The PGA TOUR heads back to Memphis this week where TPC Southwind will again host the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, a limited field, no-cut event. DraftKings has a $500 free-to-play pool on DraftKings Sportsbook that enables their users to get in on this week’s PGA TOUR action. Additionally, you can create private pools to play with friends or family. To participate in the pool, choose winners on each of 10 unique props offered up by the contest and compete for free prizes. Play the free pool here: DraftKings Sportsbook Pools.
As mentioned above, the players will be back at TPC Southwind this week which plays as a 7,234-yard, Par 70 that features Bermuda greens. It’s not an overly long course but has played tough in previous years, ranking as the 11th hardest venue on the PGA TOUR in 2018. The fairways and greens here have traditionally been hard to hit, making this a bit of a ball-strikers paradise, and the last four winners (Daniel Berger x2, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka) have all been world class.
The venue features plenty of water and lots of longer par 4’s with some doglegs attached. Six of the Par 4’s measure in at over 450 yards in length. Typically, emphasizing strong Approach games has been the name of the game around TPC Southwind, although a decent week off the tee is also necessary.
Regardless of how you’re approaching things, I’ve written up my thoughts on this week’s DraftKings Sportsbook pool and have tried to give you decisive picks and strategies to employ at each level. Hope you enjoy.
Who will have the best finishing position? Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, or Rory McIlroy
Rahm is coming off one of the most dominant performances of the year when he bested the field at the Memorial in what were the toughest conditions of the season by far. The Spaniard played well here last season, finishing T7 and gaining over three strokes putting. To be fair though, all three of these players put in good weeks at TPC Southwind in 2019, with Rory finishing in T4 and Thomas in T12. It sounds odd to say, but Rory has been, by far, the worst of these of late as his T32 finish at the Memorial showcased a bit of an ugly around the green game.
Choice: Rory McIlroy
· The change in venue should help Rory this week, who really wasn’t that bad at Muirfield, despite the lousy finish. Easier green complexes and a venue he looked comfortable at last year could produce his first big finish since the restart.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
Who will have the best finishing position? Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, or Patrick Cantlay
Bryson self-destructed a bit at the Memorial, coming apart after a seven-event run that saw him land six top-10’s and a win. His iron play will need big improvement this week, and while he’s capable of a big turnaround, he’s going up against two elite players who I like better here. Schauffele rebounded quickly after a poor opening round at the Memorial and has looked great, for the most part, since the restart, gaining over +4 strokes on APP in his two starts at Muirfield Village. Cantlay has also played well too though and was far better than Xander at this venue last season, posting a T12 to his T27.
Choice: Patrick Cantlay
· Cantlay just seems like he’s rounding into form for something big soon. Perhaps that comes next week at the PGA TOUR’s PGA Championship, but his all-around game should play great at this week’s venue and he gets the slight nod for me over Schauffele.
Who will have the best finishing position? Tyrrell Hatton, Webb Simpson, or Matthew Fitzpatrick
Hatton hasn’t played that much since the restart, but he’s been fantastic when he has, landing T3 and T4 finishes in his two starts at Hilton Head and in Detroit. Strong Iron play and putting have done the trick for Hatton of late, and with his confidence sky-high, he should find TPC Southwind to his liking right now. His countryman, Matthew Fitzpatrick, has also played well of late, though, landing a T3 finish his last time out at the Memorial; he also finished T4 at this event last year. Then there’s Webb Simpson, who already has a win and a T8 on his record since the restart. He finished runner-up at this event last season.
Choice: Webb Simpson
· I don’t feel like there’s a bad choice from this group, so I’ll just take the best player. Ranked 4th in the world right now, there have not been many players better than Webb in 2020.
Who will have the best finishing position? Collin Morikawa, Daniel Berger, or Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama is the only player in this group without a win on his record for 2020. He’s looked OK at times since the restart but has also had a couple of brutal starts, including his last where he missed the cut by multiple strokes. He didn’t play well here last season either, struggling to a T43. Morikawa is coming off a fantastic couple starts at Muirfield Village where he picked up the second win of his career at the Workday. He leads everyone in SG: approach stats over the last 50 rounds. Berger has won twice at TPC Southwind (’16 and ’17) when it just hosted a regular Tour stop. Considering how well he’s played in 2020 (a win and three top-5’s), his missed cut at the Memorial should probably be ignored altogether.
Choice: Collin Morikawa
· Morikawa sets up perfectly for this week’s venue. His straight driving and elite iron play should keep him out of the trouble that surrounds these smaller Bermuda greens.
