With just two weeks left in the regular season on the PGA Tour, the final WGC event before the playoffs gives players an opportunity to make a big move up the FedEx Cup point standings with a strong finish in the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind outside Memphis. A number of top players are in the field after competing in last week’s Olympic golf competition, including defending champion Justin Thomas and several others who were involved in the seven-player bronze medal playoff.
Nine of the top ten players in the FedEx Cup point standings are in attendance, as well as 48 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), with number one in the OWGR Jon Rahm still sidelined after a positive Covie-19 test left him out of the Olympics. A victory in the WGC – St. Jude Invitational is worth 550 FedEx Cup points, 50 more than in a regular Tour event.
The 7,233-yard, par-70 TPC Southwind hosted the FedEx St. Jude Classic from 1989 to 2018, and the tournament remained at the course when it became a WGC event beginning in 2019, although some changes were made to the layout that has made scoring a bit more difficult. Thomas won in 2020 by three shots over four other players with a 13 under par total of 267, a year after Brooks Koepka also recorded a three-shot victory at 16 under par 264.
Harris English has two victories in 2021, is ranked 10th in the OWGR and fifth in the FedEx Cup, yet he is a +4500 underdog at TPC Southwind, where he won in 2013.
Betting Odds Favorites
The four-time major champion Koepka comes in as the tournament favorite, with odds of +1200 after finishing in the top six in four of his last five starts, including the three major championships played in that stretch. He’s followed at +1400 by Olympic participants Collin Morikawa, who lost out in the playoff, and Xander Schauffele, the gold medal winner.
Good buddies Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are next at +1600, followed by another Tokyo playoff casualty Rory Mcilroy at +1800. Dustin Johnson, looking to regain some magic from a year ago, is at +2000, with 2016 and 2017 FedEx St. Jude winner Daniel Berger following at +2200 along with Norwegian Olympic team member Viktor Hovland.
Underdog Betting Picks at TPC Southwind
Many of the favorites may be dealing with travel fatigue issues after returning from Japan, giving some of the players that didn’t compete in the Olympics a bit of an edge, including Scottie Scheffler at +3100, who is looking to finally break through with a PGA Tour win. Scheffler is ranked 18th in the OWGR and 20th on the FedEx Cup point list, with four top-ten finishes in his last six tournaments and all three majors during that span.
Harris English has two victories in 2021, is ranked 10th in the OWGR and fifth in the FedEx Cup, yet he is a +4500 underdog at TPC Southwind, where he won in 2013. He finished third in the U.S. Open and won The Travelers Championship a week later, entering the WGC – FedEx St. Jude as one of the hottest players on Tour.
Another former winner in Memphis is Lee Westwood, who has played some terrific golf at the age of 48, although he’s cooled off of late. Although at +10000 odds, it might be worth taking a flyer on the 29th ranked player in the OWGR.