This week players head to TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee for the World Golf Classic – St. Jude Invitational. Memphis is a long time PGA Tour stop, benefiting the incredible St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which was promoted to WGC status last year.
WGC’s are normally strong fields as they yield payouts that rival the Majors and with the condensed schedule post suspension, this year’s rendition of the St. Jude Invitational sees an absolute star-studded field.
It is important to note that this is a smaller field compared to the usual PGA Tour stop. Only 78 players will be competing this week and like all WGC events, there will be no cut. So for players looking for those critical reps before next week’s PGA Championship, they are guaranteed four full rounds.
This year’s St. Jude’s will see 46 of the top 50 from the Official World Golf Ranking. This means we will see basically everyone except the GOAT, Justin Rose and Adam Scott (we miss you Adam!) including:
- Rory McIlroy
- Justin Thomas
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Dustin Johnson
- Webb Simpson
- Patrick Cantlay
- Jon Rahm
- Xander Schauffele
- Collin Morikawa
- Brooks Koepka
Guys take this event seriously and in years past many would visit St. Jude’s Children Hospital prior to competing. That obviously will not be happening this year but I find it interesting that Brook’s went out of his way to comment that his visit provided him the inspiration to perform well here last year.
With that being said, lets breakdown TPC Southwind.
Top Sites To Bet On The St. Jude Invitational 2023
TPC Southwind has hosted the previous FedEx St Jude Classic since 1989 so we have plenty of course data at our fingertips. Southwind plays as a 7244 yard Par 70, making it one of the longest par 70 courses players will see all season.
While last year Brooks ran away from the field, finishing at 16 under, just getting to 8 under netted a tie for 9th. That kind of difficult scoring is in line with previous years as Southwind has ranked anywhere from 9th to 15th in difficulty over the last 6 seasons.
Not only are players faced with rather difficult scoring, the hot Memphis summer adds another element and afternoon thunderstorms, which typically bring wind prior to hitting, are always in play.
Off The Tee
Off the tee, players are faced with some of the hardest to hit fairways on Tour. Due to its length, players are forced to take a large number of drivers off the tee and Southwind ranks well above average in average driving distance.
This leads to less fairways hit as the course ranks well below average in teh category. The Zoysia grass fairways are not common in the US and are said to promote flyers.
However, lack of driving accuracy isn’t a huge penalty as the average winner here has ranked in the 30s in fairways hit, mostly due to the fact that the bermuda rough isn’t overly penal.
On The Greens
The greens are TPC’s Southwind’s defense. The ultra-fast and undulated Bermuda greens do not yield many easy birdie looks. They are also rather small by Tour standards, which will put an emphasis on scrambling out of what can be gnarly greenside Bermuda rough.
Ultimately, it is absolutely paramount the players gain strokes on the greens at Southwind. Looking at the last three renditions of the St. Jude, only 2 players finished in the Top 10 at this event while losing a full stroke or more on the greens.
This means the guys that are backed must be able to gain at least a stroke on the greens. Throw out your terrible putters!
This Week’s Statististics
TPC Southland will test every facet of a player’s game which puts me on guys who can get it done in multiple ways. Off the tee, I’m looking at the Good Drives stat which rewards players when they hit the fairway or when they hit the green out of the rough.
While the approach is always a key stat for me, I want to dive even deeper with opportunities gained, which measures how many times a player hits it within 15 feet. I will absolutely be looking at those who thrive on the grainy Bermuda greens and will incorporate scrambling in an effort to pinpoint the par savers.
Onto the Plays!
Bryson DeChambeau +1302 at BetOnline.ag
Beefy Bryson has been the talk of the PGA Tour since it has come back from suspension due to his added distance off the tee. What is interesting is that it wasn’t a new thing. He was showing this newfound strength prior to the suspension and simply continued with more eyes on the sport.
Bryson is now the undisputed best driver of the golf ball on Tour and on a track where players will be taking driver on almost all of the Par 4s and 5s he immediately has an advantage on the entire field. He has also shown flashes of greatness on approach post suspension, gaining 4.8 and 5.9 strokes in the category in back to back weeks at the Schwab and the Heritage.
