Following a grueling season, the regular PGA Tour campaign has reached the end game, and the FedEx St Jude Invitational represents the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings will make their way to TPC Southwind in Tennessee, USA, for this prestigious tournament, which used to be a run-of-a-mill event.
Interesting stats ahead of the Fedex Invitational
Unlike other events where power is a byword for excellence, precision will be the buzzword this week. There are a few interesting stats that are worth mulling over before the FedEx St Jude Invitational gets underway:
- TPC Southwind is making its debut as a FedEx Cup playoff event
- Three different players in three different decades have signed off with a round of 61, including Tom Lewis in 2020.
- Patrick Cantlay is seeking to become the first player to be crowned back-to-back FedEx Cup champion.
- Sam Burns holds the joint record for the lowest 72-hole score at TPC Southwind (264).
- Tony Finau is the reigning FedEx St Jude Invitational champ after ending a five-year winless drought.
As always, US online betting sites will be rushing to post some of the best odds for this week which will captivate the imagination of golf fans. We have rummaged through the markets and selected a few tips for you to mull over.
Patrick Cantlay to emerge from the shadows
We could point to Cantlay’s victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to illustrate his success this term, but remember, that was a team event. So technically speaking, Cantlay is searching for his first title of the season.
Cantlay may not be the longest from the tee on the PGA Tour (averaging 306.7 yards) ranking 40th in this performance indicator, but he boasts plenty of tactical nous. TPC Southwind which has undergone significant renovations over the past 20 years is littered with bunkers and trees, and plenty of nasty surprises. Two of the front-nine holes have been lengthened, but Cantlay will rise to the challenge.
With a raft of top-10 finishes to his name and a trio of runner-up spots this season, Cantlay could step into the winner’s circle. BetMGM is offering an intriguing price of +1600 for him to clinch the title, which to a certain extent, feels a tad on the long side.
Xander Schauffele to sprint out of the starting blocks
With such a glittering field taking part, picking a standout player in the opening round can be akin to picking a needle out of a haystack. Despite precision being the buzzword for this week, TPC Southwind has borne witness to plenty of low scores over the years, and this week could be no different.
In particular, Schauffele could be one to watch, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got off to an electric start. Although he’s had a few weeks off with his last outing coming at The Open Championship where he finished T15, Schauffele is usually assured. He is great at recalibrating and tailoring his game to the demands of any given course.
TPC Southwind could catch a few players out in round one, especially with some of the huge doglegs and water hazards, but Schauffele is unlikely to get riled. If you like the look of the First Round leader market, then BetMGM is carrying a price of +2800 for Schauffele to top the leaderboard following the conclusion of the opening round.
Play-off drama awaits
Apart from when Dustin Johnson shredded the field in 2020 with a mammoth 11-stroke victory, things have been nip and tuck at the FedEx St Jude Invitational. There have been multiple playoffs, and when there has been an outright winner, it has usually only been by a handful of strokes.
We don’t expect this year to be any different (well perhaps not a seven-man playoff!), but a playoff nonetheless and it could be nail-biting scenes on Sunday evening. If you wish to tuck into a special, you can get a price of +400 with SugarHouse for the winner to be decided by virtue of a playoff.