2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship Odds, Picks, Predictions: Will Zalatoris, 4 More Bets for TPC Southwind – The Action Network

2022 FedEx St.  Jude Championship Odds, Picks, Predictions: Will Zalatoris, 4 More Bets for TPC Southwind - The Action Network

With the PGA TOUR regular season in the books, it’s time for the 2022 FedEx Cup playoffs to begin.

Formerly known as the St. Jude Classic and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, the event will now serve as the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and is now called the FedEx St. Jewish Championship.

While the name of the event and the location on the PGA TOUR schedule have changed, the course remains the same. TPC Southwind is located in Memphis, Tennessee and has been a regular TOUR stop since 1989.

TPC Southwind is a par 70 at 7,244 yards. The course features Bermuda grass greens and rough. With 94 bunkers and 10 water hazards, there is a potential problem on almost every hole.

The FedEx St. Jude Championship will play host to the top 122 players in the FedEx Cup standings with the top 65 and leagues making it through the weekend.

Past Winners at TPC Southwind

FedEx St. Jude Invitational

  • 2021: Abraham Ancer (-16)
  • 2020: Justin Thomas (-13)
  • 2019: Brooks Koepka (-16)

Saint Jude Classic

  • 2018: Dustin Johnson (-19)
  • 2017 Daniel Berger (-10)
  • 2016: Daniel Berger (-13)
  • 2015: Fabian Gomez (-15)

5 Key Stats For TPC Southwind

Let’s look at five key metrics for TPC Southwind to determine which golfers boast the best marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

TPC Southwind is a relatively short course, and you don’t need to be a long hitter off the tee to compete. In 2020, we saw Justin Thomas win here winning 7.7 strokes on the approach as opposed to just 2.3 off the tee. In 2021, Abraham Ancer won 4.4 strokes on approach and only 1.4 from the tee. Golfers with all kinds of skills can win on the course, but there’s no doubt that Strokes Gained: Approach is the most predictive statistic this week.

SG: App during the Past 24 Rounds

  1. Russell Henley (+33.2) (+5000)
  2. Tony Finau (+29.7) (+2200)
  3. Xander Schauffele (+26.8) (+1400)
  4. Rory McIlroy (+26.5) (+900)
  5. Brendan Steele (+23.8) (+15000)

2. Strokes Obtained: Ball Hitting

Strokes Gained: Ball Striking does factor into approach, but it also includes golfers keeping the ball in play in addition to a solid approach. While distance off the tee is not the most important factor this week, golfers will be in serious trouble if they splash the ball off the tee.

Strokes Gained: Ball Hitting Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Tony Finau (+50.5) (+2200)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+45.0) (+900)
  3. Brendan Steele (+44.1) (+15000)
  4. Mito Pereira (+37.7) (+13000)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+36.8) (+1400)

3. Greens in Regulation: Won

Green in Regulation percentage at TPC Southwind is 59.8% compared to the TOUR average of 65.8%. Golfers who control the golf ball have had a lot of success on the course historically. Scoring should be relatively difficult this week, so fairways and greens will be the recipe for success.

GIR Gained the past 24 rounds:

  1. Brendan Steele (+40.4) (+15000)
  2. Tony Finau (+36.3) (+2200)
  3. Scottie Scheffler (+32.8) (+1400)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+32.6) (+1400)
  5. Adam Long (+32.6) (+15000)

4. Pair 4: 450-500

The most common par-4 distance on the course will be 450-500. There are six holes of this length at TPC Southwind, which is at least double the amount of any other distance range.

Pair 4: 450-500 Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Rory McIlroy (+23.7) (+900)
  2. Emiliano Grillo (+23.5) (+15000)
  3. Tony Finau (+17.2) (+2200)
  4. Shane Lowry (+14.9) (+3500)
  5. Sebastian Muñoz (+14.1) (+15000)

5. Bogey Avoidance

TPC Southwind has six holes with bogey percentages above 17.5%. Holes 5, 7, 12, 14, 17, and 18 are all very difficult and will give the field some trouble. With par being a good score on these particular holes, it will be important to target golfers who tend to avoid blemishes on the scorecard.

Bogey Avoidance Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Rory McIlroy (+30.3) (+900)
  2. Tony Finau (+30.1) (+2200)
  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+22.5) (+1400)
  4. Cameron Davis (+21.8) (+13000)
  5. Scottie Scheffler (+20.4) (+1400)

FedEx St. Jude Championship Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories discussed earlier — SG: Approach (26%), SG: Ball Strike (23%), GIR Gained (18.4%), Bogey Avoidance (18.4%) %) , and Par 4: 450-500 (14%).

