It’s big money time in Memphis this week, as it’s that time of the year again for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind.
For me, this one hits pretty close to home, literally. My folks moved into Southwind while I was in college, but we never played the course, since it was 20 grand for a yearly membership fee. My only experience on this course was getting hammered off a bottle of Dickel and drunkenly putting under a full moon off the 11th green, before being chased off by security. It was the nicest course I’ve ever “played.”
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TPC Southwind became the official course for this tournament back in 1988. Originally named the Memphis Open in 1958, FedEx acquired sponsorship rights in 1986. The course itself was ranked #9 out of 51 courses in 2011 among the most difficult courses on tour.
It features 94 bunkers and 10 water hazards. Zoysia fairways and Bermuda greens highlight a daunting 18-hole course, but the premier hole is the island 11th hole (a great place to sleep, too). The greens are very fast here, which subsequently have turned this tournament into more of a battle of attrition, rather than a birdie race.
In 2019, the WGC took over and made this event an invitational, which has increased the purse, as well as attracted all the top players and increased the competitiveness.
Last week, we shot for the moon at the Olympics. Thank goodness for the hometown kid, Matsuyama, finishing inside the Top-5. We barely missed on Hovland, Morikawa, and Corey Conners.
As we have stated every week for the last six events, we are getting so close each week. This week, we are going top-heavy again, rolling the dice on a two-time FedEx St. Jude champion and the hottest player in the sport.
This is the first big event since the Open, and similar to last week, putting and approach accuracy will be critical.
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Past performance at Southwind
- Recent form
- Strokes Gained: Approach
Good luck this week as we take a look at the best FedEx St. Jude Invitational betting lines from the DraftKings Online Sportsbook.
On the Green –One player to finish in the top 10
Harris English +260
Harris English has had one hell of a run over the past six weeks. Harris has played three events in that span, finishing 3rd at the US Open and winning the Travelers Championship. 18th in Strokes Gained: Putting, Harris has the makeup to finish high at TPC Southwind.
He’s 53rd in Driving Accuracy, 9th in Birdie Average and 33rd in Strokes Gained: Total. He’s a former champion of this tournament (2013) but his best finish here since that victory is 10th back in 2017. Though he can certainly flame out, if his putter is working well, Harris should be safely inside the Top-10 this weekend.
Eagle Opportunity – Three Players to finish in the top five
Daniel Berger +350
Daniel Berger is another one of those guys who doesn’t seem to have slumped. He’ll miss a cut here and there, but he’s generally solid over the course of the season. Lately, Berger finished 7th at the US Open and 8th at the Open. He has a well-rounded game, overall (14th in Strokes Gained: Total).
Berger is 27th in Strokes Gained: Putting. Perhaps the best indicator for Berger at TPC Southwind is his record here. Berger won the event in 2016, 2017, and finished 2nd in 2020. What’s not to like here?
Collin Morikawa +275
We picked Morikawa to keep his hot streak going last week and we fell just short. Unfortunately, that’s how it goes sometimes, but now is the time for retribution. Morikawa finished 20th last year at Southwind in his first-ever trip there, but the promising news is, he shot one-over par Thursday and Friday of that round and seven under over the weekend.
Though Morikawa is no supreme talent with a putter, if he can live up to his 7th overall ranking in Strokes Gained: Total and have a decent weekend putting, he should be in the mix in the end. Morikawa currently sits in 1st in the FedEx Cup standings. How appropriate would it be for him to win FedEx’s invitational to put the cup firmly out of reach of those chasing him?
Louis Oosthuizen +350
Louis won for us two weeks in a row, prior to not competing in the Olympics. He’s probably the hottest golfer on tour right now aside from Collin Morikawa. Louis is the best putter in the game this season (1st in Strokes Gained: Putting). While he’s elite in the short game, Louis still ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Total.
His recent elite play, backed by his equally impressive resume of late, makes him a serious threat this week in Memphis. Louis finished 20th in 2019 and 6th last season at TPC Southwind. He’s a great option this week for the odds.
Hole-in-One – Two players to Win
Webb Simpson +2800
Webb Simpson is our lottery ticket to win this whole thing. He’s been a decent putter this season (65th in Strokes Gained: Putting). However, Simpson has played this event seven times and finished inside the Top-12 three times in the last four years.
Simpson is by no means a smash play, but he’s done well here in the past and offers a lot of upside with such long odds to win the tournament.
Dustin Johnson +1800
Dustin Johnson has been pretty cold since early in the season, but an 8th place finish at the Open was an encouraging sign for a potential return to form. DJ fizzled at the 3M Open and didn’t compete in the Olympics, but he has all the tools, as well as two victories at TPC Southwind.
The latter was a six-stroke win in 2018. Sure, DJ is no great bet here. That rarely exists in golf betting, but if there ever was a tournament to help him bounce back, why not this Memphis course he knows so well?