What a weekend it was in golf as Iriashman Shane Lowry picked up his first major title with a win in the 2019 Open Championship! No rest for the weary, however, as the PGA Tour continues this week with the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
We have a full preview and betting tips for the upcoming event below!
Before You Bet followers found a winner at The Open Championship as the Irishman Shane Lowry was one of our best bets for the tournament at healthy odds of $51! We’ll look to back it up this weekend as we preview the fourth and final WGC event of the year, the St. Jude Invitational.
While the ‘St. Jude Classic’ has been an event in the PGA Tour in some capacity since 1958, it gains extra weight this year as it replaces the Bridgestone Invitational in the WGC roster. The Bridgestone Invitational was a staple in the WGC line-up for 13 years at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio but has been moved to TPC Southwind in Tennessee this year.
While Justin Thomas is the official defending champion after his win at the Bridgestone Invitational last year, more stock can be taken from Dustin Johnson’s win at the St Jude Classic, which was played at TPC Southwind. Formers winners at Southwind include the likes of Daniel Berger, Fabian Gomez, Ben Crane, Lee Westwood and Brian Gay.
The course is set on a former dairy farm in the Southeast of Memphis and will play at around 7,244 yards this weekend as a Par 70. There is plenty of water in play at TPC Southwind, with natural lakes, streams and ponds lining the course. TPC Southwind regularly ranks in the hardest few courses on tour for fairway percentage and greens in regulation percentage, and it will likely be even harder this year to cater for the WGC Invitational status.
The greens are smaller than the standard PGA Tour green and with so much water in play, there’s no wonder why only two men have scored lower than -13 over four rounds in the last 13 years at the St. Jude Classic.
The course isn’t extremely long, so we’ll be targeting players who find the fairways regularly and are good with short-mid irons and have high GIR percentages.
As is the case with all WGC sanctioned events, the field for the St. Jude Invitational this week will be reduced. 68 players are currently confirmed for the event while there are still a few spots up for grabs for anyone who can crack into the top 50 when the new World Golf Rankings come out early this week.
The No.1 ranked player in the world, Brooks Koepka, will headline a star-studded field that features a bag of the top players in the world. Joining him will be the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schaffele, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth! All in all, a WGC event generally boasts the strongest fields outside of the majors, so get ready for an exciting weekend!
While his form can sometimes be questioned in the majors, there is no doubting Dustin Johnson’s ability in the World Golf Championship events. Since 2013, DJ has won a ridiculous six different WGC events, including one invitational back at Firestone. His tally of six is bettered by only Tiger Woods, who has 18.
There’s also the fact that DJ was the last man to win at TPC Southwind, claiming the 2018 St. Jude Classic by a whopping six strokes over his nearest competitor. His score of -19 in the St. Jude Classic last season was the lowest four-round score at TPC Southwind since David Toms shot -20 all the way back in 2004.
Johnson is 5th overall on tour in shots gained off the tee and 16th overall in shots gained on approach. He is ranked a respectable 36th in greens in regulation percentage and ranks highly in nearly every other key stat. The World No.2 hasn’t won since the WGC event in Mexico earlier this year, which is a lengthy winless stretch for him.
If you’re hunting a little more value this weekend, look no further than youngster Xander Schauffele. The 25 year old was right in the mix at The Open before a fourth round +7 threw him out of contention, however, the world No.11 has been in some stellar form of late and he is also a winner of a WGC event this year.
Schauffele was fantastic at the WGC-HSBC Champions earlier in the year, finishing -14 after four rounds and claiming his third PGA Tour title. He also won at the Sentry Tournament of Champions just a few weeks later and currently sits fourth on the Fed Ex Cup standings.
He finished T14 at the Memorial Tournament last month before a T3 finish at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Schauffele ranks highly in our key stats at No.13 in shots gained off the tee and No.33 in greens in regulation percentage.
Along with DJ and Xander, we also will be having small plays on the following players this weekend!
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