PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Championship
PGA TOUR: FEDEX ST. JUDE CHAMPIONSHIP – The postseason is officially underway for the PGA Tour as the top-70 in the season-long FedEx Cup points ranking play in a no-cut event this week in Memphis at TPC Southwind.
We have a pretty good idea of what this course looks like since it’s been on the schedule for a while. Last year’s leaderboard was littered with guys who tend to be more on the accurate side off the tee with exceptional iron games, and Will Zalatoris won to claim his first victory on Tour.
TPC Southwind has some of the most difficult to find fairways among courses that the PGA Tour visits, and there are myriad hazards with water coming into play on four holes off the tee and fairways bunkers looming on eight other holes.
So, the fairways are narrow and lined with hazards. How about the greens? Oh, they’re just small, blazing fast bermuda greens.
TPC Southwind will yield low scores to players who put themselves in good position off the tee and with their approach, but it’s far from a pushover.
We were joined on the podcast, Clubhouse Picks, by Keith Flemming (@KeithFlemming) this week from Fantasy Six Pack . Always a blast having Keith on to chop it up about golf. Below are our best bets for this week’s tournament.
The Driver (Morikawa, Fowler, Cantlay)
These are the guys who are at the top of the leaderboard, usually at +2000 or better. They are the favorites for a reason, and though we don’t always bet them, these are our favorite bets from the top of the board.
Rickie Fowler (+2800)
We’re all over Rickie this week, and with good reason. The Rickie Renaissance is in full swing right now and what better way to close out the season than by adding another win to his stellar year.
It’s been a remarkable ball striking turnaround since going back to Butch Harmon. He’s already broken through for a win this season to go along with eight top-10 finishes.
His form was incredible before going across the pond for the Scottish Open and Open Championship. Despite having a couple of “down” weeks, by his recent standards, he still made both cuts and snagged a top-25 at the Open.
I don’t see any reason why his torrid play shouldn’t continue now that he’s rested and back stateside. This is solid value because of the big dogs here, but he’s playing as well as anyone on the planet right now
The Irons (Day, Fowler, Hatton)
Our reliable players. You can usually find these heroes in the 20/1-80/1 range. They’re reliable and often a good bet for top-5, top-10, or top-20 props if you’re not feeling especially frisky.
Rickie Fowler (+2800)
This bet is so nice I’m mentioning it twice. If you make one bet this week, grab Rickie. He excels in all the relevant metrics for this course and he’s never lost strokes on the tricky greens at TPC Southwind.
He’s a no-brainer for Keith and myself this week.
The Wedges (Sam Burns, Tommy Fleetwood)
We bet on these guys all the time and they never seem to actually win. Nevertheless, we’re enamored with what they bring to the table and will ride with them for as long as it takes.
Tommy Fleetwood (+2800)
I’ve had this devastating habit lately of betting on guys to break through for a win, only to hop off the train a week or two early. I’m hopping back on Fleetwood here.
It’s just insane that a player of his caliber and pedigree hasn’t booked a win on Tour. His game sets up nicely for this course where his accuracy with the irons will be useful. He’s also been absolutely blazing hot with the putter lately.
Iron game, short game, and putting are all electric and he’s coming into this off two consecutive top-10 finishes. He’s knocking on the door too often to be denied for much longer. Usually, I wouldn’t love this price for a non-winner, but Fleetwood is a proven commodity and the win wouldn’t surprise many people here.
The Putter (Sam Burns, Aaron Rai, Lucas Glover)
Bet regret. We fired off these bets in the heat of the moment, then we pondered them a little while longer. Now we’re wondering if that money would’ve been better spent on literally anything else.
Lucas Glover (+8000)
Jack fell in love with this bet at first sight because of the disrespect bookmakers are showing to one of the hottest players on the planet.
His skill set sort of fits this course, and his iron game is always going to carry him at venues like TPC Southwind. The putter has been the real revelation and was key to him getting a win to end his draught last week.
It’s probably asking a little bit too much to expect him to win two and a row, and the oddsmakers are certainly thinking the same thing. As well as he’s been putting since switching to the broomstick putter, I’m not sure if we know his ceiling right now. He’s certainly interesting at these long odds in a small field.
The Hybrid (Cam Davis, Eric Cole, Thomas Detry)
This is our fun long shot that could make us all rich. Or not. It’s tough to hit these, but it’s a damn good time sweating them if they’re in contention. Tread lightly on these guys, but sometimes miracles happen.
Thomas Detry (+11000)
The Belgian Bomber has had a quietly strong season. He’s finished in the top-25 ten times this season, and he needs another good finish to move from 52nd into the top 50 in FedEx Cup points to make it into next week’s tournament.
He’s not an obvious fit here as his strengths tend to be off the tee and on the greens. Approach play is typically a more prized commodity at TPC Southwind, but don’t underestimate a bomber who finds a groove for a week.
He’s a longshot for a reason, but he’s finished in the top-25 in his last two starts (including at T13 at the Open). He’s certainly skilled enough to contend here, but it might be better to take him in some more conservative markets like top-10 and/or top-20 props.