After months of dealing with cuts, this week is the second straight no-cut event: the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which brings a different set of skills and DFS golf strategy. It has been a staple on the PGA Tour for some time and is played at TPC Southwind, and a world-class field has assembled in pursuit of those last regular-season FedEx Cup points. With just two tournament weeks left, played out in three tournaments, players will be jockeying for position and/or saving their season/career by getting into the playoffs. There is plenty to play for this week on DraftKings and FanDuel, as DraftKings has a $250,000-to-first prize, the biggest such prize in PGA DFS since the British Open. So, getting to the right mix of PGA DFS picks is imperative, and using the Awesemo Fantasy Golf projections and rankings are a good way of setting yourself up for success.
In case you are just joining us and trying out PGA DFS for the first time, here is what you can expect to see in this article:
- Tournament and Format
- Course Commentary
- Course Facts and Figures
- PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
- PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet
- Player Preview
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational PGA DFS Preview and Picks
When the PGA Tour changed the format of the Tour Championship a few years back, they eliminated a playoff event from the schedule and had to re-work their deal with FedEx. Part of that deal was to turn this event, FedEx’s home event, into a WGC so that the best players in the world would all come. That has held true, as for the third year in a row there is a very strong field. The event started back in the 1950s as the Memphis Open. It moved to TPC Southwind in 1989. That means over 30 years of course history to use.
TPC Southwind Preview
The course is a par 70 measuring about 7,200 yards, and it was Daniel Berger’s playground for the first few years of his career. It features plenty of shot shapes off the tee and well-placed water hazards throughout.
Par and Yardage
- Par 70: 7,240 yards
- 14/41 — .444 or 69.56
- Four Par 3’s: 196, 171, 162, 239
- 12 Par 4’s: 434, 401, 485, 445, 482, 457, 465, 406, 472, 395, 490, 453
- Two Par 5’s: 554, 530
Grass Types and Hazards
- Average Green Size: 4,300 square feet
- Water Hazards: 11
- Bunkers: 76
- Ron Prichard
Facts and Figures
- Off the Tee: Under 60% of the fairways are hit from the tee, with an average drive of just over 290 yards. Both are average, slightly leaning to the harder side of courses on tour.
- Approach: Shorter clubs off the tee and a lower number of fairways hit mean fewer greens in regulation. It averaged about 62% of greens hit last year.
- Around the Green: The nice part about when a golfer missed the green here last year is the green complexes are not tricky. It ranked 12th easiest in terms of scrambling percentage at 61%.
- On the Green: Once on the green, they were some of the easiest to putt.
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PGA DFS Sweat Sheet and Slate Preview
With only two par 5’s on the course, and both reachable by just about every golfer in the field, it is no surprise to see those two holes make up about 30% of the scoring. The third hole is the back end of one of the best chances for a streak, as the first and second holes also create scoring opportunities.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational PGA DFS Player Preview
Eighteen golfers will make the trip from Tokyo to Memphis this week, a long 15-hour flight. They will join forces with others who did not qualify last week or were forced to withdraw, and in total that produces one of the strongest fields all year. Forty-seven of the world’s top 50 golfers are competing this week. Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are the only ones in the top 50 not competing this week.
Awesemo's Top Golfer Tool is an AceSince golf performances are largely uncorrelated between one golfer and the next, aside from weather impacts, a good way to view a PGA DFS lineup is as a parlay, where you have to hit all 6 picks to hit. The Awesemo Top Golfer Tool gives you the probabilities that each golfer will finish top 6, as well as their 25%, 50%,and 75% results as a benchmark for how you can expect each golfer to perform at the tournament.
- Ryosuke Kinoshita — Kinoshita won the Japan Bridgestone Open. Rising all the way into the top 100 in the world, Kinoshita has won twice in his last four starts. Oddly, though, the exemption states winner of the Bridgestone Open, but neither of the events were named that. Nonetheless, he is competing this week.
- Brad Kennedy — Kennedy was the leader of the Australasia Order of Merit on March 28. Reaching his lowest OWGR ranking since 2011, things were looking up for him. But COVID struck not a week later and derailed his chance of getting in the top 100. Still, his play since then has earned him a few big starts, including each of the last two majors. He did not make the cut in either and has not come in the top 10 since March.
- Wilco Nienaber — Nienaber was the winner of the 2021 Dimension Data Pro-Am Sunshine Tour. He can drive it with the best of them and has a few starts on the PGA Tour this year. He plays where he can and tied for 14th at the Palmetto Championship. Nienaber also made the cut at the Barbasol Championship and the U.S. Open, giving him three made cuts on the year, totaling around 80 non-member FedEx cup points. If he finishes inside the top 200, even as a non-member, he will gain access to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
- Wade Ormsby — Ormsby was the leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit on July 12. There have only been a handful of events of which the Asian Tour Order of Merit is comprised right now due to the ongoing struggles of COVID-19, but Orsmby made the most of his and sits atop the money list. That got him an invite this week. He plays most of his golf on the European Tour and is coming in off back-to-back good starts: A 12th at the abrdn Scottish Open followed by a 10th at the Cazoo Open.
- Min Woo Lee — Lee got into this field by winning the abrdn Scottish Open, ousting Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry. He also competed in the WGC at Concession earlier this year and came in a tie for 28th. He could parlay a big finish into more playing status in the states this week.
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