Who will have the best finishing position? Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau or Dustin Johnson
It’s really hard to trust Dustin Johnson this week. Although he recently won at the Travelers, DJ pulled out of last week’s event with a sore back after firing a 78, and also shot 80-80 at the Memorial. On the flip-side, both Viktor Hovland and Tony Finau have been playing great golf of late. Finau has now posted back-to-back top-10’s and has been contention for much of his last eight rounds on the PGA TOUR. Hovland, meanwhile, leads the field in SG: TTG stats over the last 24 rounds and has five top-25 finishes in his last six starts. Johnson is a former winner at this venue (2018, 2012), while Hovland has never played TPC Southwind and Finau’s best effort here came last year with just a T27.
Choice: Tony Finau
· Finau has played extremely well over the last couple of events in pretty much every facet of the game. He gets the slight nod of Hovland and big nod over the seemingly injured DJ.
Who will have the best finishing position? Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, or Tommy Fleetwood
Koepka has struggled to get any momentum going of late, landing two missed cuts and a T65 now in his last three starts. He is coming to a venue that he’s absolutely destroyed though throughout his career. Koepka has a win at TPC Southwind from last season and a runner-up finish from 2016 as well. We have little to go on with Fleetwood, who missed the cut last week with a brutal putting performance. He did finish T4 here last year. Reed’s easily been the most consistent of the three, landing two top-10’s since the restart, including in his last outing at the Memorial.
Choice: Brooks Koepka
· Koepka may not have the results to show for it, but he’s shown progress, gaining over 5-strokes through his ball-striking last week in his first two rounds. If his putter fires for him here, a big week could be ahead.
Who will have the best finishing position? Abraham Ancer, Billy Horschel, or Rickie Fowler
Ancer showed some regression in his last outing, losing a ton of strokes on his approaches at the Memorial and generally struggling to a T58. He is in a weaker group here though that includes Rickie Fowler, who missed the cut badly his last time out. Fowler has been all over the map of late, landing T12 and T22 finishes prior to his MC and hasn’t shown any consistency, outside of his off the tee play, which has been solid. Billy Horschel is coming on after landing T13 and T7 finishes in the Tour’s two week jaunt at Muirfield Village. He’s got a great record at TPC Southwind and finished T9 here last year against a tough field.
Choice: Abraham Ancer
· Ancer had a strange outing at the Memorial but it seems likely he’ll bounce back from that poor effort with a better one here. He’s been the best player of this group by far in 2020.
Who will have the best finishing position? Jason Day, Gary Woodland or Paul Casey
Day is coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes at Muirfield Village. The Aussie finally got his putter firing again as he gained +6.5 strokes against the field with that club his last time out. The complete flipside to his performance of late has been Paul Casey, who is coming in off two missed cuts where he lost over four strokes putting and around the greens on separate occasions. Woodland has also been playing well. He finished T22 and T5 at the two Muirfield Village stops and has now gained strokes putting in eight straight events, a great feat for someone who isn’t generally considered a great putter.
Choice: Gary Woodland
· Woodland’s approach game looked on point his last time out. While both Day and Casey look like intriguing prospects this week, I’ll go with the guy who has played the best since the restart here.
Who will have the best finishing position? Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, or Ian Poulter
Jordan Spieth has shown some progress over his last few starts. He gained well over +7 strokes in TTG stats at the Memorial where he survived the tough conditions and finished T13. Kuchar has easily been the worst of the three since the restart, failing to post anything better than a T32 in his last start at the Memorial. Poulter’s been far more consistent and likely the decision here comes down between him and Spieth. The Englishman finished T5 at the Workday, finished T8 at this event last season and also finished T6 at TPC Southwind way back in 2014.
Choice: Jordan Spieth
· Despite Poulter playing well of late, there’s still a pretty big talent gap between these two. If Spieth’s putter heats up this week, he could easily challenge here assuming his ball-striking stays consistent.
Who will have the best finishing position? Bubba Watson, SungJae Im, or Matthew Wolff
Watson played well in the first round last week but ejected himself with some careless mistakes in round two. It’s possible the no-cut nature of this week’s event gets him going though. He did finish T9 at this event last year but has just a T32 finish to show as his best result from the last month of play. Wolff has been much more consistent of late, landing inside the top-25 on three occasions over his last four starts, including a runner-up finish at the Rocket Mortgage a couple stops ago. SungJae Im has looked terrible of late, losing strokes on approach now in five straight events.
Choice: Matthew Wolff
· Wolff has played too well of late to leave out. He’s gained over 2 strokes putting in three of his last four starts and finished T24 here last season.
Play the free pool here: DraftKings Sportsbook Pools
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO). NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA/CO only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details. Odds and lines subject to change.