WGC- FedEx St. Jude Invitational Preview

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

By: Nick Jebaily

Viewing guide and who to look out for this weekend, July 30-Aug 3.

There is much to look forward to at the beautiful TPC Southwind this weekend, as Memphis is set to host yet again, the 2020 Fed-Ex cup tournament. Some of the most recent winners include Brooks Keopka(2019), Dustin Johnson(2012,2018), Daniel Berger(2016,2017), and the only non-American since 2010 Fabián Gómez(2015) who brought it home to Argentina. Gómez, along with other notable names including Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari, and Lee Westwood will be sitting out this weekend. Scott and Molinari are slated to make their first tour appearances of the year next weekend at the PGA Championship.

Course and Conditions

TPC Southwind

Yardage: 7,238 | Par: 70

At a glance this course is a monster, measuring only 200 yards shorter than Bethpage black, the longest par 70 on the tour. At TPC, water traps have swallowed upwards of 5,000 golf balls since 2004. You can expect the balls to be sent swimming off the side of the 18th and 12th holes, which has claimed over 850 of those 5,000+ balls. The average driving accuracy and greens in regulation (GIR) are about 10% lower than average PGA tournaments... At TPC Southwind they are 54% and 58% respectively.

Balls will not be the only thing getting wet this weekend. (Pause) As of now, the forecast is showing thunderstorms Thursday and Friday, rain Saturday, but some clear skies for the fourth round. The Champion Bermuda greens typically roll 2 and half times faster than most other greens but expect them to slow way down.

Scoop Scouts

Speaking of slow, Brooks Keopka(155) can’t stand slow-paced golf and he is matched up with Viktor Hovland(23), who has already been called out about his slower pace. Brooks is the defending champ of this tournament, but he has been struggling this year. I like the Buckeye on his second tour to win this group and win the continental EU group (Hovland +280) over the favorite (John Rahm +110), coming off a win at the Memorial. Hovland made every cut of the tour through the Memorial.

Rory McIlroy has owned this course in the past. Last year at the St. Jude Classic he recorded +1.13 strokes gained in round 1(69) (LOL), +3.80 strokes gained in round 2(67), and +7.59 strokes gained in round 3 (62). Going into the final round Rory was winning but, to make it brief, he choked and shot one over in the final round. Finishing, and playing consistent golf, has been a major difficulty for Rory this year. He scored -2 in the first round of the Memorial, parred round two and three then shot +6 in the final round. If he had parred the final round he would have added 50 points to his FedEx score. I have a weird feeling about Rory this weekend as I think he will continue to struggle and I definitely don't like him as the (+900) is the favorite to win. Vegas has Rory followed by John Rahm (+920), Justin Thomas (+1000), and the slugger: Bryson DeChambeau (+1200).

I also want to note that Tony Finau has been incredible on this tour, and has finished in the top 10 in five of the last eight majors. He entered the final round of the 3M Open tied for third and had a mediocre final round in which left him tied with eight other golfers at -16. Tony said this in a recent press conference: “With these majors right around the corner, I’m really happy with where my game’s at.” Finau is ranked 25 in the FedEx cup standings, up seven spots from the week prior.

Quick Picks:

Tony Finau wins USA III (+220)

Victor Hovland wins continental EU (+280)

Hideki Matsuyama wins Asia (EV)

JT top 10 finish (+120)

When/Where to Watch

Thursday Round 1 & Friday Round 2: tee off at 7 AM eastern

Featured groups from 8AM to 4PM PGA Tour Live

Featured holes 4PM to 7PM PGA Tour Live

Live coverage on TV from 4PM to 7PM on The GolfChannel

Saturday Round 3 & Sunday Final Round: tee off at 8 AM easter

Early TV coverage from 1PM to 2:30PM on The GolfChannel

Live TV coverage from 3PM to 6PM on CBS and CBS Sports online

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