Back to our regularly scheduled programming at our regularly scheduled time. There will be no more all-nighters as the PGA Tour resumes this week with two tournaments taking place. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about the WGC-FedEx St. Jude betting odds as players will either be returning from Tokyo or resuming their season with only two more weeks till the FedExCup playoffs.
TPC Southwind will welcome 48 out of the top 50 players in the world and 66 competitors overall. World No. 1 Jon Rahm and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout will not be making the trek to Memphis, Tennessee, as they are the only two players ranked in the top 50 in the world not competing.
Another no-cut, limited-field event, this will be only the third time that an event at TPC Southwind takes the face of a World Golf Championship. With the tournament previously held at Firestone Country Club, TPC Southwind was just your typical run-of-the-mill PGA Tour stop before 2019. While that does leave us with plenty of data, some may be misconstrued.
What we know for sure is that this course has produced quality victors over the last half-decade. With Daniel Berger winning back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, an all-around game with an emphasis on ball-striking should be noted. Then there are big hitters Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka who won here in 2018 and 2019. Koepka won the first edition of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude and nearly defended his title in 2020, but fell just short to Justin Thomas.
The WGC-FedEx St. Jude betting odds have been posted at Bovada with the inaugural champion, Brooks Koepka, leading the way at +1200, with an implied probability to win of 7.69 percent. If successful, a $100 bet on him would net you $1,200 profit. He'll have to contend with a number of great players such as world No. 3 Collin Morikawa and recent Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele among many, many more.
2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Odds
Odds as of August 3 at Bovada
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Can Dustin Johnson Capture his First PGA Tour Victory of 2021?
We discussed in the 3M Open article how this time last season, Johnson was struggling. After missing the cut in Minnesota, it appears the same rings true just 365 days later. Now the world No. 2, he comes to Memphis having won the last standard PGA Tour event at TPC Southwind in 2018.
In last year’s tournament, Johnson finished in a tie for 12th, getting his game back on track and spurring one of the most impressive stretches of golf in recent memory. In his next seven starts following the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, he would capture three victories, including two FedExCup playoff events and the Masters.
Not only that, but when Johnson failed to claim victory, he wasn’t far off. Three runner-up finishes accompanied his triumphs during this time and he added another top-10 finish at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot for good measure. Without a PGA Tour win to his name in 2021, Johnson hopes this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude could be the spot where that changes.
Is There a Breakthrough Winner Lurking in the Shadows?
The first two World Golf Championship events of 2021 produced two somewhat outside winners. Collin Morikawa was in the midst of a putting change and dropped to +4500 on the oddsboard before claiming the WGC-Workday Championship. Then in Austin, Texas, Billy Horschel got the better of Scottie Scheffler in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
So, this begs the question: Could the WGC-FedEx St. Jude play out in a similar manner? Our limited history suggests not with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas winning the last two seasons. However, with players like Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler and Joaquin Niemann lurking not too far down the oddsboard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these “young guns” make a serious run at the title.
Course and Analysis:
In what is probably one of the more difficult venues on the PGA Tour, TPC Southwind will look to test players once again. Playing to a par 70, this course can stretch just north of 7,200 yards and features plenty of penalty areas, including on the par-4 18th. With only two par 5s on the property, players will need to capitalize on those scoring opportunities while also taking advantage of the par 4s.
With Koepka finishing at 16 under and Thomas at 13 under the last two seasons, I’ll be looking to their statistical profiles as we look for a potential winner. In 2019, Koepka struck the ball well, but it was his putting that carried the load. By week’s end, he had posted +9.3 SG: Putting and whenever a player of Koepka’s caliber has the putter cooperating that much, a win is all but certain.
Thomas took a different avenue as he relied heavily on his approach play. Posting +7.7 SG: Approach and +12.9 SG: Tee-to-Green, the defending champion was nearly perfect before getting to the greens. That’s where he’d give some strokes back to the field as he lost nearly two strokes with the putter for the week. He wasn’t the only one to struggle as Koepka did as well, losing nearly three strokes with the flat stick in his runner-up effort.
