After a fun stop last week in Minnesota, the PGA TOUR is walking into Memphis this week as they head to TPC Southwind for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The par-70 TPC Southwind has hosted an even on the PGA TOUR every year since 1989. From 1958 through 2018 it was called the St. Jude Classic, and last year it was brought into the WGC family of events and rebranded with its current moniker. Brooks Koepka ($9,200) is the only player to win on this course in this format, but we do have earlier years of course history to consider in addition to last year’s results.
Since it is a WGC event, there is a great field in play this week including Jon Rahm ($11,400), Rory McIlroy ($11,200), Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000) and Justin Thomas ($10,700), who all sat out last week’s 3M Open. Besides the infusion of top-tier talent, another key fact to make sure to factor into your lineup decisions for this tournament is that there is no cut line. All the players will play four rounds, barring injury or illness that forces a withdrawal. While that means you don’t need to sweat the cut on Friday, it also means that all entries will likely have 6-of-6 in play through the weekend, resulting in wider swings of results all the way through Sunday.
As you select your roster, take a look at these four players who all have salaries under $7,500 but can offer good returns on their minimal investment. With no cut to worry about, it’s a good time to take a flier on some high-risk options since they should still offer production all the way through the Final Round.
DraftKings is hosting the PGA TOUR $1.75M Southwind Special [$500K to 1st], which pays out $1.75 million in total prizes, including $500K to first place. For only $25, draft six golfers for a shot to win the $500K top prize.
Ian Poulter, $7,400
Last week, Poulter rested after missing the cut at the Memorial. The previous week, he did much better at Muirfield Village with a T5 at the Workday Charity Open. He had made the cut in four straight events before struggling at the Memorial and will look to bounce back into strong form on a course he typically enjoys.
Last year, Poulter finished eighth at the St. Jude, firing four rounds in the 60’s. He made the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in each of his three most recent visits prior to that, highlighted by a T6 in 2014. He’s a proven name with good form on a course he likes, so Poulter makes a good play under $7.5K.
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Rafa Cabrera Bello, $6,900
After struggling out of the restart and missing 3-of-5 cuts, Cabrera Bello seems to have re-discovered his groove at the 3M Open last week. He finished with a scorching 64 on Sunday to vault into a T32, his best finish since the Charles Schwab Challenge.
If he can continue his hot play from Sunday, he should be able to contend on this track, where he finished T4 in 2017 and T12 last season. The international feel and big stage should be a comfortable fit for the 36-year-old Spaniard, who has a history of success at WGC events, including his best finish of this season which came at the Mexico Championship, where he finished T16.
Chez Reavie, $6,700
Reavie definitely is a good fit for the course and has had success here throughout his career. He has played six events and made the cut five times including three top-25 finishes. He finished T6 in 2018 and T4 in 2017 in the final two seasons before it became a WGC event and then posted a solid T27 even in last year’s tournament against a much better field. He hasn’t closed any of those tournaments especially strong but has consistently put himself in good positions.
The 38-year-old Arizona State alumnus has looked sharp since the Tour has returned to action with back-to-back top-25 finishes in the two weeks at Muirfield Village and four straight made cuts. Reavie has also had success at TPC River Highlands, which is one of the courses that has similar layout and structure to this track in Memphis.
Mackenzie Hughes $6,400
Hughes was originally in the field for the 3M Open but instead took last week off after a strong T6 showing at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. He has been riding a red-hot putter since the Tour returned to action and posted a T3 at the Travelers Championship as well on a course that has many similarities to this one.
The 29-year-old Canadian missed the cut back in 2018 in his only previous event at TPC Southwind, but did fire a 66 in Round 1 before fading with a 75 in Round 2. He comes in with plenty of recent form from elite-field events and has the upside to post another high finish if he keeps hitting his approach shots well and making so many putts.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.