The FedEx Cup Playoffs begin this week with the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which will be played at TPC Southwind (par 70, 7,243 yards, Bermuda greens) in Memphis, Tennessee. While the name of the tournament and the format have changed over the years, TPC Southwind has hosted a PGA TOUR event every year since 1958. Last season, a 125-man field competed at this track for the St. Jude Championship, with Will Zalatoris (-15) prevailing over Sepp Straka in a playoff.
For this year’s edition of the St. Jude Championship, only the top-70 golfers in FedEx Cup points have qualified and there will be no cut. Following the St. Jude Championship, only the top-50 in FedEx points will advance to the BMW Championship. Then, the playoffs will conclude with the TOUR Championship at East Lake, with only the top-30 in FedEx points competing.
With narrow tree-lined fairways, tiny greens, 75 bunkers and water in play on 11 of the 18 holes, TPC Southwind is one of the most challenging non-major courses used on the PGA TOUR. First and foremost, an elite performance with your irons is a must to contend at TPC Southwind, with four of the past five winners at this venue ranking top-five in SG: Approach. In fact, two of these players led their fields in the stat, including Zalatoris last season. Also, being in the fairway gives you a distinct advantage at TPC Southwind, making accurate drivers great options. Of the last five victors at this track, four have finished the event top-12 in driving accuracy.
As expected with TPC Southwind being a par 70, being efficient on the par 4s is a must at this course. For five straight years, the player to secure a win at TPC Southwind has ranked no worse than third in par-4 efficiency for the tournament. For a specific range of par 4 to focus on, six of the 12 are between 450-500 yards in length. Last, but not least, we must be targeting mistake free golfers at this difficult venue, with three of the last five winners at TPC Southwind notably leading their fields in bogey avoidance.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite DraftKings value plays for the FedEx St. Jude Championship, that all cost less than $7.5K.
J.T. Poston ($7,300) – Poston has finished no worse than T30 in his last three appearances at TPC Southwind and returns to Memphis in tremendous form. At the Wyndham Championship this past week, the 30-year-old carded a T7 finish, while gaining strokes with both his irons and putter, and ranking sixth in par-4 efficiency for the event. Poston has now impressively finished inside the top-seven in four of his past five starts and sits at a career-best No. 40 in the world golf rankings to begin the postseason.
Ranking seventh in par-4 efficiency and 14th in bogey avoidance over his last 24 rounds, Poston is a match made in heaven for TPC Southwind, that simply can’t be avoided at this low salary, regardless that the two-time PGA TOUR winner is likely to be one of the most popular plays of the week. Not only is Poston’s price tag a massive $1.9K decrease from last week, but his +6000 odds to win the FedEx St. Jude Championship on the DraftKings Sportsbook are the best among all the golfers priced under $7.5K for this event.
Cameron Davis ($7,300) – Just in time for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Davis is playing the best golf of his career. After finishing T10 at the 3M Open, the Aussie kept his foot on the gas at the Wyndham Championship last week, recording a T7 finish. Not only did Davis shoot under par in all eight of these rounds, he gained strokes in every major category during both of these finishes.
The 28-year-old now sits at a career-best No. 49 in the world golf rankings and will look to continue his upswing at TPC Southwind, where Davis finished T13 last season. With his game firing on all cylinders, Davis brings incredible upside relative to his cheap price tag.
Harris English ($7,000) – English has never been priced cheaper on DraftKings for an event at TPC Southwind and needs to be attacked at this soft salary. The 34-year-old has been dominant at this par 70 throughout his career, generating eight finishes of T31 or better in 10 starts, most notably with a two-shot victory in 2013 and solo fourth place finish two years ago. Of all the players competing this week that have played this course more than once, English notably ranks first in SG: Total per round at TPC Southwind.
In addition to his stellar course history in Memphis, English is in encouraging form, advancing to the weekend in nine of his last 11 solo starts, with four top-15 finishes coming during this run. Just this past week, the veteran tallied a T33 at the Wyndham Championship, whiling gaining 5.8 strokes on approach, which ranked third for the tournament and is English’s second largest output in the category this season. If the former Georgia Bulldog can in any way replicate this showing with his irons, English should effortlessly beat this low price tag.
Lee Hodges ($6,500) – Hodges put on an absolute show his last time out, winning the 3M Open wire-to-wire by a whopping seven shots, which is the largest margin of victory on the PGA TOUR in over four years. The 28-year-old set new career highs in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and SG: Putting during this breakthrough victory, and now has 11 top-30 finishes to his name this season, five of which have come in his last eight starts.
To put the icing on the cake, Hodges ranks seventh in 450-450-yard par-4 efficiency over his last 50 rounds and in his debut at TPC Southwind last season, the Alabama product thrived on the tricky par 70, posting a T13 finish. Hodges brings similar upside this weekend and is a steal at this near minimum salary. On the DraftKings Sportsbook, Hodges carries +8000 odds to win the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which are better than Sahith Theegala, who is far more expensive for DFS at $7.6K.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.