2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Expert Picks:
Patrick Cantlay (+2500 to win):
Whenever I like Collin Morikawa in a tournament, Cantlay always comes to mind as well. While the WGC-FedEx St. Jude betting odds are too low for Morikawa, they’re just right for Cantlay. A two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, Cantlay still needs to take the next big step in his career.
While he has taken down the likes of Rahm, Thomas and Morikawa in tournaments such as the Zozo Championship and the Memorial, he still has much to prove. A World Golf Championship title would propel Cantlay into the game’s elite.
Coming off a disappointing missed cut at the Open, he actually struck the ball well, hitting more than 75 percent of the greens in regulation. The putter was the issue across the pond and I’ll be wagering that he won’t be making a habit of it this week. Tee to green, he has no weakness and could be considered one of the top players in the world in said category. If the putter heats up, he should be in the mix, but it is nice knowing both Thomas and Koepka struggled on the greens last year and still occupied the top two spots on the leaderboard.
Webb Simpson (+3300 to win):
There are plenty of strong players in this range such as Paul Casey, Cameron Smith or Patrick Reed. Yet it is Simpson who catches my eye as he has been held winless in 2021 thus far. Hardly a description a player wants to hold, I believe Simpson has a real opportunity to change that this week in Memphis.
He’s had past success at TPC Southwind, especially in the World Golf Championship setting. A runner-up finish to Brooks Koepka in 2019 was followed up with a tie for 12th in 2020. While he may not arrive in the same form as he did the past two seasons, Simpson’s motivation levels should be heightened.
Sitting 13th in the Team USA Ryder Cup rankings, Simpson needs to put in some serious work to capture the attention of captain Steve Stricker. He was one of the better players in France in 2019, but he doesn’t look like that player that performed so well at Le National. Coming off a top-20 finish at the Open, he needs to keep the momentum rolling if he plans to wear the red, white and blue in September.
Harris English (+5000 to win):
The world No. 14 continues to get disrespected in the betting markets and this week it carries over to the WGC-FedEx St. Jude betting odds. A winner just over a month ago at the Travelers Championship, English struggled in the first round of the Open. Battling back to make the cut and eventually finishing in a tie for 46th, he showed plenty of grit and tenacity.
Strong throughout the bag, English’s putter has been the difference-maker over the last month or so. Having posted +4.0 SG: Putting at both the U.S. Open and the Travelers Championship, a similar performance on the greens could yield a similar result.
The game is in good shape and he now arrives to TPC Southwind having won here in 2013. Clearly comfortable around the property, English has shown time and time again that he can compete with the best of them. Winning in Kapalua to begin the season, he already has a limited-field, no-cut victory under his belt in 2021 and could very easily add to that total this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude.
Tyrrell Hatton (+5000 to win):
It hasn’t been an ideal summer for the Englishman. After a smashing start to the year in Abu Dhabi, Hatton’s performances have been somewhat disappointing. While he has struggled at major championships and World Golf Championships, I have a strange sense of optimism for him this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude.
People likely forget that Hatton is the world No. 13 and despite the recent skid, this number is too long for a player of his caliber. On paper, a course such as TPC Southwind should fit his game like a glove and while that hasn’t been the case for him in his two WGC-FedEx St. Jude outings, I believe this week he will flip the script.
Coming off a missed cut at Royal St. George’s, Hatton should be plenty rested and plenty motivated. Ranking 69th in the FedExCup standings, he is in need of a couple strong starts to not only secure his positioning inside the top 70 but also to make a push for the Tour Championship.
Jason Kokrak (+6600 to win):
Not only is Kokrak no stranger to winning, he’s no stranger to winning a limited-field, no-cut event. Capturing the first PGA Tour victory of his career at the CJ Cup in the fall, Kokrak’s game is more than capable of stacking up to the best players in the world.
After a surprising missed cut at the U.S. Open, the two-time winner this season has since contended at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and posted a strong showing at the Open. Had he not putted poorly in Detroit, he likely would have snagged his third win of the season, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be.
I could envision Kokrak taking a similar route that Koepka did in 2019, being sufficient tee to green while lapping the field on the greens. He’s been one of the best putters on the tour this season and with longer hitters like Koepka and Johnson finding success at TPC Southwind, Kokrak should be worthy of consideration for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude.