The WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind near Memphis, along with the satellite Barracuda Championship, comes on the next to last week of the PGA Tour regular season.
At the conclusion of next week’s Wyndham Championship, the top 125 on the FedEx Cup point list will move on to the playoffs, and those that don’t make it will be left to assess their status on the PGA Tour for next season.
Until 2019, the Memphis Tour stop was a regular event until the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational replaced the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational on the PGA Tour schedule. The same course, 7,233-yard par-70 TPC Southwind, has hosted both events since 1989 but underwent some changes for the change to a WGC tournament, which awards 550 FedEx points to the winner, 50 more than in a normal PGA event.
Xander Schauffele is still without a major championship, but his gold medal-winning performance in the Olympics gets him one step closer to the elusive title.
A Look at the Field
The defending champion is Justin Thomas, who defeated a quartet of four players by three shots with a winning score of 13 under par 267, three strokes higher than Brooks Koepka’s 16 under par 264 in the inaugural WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2019. Both players are in the field this week, with Koepka well-rested after sitting out the Olympics in Tokyo, where Thomas had a good weekend after a mediocre start to finish in a tie for 22nd at ten under par after shooting nine under par 133 in the final two rounds.
Xander Schauffele is still without a major championship, but his gold medal-winning performance in the Olympics gets him one step closer to the elusive title. After struggling on the back nine, he made a birdie on the 17th hole to regain the lead, then scrambled for par on his final hole to defeat Rory Sabbatini, who fired a record 61 to jump from 36th place to the silver medal, by a shot. There was a seven-player playoff for the bronze, and C.T. Pan emerged from the star-studded melee after four holes to take the final spot on the medal stand.
Koepka, and with good reason, is the betting favorite with odds of +1200 after four top-six finishes in his last five starts, including the three majors that were played over that stretch. TPC Southwind tends to favor players with a good track record on the layout, and the seventh-ranked player in the world’s 2019 victory is evidence of his ability to successfully make his way around the course.
Schauffele is next at +1400 along with Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa, who failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker to bow out of last week’s playoff, allowing Pan to win the bronze medal with a par. Players Champion Thomas and Open Championship runner-up Jordan Spieth, who hasn’t played since his close call at Royal St. George’s, have odds of +1600.
Rory McIlroy was also in last week’s playoff after a closing 67 got him into contention and is at +1800 along with Dustin Johnson, who, even though he is ranked second in the Official World Golf Rankings, is looking for a return to the form he exhibited last year when he won the FedEx Cup and the November Masters Tournament.