Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The FedEx St Jude Invitational 2022 – Event Overview


General Summary

Welcome to the FedEx Play-offs where 125 of the world’s best golfers will compete over the next 3 weeks for the number 1 spot and a cheque for $15 million.

We head to Memphis Tennessee for the first of three legs.  Following this week the final 125 players will become 70 before the final cut to the best 40 players who will head to East Lake in Atlanta.

This week’s course TPC Southwind is a Par 70 with a standard set up on two par 5’s, four par 3’s and the rest made up of par 4’s. As you would expect it’s the two par 5’s that will likely give up the most birdies and play as the easiest holes with the par 5 16th hole giving up 48% birdies in 2021.

The greens at TPC Southwind are only 4,300 square feet on average and so the players will only be finding them on average 65% of the time.  This places an emphasis on the short game this week and that is something we will come onto in the key skill sets section of this summary.

FedEx St Jude Invitational 2022 golf novibet 1

The course was made more testing up for the recent WGC tournament and the toughest holes are likely to be the Par 4s at 5, 12, 17, 7, and 18.  Number 14 is the longest and most difficult Par 3 on the course and it can often ruin the scorecard. There are 11 water hazards on the course, with lakes, ponds, and streams spread across the fairways and guarding the Bermuda grass greens.

Furthermore, every bunker on the course has been re-edged with some being modified and each of the 76 bunkers has new sand laid down as part of the overhaul to improve the course to host the WGC events. This course sees more balls go into the water than any other on tour! So with that said, we look to be in for a great ride this week with plenty of excitement for fans and players alike.

This is a solid test of golf and unlike the past few weeks where winning scores have got to surpass 20 under par and more, this week we may expect to see a winning score in the mid-teens.

Who will lift the trophy come Sunday evening? Well stay tuned for the skill sets required section below which will help you make more informed choices when constructing your final portfolio for the week.

Event & Course Details

  • Course: TPC Southwind
  • Location: Memphis, TN
  • Date: Aug 11-14, 2022
  • Par: 70 / Yardage 7,237
  • Purse: $15 Million / Winner $1.8 M
  • Fairways/Rough: Zoysia / bermudagrass
  • Greens: Champion bermudagrass
  • Defending Champ: Abraham Ancer

Key Skill Sets Required

Driving Accuracy   – The majority of PGA Tour events favour length off the tee but not here at TPC Southwind.  Here it is more about precision from the tee box, backed up by the fact that the course ranks in the top 10 hardest on tour from the rough. Missing the fairways here is a bigger punishment than it is on the majority of courses on the PGA Tour circuit.

Greens In Regulation (GIR) Gained – Hitting a high percentage of greens is a must here at TPC Southwind.   A total of 5 of the last 7 winners at the track have ranked in the top 10 on GIR for that particular week. Players who are hitting their iron well and peppering the middle of the greens have an outstanding chance at this course.

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SG Approach – The importance of hitting lots of greens in regulation this week cannot be overstated and that naturally lends itself to approach play being a key factor. Simply put, ‘your’ iron game needs to be majestic this week otherwise players will be stalling on that leaderboard.

Proximity 150 – 200 Yards– A high majority of shots will come from the key range of 150-200 yards with as much as 45% of all approach shots heading in from this distance. Therefore a big emphasis will be put on mid-iron play and those players who have a track record of delivering with 5 to 9 irons in hand will likely fare best.

SG Scrambling – Looking back at the winners here they have all excelled in scrambling performance across the week.  Therefore we are likely to see a fair bit of scrambling this week!

SG Around The Green – Hitting greens in regulation here at TPC Southwind can prove difficult, meaning players will need a strong short game to come through the week’s test. TPC Southwind ranks in the toughest 20% of courses to get up and down from on the PGA tour circuit and you will want players onside with an elite-level short game.

SG Putting – We are on the Bermuda green this week and so it will suit players who have proven their liking for these surfaces, as they aren’t for everybody. The greens here are undulating and fast and those players with favourable putting stats will be at a huge advantage. As with all low-scoring events, making most putts inside of 10ft in a must.

Best Outsiders/ big priced player/ bomb picks

1. Mito Pereira 125/1

  • His form was heating up nicely before the break to visit UK shores for the Scottish Open and The Open Championship.
  • An excellent T2G player who should relish the test this week.
  • Ranked in the top 10 for Fairways gained & SG T2G over the past 24 rounds on tour.
  • His iron play is superb, ranked 11th in the whole field for SG Approach play over the past 24 rounds.
  • If he can hole a few putts this week he could easily outperform his odds.

2. Russell Henley 50/1

  • 4 top 10 finishes in his last 7 events.
  • Ranked 1st last week for SG Approach Play – this course is all about controlling iron shots.
  • Ranked 5th last week for Driving Accuracy, all player quotes this week stress the importance of playing this course from the fairways, something we can expect Henley to do
  • Ranked 1st in approach play of all players teeing it up over the past 36 rounds on tour.
  • Ranked in the top 10 for proximity to the hole from 100- 175 yards, his overall iron game is top class and this is backed up by the stats.
  • Ranked 6th for Par 4 scoring from 400-450 yards, eight holes each day fall within this range.
  • Trending in the right direction and we may expect a strong

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3. Keith Mitchell 125/1

  • Had a really consistent 2022 and showed signed his game is still in good shape last week at the Wyndham.
  • Ranked 1St SG Off the Tee last week, 9th in Driving Accuracy and 6th for Driving Distance. If he can provide that platform again this week his iron play will surely improve and he could be a danger.
  • One of the best short games on tour. He is ranked 7th for SG Scrambling over the past 24 rounds on tour and this is a key skill set for this week, with players likely to miss 35% of greens on average.
  • Putts well on the surfaces he faces this week.

4. Tyrell Hatton 50/1

  • A winner of big events in the US already, he warmed up nicely with a top 10 last week on tracks that demanded accurate driving and solid iron play, much like he will face this week.
  • Ranked 5th in SG Approach play last week showing his iron game is on song.
  • An aggressive iron player who should give himself plenty of birdie opportunities this week.
  • Gained strokes putting in each of his last 11 events and putting on these undulating and super-fast green will be important this week.

Best Outright Picks

1. Mito Pereira 125/1

Summary as above

2. Matt Fitzpatrick 16/1

  • A Major Champion who will be relishing the opportunity to take on the world’s best in the form of his life.
  • He has 2 top 10 finishes at the event previously in 2019 and 2020.
  • A super driver of the ball and one of the most accurate teeing it up this week.
  • Ranked in the top 10 for GIR gained over the past 36 rounds on tour, a key factor coming into this week
  • His best putting stats come on the Bermuda greens, such as those he faces this week.
  • In the form of his life, on a course that he has shown a liking for and he is a ‘must bet’ at the top end of the market.

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3. Shane Lowry 40/1

  • Best placed 6th here in 2020.
  • His proximity to the hole stats stands out, ranked 2nd with a wedge in hand from 100-125yards and also ranks 6th from 175-200 yards, demonstrating that his short and long iron game is in a good place.
  • Ranked in the top 20 for GIR gained over the past 24 rounds on tour.
  • An underrated T2G game which has improved immensely over the past 12/18 months.
  • One of the best putters in the whole field this week and this could give him an edge over his competitors.

4. Russell Henley 50/1

Summary as above

5. Keith Mitchell 150/1

Summary as above

Top 20 picks this week

1. Scottie Scheffler 10/11

2. Tyrell Hatton 21/10

3. Russell Henley 5/2

4. Keith Mitchell 18/5