WGC FedEx St. Jude: Morikawa can make history in Memphis

After a week off for the men’s Olympic competition, the PGA Tour schedule resumes with the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

David Kristiansen

Justin Thomas will look to defend the title he won here in 2020 while 2019 winner, Brooks Koepka, is coming into the week with four top-6 finishes in his last five Tour events. 

There will be 66 players competing in Memphis, including 48 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, though World No. 1 Jon Rahm will not be in the field after testing positive for COVID-19

Meanwhile, FedExCup leader and recent Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa will look to add another WGC to his trophy case having won the WGC-Workday Championship earlier this year to become the only player other than Tiger Woods to win a major and WGC before turning 25


Course: TPC Southwind
Length: 7237 yards (Par 70)
Greens: Bermuda
Opened: 1988
Architect: Ron Prichard

For the fourth year TPC Southwind is the host to a WGC, after having been elevated from a regular tour event.

After a birdie fest at the Olympics last week, we are back on a course where the winning score usually are barely into double digits.

The Memphis course is a long par 70 so par 4 scoring will be a key metric this week. The par 4s are evenly split between the 400-450 and 450-500 with five in each range. The plurality of approaches comes from the 150-175 range.

Brooks Koepka

Looking back at what the contenders has done well over the past few years the two categories that seems to almost be a requirement is strokes gained approach and off the tee.

Seven of the last nine winners at this course have led the field in strokes gained from tee to green and with JT and Brooks who finished 1-2 here last year while both losing strokes putting it opens up some interesting theories this week.

While the rough here is not very long it’s still one of the courses on tour where fairways hit gives the most upside because of small tricky Bermuda greens and all the water in play at TPC Southwind.

Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:

  • Strokes gained approach
  • Strokes gained off the tee
  • Scrambling
  • Par 4 scoring
  • Proximity 150-175 yards
  • Bermuda putting

Betting history

Justin Thomas

2019/20 season

Wagered: +35.61 units

2020/21 season

Wagered: 316 units
Won: 524,92 units
Result: 208,92 units

Outright winners

Waste Management: Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational: Max Homa 56-1, The Players Championship: Justin Thomas 19-1, Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth 11-1, Palmetto Championship: Garrick Higgo 36-1


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy @ 21.00
6pts to WIN

While a touch scared of the travel back from Tokyo I see the Olympics as a huge positive for Rory who seemed reinvigorated after his Olympic debut.

Not only does a track where the tee to green game overweighs putting suit him in theory, it has also worked in practice with the Northern Irishman collecting a 4th and a 6th since this has been a WGC event.

We all know Rory is elite with his irons but struggles with his wedges at times so a course that puts the emphasis on the former is another box ticked for the four-time major champion.

Golf Camillo Villegas

Will Zalatoris @ 56.00 
2pts EW (1/4 the odds 5 places)

Zalatoris,  who was ranked outside the top 500 in the world at the start of 2020, has had an insane breakthrough season with four top 10s in major starting with last years US Open when he was not even a member on the PGA tour to his runner up at the Masters in April which moved him into the top 30 in the world ranking.

After a small dip in form after the PGA he finished T26 in his European tour debut at the Scottish Open before looking good to start The Open only to get a small back injury in his second round which forced him to withdraw.

Now, after having a few weeks off to get healthy and a long-awaited break for rest and practice after a marathon season, he should be well set up at a course where you don’t have to be the best putter to finally get his breakthrough win.

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