With the Olympic golf competition done and dusted, the focus of the golfing community shifts to TPC Southwind in Memphis this week for final WGC event of the year, the FedEx St.Jude Invitational.
The tournament continues a fantastic stretch of golf which sees the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Ryder Cup in the next few months and we will have you covered with betting tips throughout.
It was American Xander Schauffele who reigned supreme in Tokyo, claiming the gold medal ahead of Slovakian Rory Sabbatini and C.T Pan from Chinese Tapei. Schauffele will be the only medallist from Tokyo to line up at the WGC event this weekend, looking to carry on some momentum from the win.
It’s a reduced field at the WGC event this weekend, with just 68 players currently listed. The top 50 ranked golfers in the world earn automatic selection while tournament winners and players with 115+ WGR points also earn qualification. As usual, it means we are left with an absolutely star-studded field for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, all of whom will be competing for the boosted prize-pool of $10,500,000.
Back to defend his title from 2020 is Justin Thomas, who won the tournament last season by three strokes over a trailing pack of four players. Thomas also won the tournament when it was named the Bridgestone Invitational and played at Firestone in 2018.
Joining Thomas as the main contenders for the title include the likes of Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and the Olympic gold medallist, Xander Schauffele.
TPC Southwind in Memphis Tennessee will host the WGC event for the 3rd time this season, but before that, it was the host of the regular PGA Tour event, the St. Jude Classic from 1989 all the way up until 2018. In that period, Dustin Johnson was a two-time winner of the classic, as was Daniel Berger.
Since the event became WGC sanctioned, the winners at TPC Southwind have been Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. The course will play as a Par 70 at just over 7,233 yards, so the long hitters will have a fair advantage off the tee, which is likely why we have seen the likes of Johnson, Koepka and Thomas win at Southwind over the last few years.
The course has over 100 bunkers and 10 water hazards throughout the 18 holes, so along with the length, players will be tested on approach and around the greens.
It’s been a while since we have had Rory McIlroy in our sights for a major golf tournament but he really impressed at the Olympics on the weekend and seems to have hit a bit of form. He finished T7 in the U.S. Open before a solid final few rounds at The Open Championship a few weeks ago. That was backed up by four great rounds of 69, 66, 67 and 67 at the Olympics only to miss out on a bronze medal by a sudden death knockout. He has racked up finishes of T47, 4th, 7th and T29 at TPC Southwind in the past.
Another who I really like the look of this weekend is Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay missed the cut at The Open a few weeks ago, but he’s certainly not a renowned links player so we’ll be overlooking that poor perfoamnce and instead focusing on the brilliant run he had in the lead up. The American finished T23 in the PGA Championship before winning the Memorial and finishing T15 at the U.S. Open. He has played TPC Southwind twice for a T12 in 2019 and a T35 in 2020.
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