However, what I love most about Bryson this week is the area of his game that goes the most unnoticed: putting. In 2020 Bryson ranks 5th on Tour in strokes gained putting. This is not an anomaly as he ranked 9th on Tour there in 2019.
I’m looking for all around players and Dechambeau fits the mold perfectly. He is the best driver of the ball in the field, and easily top 10 with the flat stick. I make him the favorite this week and with a market that is well priced in my opinion, I will take the edge that +1400 provides.
Patrick Reed Top 5 +600 and Top 10 +330 at BetOnline.ag
Reed did not make my Outright card, but there is no way I will go without exposure to him this week. Let’s start with this, Reed should NEVER be over 30/1 to win a golf tournament. EVER! The guy has 8 wins on the PGA Tour before the age of 30, yet is consistently disrespected by the market. He is currently priced near guys like Finau and Fleetwood who have only shown an ability to completely fail on Sundays.
The reason I left Reed off my card is that his ball striking just hasn’t been extremely sharp recently. He has always been a streaky ball striker, so an outstanding performance in the area wouldn’t surprise me but based on my numbers the Outright price is correct (again, numbers aside he simply should never be around 30/1 to win a tournament).
One Of the Best Scramblers In The Game
The reason why I like him in the derivative market is that his biggest strength can shine at TPC Southwind. Reed is simply one of the best scramblers in the game, the dude can get up and down from absolute jail.
He is currently sitting at 4th in strokes gained around the green and 7th in strokes gained putting for 2020, which is in light with his career end year ranks in the categories. His acumen on and around the greens can be of full use on a course where even the best players will miss 40% of the flat surface on approach and once on the green the test gets even tougher.
Reed’s scrambling ability raises his floor immensely, making these derivative bets a must take. If he can simply gain strokes ball-striking he has a chance to win in this stacked field, something he is accustomed to doing. Even without that, a Top5 is well within reach for the Major Champion.
The WGC – St. Jude Invitational Outright Plays
|OUTRIGHTS MYBOOKIE.AG |
⛳ WGC – ST. JUDE PLAYS ⛳
|Player||Odds||Stake (Unit)||To Win|
|Total Units Invested:||2.125|
The WGC – St. Jude Invitational Head To Head Plays
|FULL TOURNAMENT HEAD TO HEAD |
⛳ WGC – ST. JUDE PLAYS ⛳
|Hatton -1.5 o DJ||100||2||2|
|Na o Casey||137||2||2.74|
|Wallace o Tooooood||107||1||1.07|
|Willett o Im||130||1||1.03|
|Palmer -1.5 o Thompson||-105||1.05||1|
|Stenson o Kuchar||128||1||1.28|
|Streelman o Scheffler||133||1||1.33|
|Bho -1.5 o Speef||-120||1.2||1|
|Fleet -1.5 o DJ||105||1||1.05|
That is it for this week’s write up. Thank you for reading! I am free all week for any questions and be sure to check out the FORE! Profit Podcast, my full card on Wednesday Afternoon and my live Q and A Wednesday Evening.
All of my weekly content is available via @jmazzjd on Twitter.
WAIT! THERE IS MORE! The PGA Tour is making a stop in at Old Greenwood in Northern California/Nevada for the ‘Cuda Challenge! Here is my Full Tournament Head to Head Card:
The Cuda Challenge Head To Head Plays
|FULL TOURNAMENT HEAD TO HEAD |
⛳ CUDA PLAYS ⛳
|Henley o Noren||-105||1.05||1|
|Seiffert o Cook||-110||1.1||1|
|Hoffman o Clark||-105||1.05||1|
|Moore o Noren||-125||1.25||1|
|Hadley o Wise||112||1||1.12|
|Davis o Martin||-140||1.4||1|
|Gooch o Ventura||-140||1.4||1|
|Watney o Ryer||117||1||1.17|
|Steele o Noren||-110||1.1||1|
|Grace o McNealy||-120||1.2||1|
|Burns o Kitayama||-132||1.32||1|
|Werenski o Kitayama||-125||1.25||1|