Seventy-eight golfers representing 19 countries from six continents will be competing in the traditional 72-hole, stroke-play competition.
Defending WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational champ Brooks Koepka is among the top eight players in the world scheduled to play at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
World No. 1 Jon Rahm makes the journey to Memphis along with World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, though Tiger Woods will be missing as he prepares for the first major of the season, The PGA Championship, which is scheduled for TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on August 6.
3M Open Recap
Michael Thompson came out victorious in the least interesting tournament since the restart with Tony Finau being the only top 20 player anywhere near contention on Sunday.
With that said it was clear from his post-round interview how much it meant to the American to get his second PGA Tour victory seven years after he broke through at The Honda Classic.
Besides being a somewhat sleepy week, it also was a disastrous one for our picks with both missing the cut, so let’s get back on the horse and pick a winner this week in Memphis.
Course: TPC Southwind
Length: 7237 yards (Par 70)
Architect: Ron Prichard
For the second year, TPC Southwind is the host to a WGC, after having been elevated from a regular tour event and after another birdie fest last week, we are back on a course where the winning score usually is 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.
Looking back at what the contenders have done well over the past few years the two categories that seem to almost be a requirement is strokes gained approach and putting. As we know putting is extremely variable, but I would advice to at least take guys that have an upside on the greens.
With the rough not usually being that problematic here the major danger off the tee will be the water in play on multiple holes.
After a few weeks on bent we are back on Bermuda greens that are on the smaller side.
Here are some of the thing I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained approach
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Par 4 scoring
- Proximity 150-175 yards
- Bermuda putting
2019/20 Season overview:
Wagered: 133,1 units
Won: 189.96 units
Result: + 56.86 units
Outright winners: Hero World Challenge: Henrik Stensson 25-1, Farmers Insurance Open: Marc Leishman 50-1, RBC Heritage: Webb Simpson 29-1
My first pick has become somewhat of a Bermuda specialist and the last two tournaments he has played on that surface a grand total of none – zip – zero players have beaten Simpson.
He also exceeds on somewhat tough par-70 courses that play on the harder side ranking 6th in strokes gained total over the past 50 rounds in that parameter.
That he has two top-three finishes at this course in his four starts including a runner up finish last year does not hurt either.
It might seem risky going back to Brooks after he missed the cut at a weaker field last week, but if we dive deeper into his stats he actually seemed to have found something tee to green gaining over 5 strokes tee to green.
The problem was that his putting was pretty catastrophic, to say the least, causing him to lose over five strokes in two rounds. But now he is back on the Bermuda that he loves and when he won here last year he had his second-best putting performance of his career gaining 9,3 strokes on the greens.
Koepka is another one that loves tough par 70 courses as his major record can attest to and if we look at the last 50 rounds he ranks first in my model.
My last pick is another guy that has his strengths on approach and putting. He comes of two top 10 finishes where he has gained a combined 18 strokes in the two categories.
Since the restart, he ranks 10th in strokes gained approach and 6th in par 4 scoring and two of his last three wins have come at par-70 courses.
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