WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 25th July 2019

Ireland showed once again that it is a country that punches well above its weight in sporting terms at the Open. Northern Ireland provided one of the best Open venues of all time in Royal Portrush whilst the Republic provided a top class winner in Shane Lowry. Footage of Lowry’s celebrations have gone down a storm on social media but while he was enjoying himself, many of the world’s best players were making tracks for TPC Southwind and the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

Rory McIlroy posted on social media that he was delighted Lowry, somebody he’s known for 15 years, was able to win the Open. Still, the Northern Irishman’s own experiences at Portrush were very painful. He is a steely competitor though with a game that should be well suited to TPC Southwind so McIlroy can get back to winning ways at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.

Top Tips

Rory McIlroy @ 10/1

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Course Info

The newly named World Golf Championships-FedEx St Jude Invitational replaces the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. It’s a little more complicated than that however. Effectively, this is a promotion of the now defunct FedEx St Jude Classic to a World Gold Championship event.

This week’s tournament takes place at TPC Southwind, the long term host of the FedEx St Jude Classic. It’s not quite as fearsome as the former host, Firestone Country Club, but TPC Southwind is not a course that players can take easily. The par 70 is long enough at 7,244 yards for a host of par fours that would feel like par fives for amateur golfers. The players will also be faced with narrow fairways and tough green complexes as they are laid with Champion Bermudagrass which is found infrequently on top level courses.

Many players to have taken on TPC Southwind suggest that hitting the fairways is a real priority as the rough does tend to produce flyers which makes distance control very tough. That said, bombers have done well at this venue before and you can be sure a number of ‘bomb and gauge’ type players will be towards the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
TPC Southwind Memphis, Tennesee 7,244 Yards $10,250,000

Recent Winners

The below list of recent winners comes from the FedEx St Jude Classic rather than the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Although technically different events, they were played at the same course so the comparisons are stronger. Dustin Johnson’s win in 2018 showed that bigger hitters really can thrive around TPC Southwind. He combined his prodigious power with some excellent approach shots and confident putting to win. Daniel Berger averaged over 305 yards off the tee for both of his wins but Fabian Gomez and Ben Crane were sub-300 yards with Crane averaging just over 270. It’s also worth noting that the FedEx St Jude was played the week before the US Open so the strength of the field was nothing like at WGC event.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Dustin Johnson -19 6 Strokes
2017 Daniel Berger -10 1 Stroke
2016 Daniel Berger -13 3 Strokes
2015 Fabian Gomez -13 4 Strokes
2014 Ben Crane -10 1 Stroke

Analysis: Big Hitters to Thrive

TPC Southwind can feel like a real grind when things don’t go to plan. That will only be accentuated by the very hot weather forecast for Memphis whilst the lack of a cut will see the bottom few players face a very tough week. The heat will make the ball fly further through the air though and should help the biggest hitters who can use their power to take on even more of the trouble off the tee. The bombers will only be able to thrive if they have a good week on the greens so somebody who players who are putting well at the moment and able to fly the ball 310 yards plus off the tee look worthy of support.

McIlroy to Bounce Back

Rory McIlroy was the big story of the first two days of the Open, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. He’d been looking forward to playing at Royal Portrush for years but found his chances blown away by a shocking opening nine holes. Missing the cut obviously hurt given how badly he wanted to win for the home fans but McIlroy is doing the right thing by getting right back on the horse this week.

He obviously has more than enough power for a distinct advantage at TPC Southwind and continues to improve on the greens. McIlroy tops the billing on the PGA Tour for both strokes gained off the tee and tee to green so you can be sure he’ll set up plenty of birdie opportunities. Providing he gets to grips with the Champion Bermudagrass greens he has a great chance to respond to last week’s disappointment in the best way possible with a win at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.

Scott to Enjoy Return to TPC Southwind

Adam Scott is one of just a handful of players in the top 20 of the betting this week to have previous tournament experience of TPC Southwind. He played at the FedEx St Jude Classic twice and finished inside the top 10 on both occasions. The Aussie will arrive in Memphis with positive memories and on the back of an extended run of good form.

Last week’s missed cut at the Open is nothing to worry about given the vast differences between Royal Portrush and TPC Southwind. Moreover, he picked up three top 10 finishes in a row prior to last week so has a very good each way chances at 33/1 with Betfair.

Final Verdict: Rory McIlroy to Win

Rory McIlroy earned nothing but praise form golf fans for the way he coped with last week’s crushing disappointment. Some pundits covering the game suggested the effects of that first round at Portrush could have major implications for his career going forward but that is surely overly dramatic. Rather, McIlroy is capable of putting the Open behind him and restarting his assault on the FedEx Cup rankings with a big win at Memphis.

About

The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational is a newly named tournament in 2019. It sees the previous St' Jude Classic become a World Golf Championships event and replace the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. It is the third World Golf Championships tournament of the season.

As it's a WGC event, the field size is drastically reduced compared to regular PGA Tour events. Numbers are limited to around 75 players, which include a mix of official world golf ranking (top 50), Ryder cup and Presidents Cup team members, tournament winners and a selection of winners from smaller tours, such as the PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour.

One of the most remarkable things about this event is that Tiger Woods has won it on 8 different occasions, from the first in 1999 right through to his last in 2013. To put that into perspective, Woods had won 8 from 15 events at the time of last win and still no other player has multiple wins in the event of any kind.

The course is set up on TPC Southwind, which located in Memphis, Tennessee and has been running in one form or another since 1958. The name was originally the Memphis Open, but was changed in 1969 when entertainer Danny Thomas agreed to lend his name to the tournament. In return he wanted his St. Jude Children's Hospital to become the tournaments official charity, before eventually adopting the name fully in 1985. The success of the tournament didn't go unnoticed and as a result, in 2019 it replaced the WGC Bridgestone Invitational to make part of the World Golf Championship makeup.

One of the biggest stories to arise from the St. Jude Classic came about in 2011. Harrison Frazar had played on the PGA Tour for 13 years and made 355 starts in his career, with no wins to his name. In the 2011 St. Jude Classic he manged to go on and record his first victory, beating Robert Karlson in a playoff. What makes it even more impressive is that Frazar's appearance was part of a medical exemption and he was actually considering retiring not long after the event.

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