8 a couple weeks ago at the Open Championship. He is top-30 on Tour in SG: Approach, SG: Putting, SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR percentage, scrambling, and birdie average.
Longer Shots with Value
Matt Fitzpatrick ($10,000)
The Englishman has really taken to TPC Southwind since it began hosting a World Golf Championship. He went T4-T6 the last two years with a scoring average of 67.5. Fitzpatrick is one of the most accurate drivers around, and his short game can save him whenever he does miss a green. Fitzpatrick ranks 19th in SG: Total and is coming off a recent runner-up finish at the Scottish Open.
Harris English ($9,100)
English sits at a puzzling price this week even in this field given the fact that he is just a month removed from a solo third at the U.S. Open and a win at the Travelers Championship. English is 13th this season in total driving, 18th in scrambling, 18th in SG: Putting, and ninth in birdie average. The Georgia product picked up his first win at TPC Southwind back in 2013.
Will Zalatoris ($8,800)
This is a prime buy-low option this week. Zalatoris has struggled over the last couple months, but at this number it is just too hard to ignore how good his ball striking is. Zalatoris ranks sixth in SG: Approach, 14th in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 22nd in GIR percentage. He still is not exempt for the FedExCup Playoffs and will need a win the next two weeks to reach full status on the PGA Tour and gain access to all the FedExCup points he's earned this season.
Sergio Garcia ($8,600)
After a tough stretch in April and May, Garcia has righted the ship with five straight top-25 finishes. The Spainard profiles very well for this course as still an elite ball-striker at 41-years-old. Garcia ranks third in SG: Off-the-Tee, 14th in total driving, 10th in GIR percentage, and 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green. He has experience here having teed it up six times before, including a fourth place showing in 2008.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Being a WGC, this is a very deep field from top to bottom. It gives you the ability to really stretch out your range in which to select players from, allowing you to have a lot more versatility with lineups. There is also no cut, so targeting players that rank high in birdie/eagle average is also a good idea. I think there should be some caution paid to the 19 players that teed it up in Tokyo last week for the Olympics. That is a quick turnaround on a course that will play much differently than Kasumigaseki Country Club. Cam Davis ($7,800), Robert MacIntyre ($7,800), and Lucas Glover ($7,200) are a few bargain bin options I like this week to maximize your roster ability of some of the higher salary players.