  1. Tony Finau (+2200)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+900)
  3. Xander Schauffele (+1400)
  4. Shane Lowry (+3500)
  5. Scottie Scheffler (+1400)
  6. Sunjae Im (+3500)
  7. Justin Thomas (+1400)
  8. Taylor Pendrith (+10000)
  9. Brendan Steele (+15000)
  10. Patrick Cantlay (+1400)

FedEx St. Jude Championship Outright Bets

Matt Fitzpatrick (+2200, BetMGM)

Typically, the FedEx Cup playoff events are won by players who were among the best overall players for that season. Matt Fitzpatrick is having the best season of his career and is undoubtedly one of the most impressive golfers of the year. For the 2022 season, the Englishman ranks third in Strokes Gained: Total, which follows only Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.

If it wasn’t for Fitzpatrick’s incredible US Open win, TPC Southwind would be a place I always thought could be the perfect breakthrough for the 27-year-old. Now that he’s scored and gotten his first win in the US off the road, it only increases his chances of being able to win a FedEx Cup Playoff event.

Talent was never the concern for Fitzpatrick. The former top-ranked amateur in the world burst onto the professional golf scene at nineteen and never looked back. Despite having eight European Tour wins by the time he hit his mid-twenties, many people questioned why he couldn’t win on American soil. Now that he’s a US Open champion, there’s reason to believe the floodgates will open.

Fitzpatrick has had a lot of success at TPC Southwind in the past. In three starts at the course, “Fitz” has two top six finishes including a fourth place finish in 2019.

His success on the track isn’t all that surprising considering how well his skill set matches what is required to compete on the course. Hitting fairways is important, which is something he does at a high clip. He is also one of the best in the sport at limiting mistakes and ranks third in the field in Bogey Avoidance.

A FedEx Cup Playoff win would add to what is already the best season of Fitzpatrick’s career and give him a chance to make a run at being the FedEx Cup champion.

Will Zalatoris (+2500, Caesars)

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen Will Zalatoris near the top of the probability board. Despite being one of the most talented players in the field, there was nothing about Detroit Golf Club or Sedgefield Country Club that made me interested in betting him at those places. The opposite is true of TPC Southwind.

When targeting Will Zalatoris for a straight bet, it is most prudent to look for points in the schedule where his immaculate ball striking can set him apart from the rest of the field. The Rocket Mortgage Classic rewarded driving distance and wedge play. The Wyndham Championship rewarded the best putters and most accurate drivers.

This week, the FedEx St. Jude Championship will favor the best iron players who can ball hit their way to the top of the leaderboard. In the past, Strokes Gained: Putting has not been a strong indicator of who will play well at TPC Southwind; which is great news for Zalatoris, who often struggles with the putter.

As evidenced by his three top-six finishes including two runner-up finishes at major championships in 2022, Zalatoris can absolutely compete in the strongest of fields. In fact, I believe his chances of winning a star-studded event are higher than they are of winning a smaller event on TOUR. The 25-year-old is a big chaser who does his best work when the stakes are high.

The first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs is a great time for “Willy Z” to finally come through for his inevitable maiden PGA TOUR victory.

Sungjae Im (+3500, DraftKings)

As frustrating as it was to be a supporter of Sungjae Im on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, his overall performance and current hot streak cannot be overlooked.

The South Korean has now finished in a tie for second place in back-to-back starts. In those two events, Im obtained an average of 8.5 Ball Striking strokes on the field, which includes both Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Strokes Gained: Approach. At a course where ball striking is the most important factor, he should be expected for another strong showing.

I had my best Strokes Gained: Approach day on Sunday at the Wyndham, gaining 2.0 strokes on the field in the fourth round alone. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the putter and lost 2.2 strokes putting while Tom Kim won 4.5 on the day. If it weren’t for Kim’s no-nonsense effort with the putter, there’s a good chance Sungjae would have scored another PGA TOUR victory.

If the 24-year-old can get the flat stick this week, we might have back-to-back South Korean winners on the PGA TOUR.

Tyrrell Hatton (+6000, WynnBet)

It looks as though Tyrrell Hatton is headed for victory as he arguably plays the best golf of his 2022 season. He finished 11th at the Open Championship and followed it up with an impressive performance at Wyndham, finishing eighth. In addition to his top-10 finish, the Englishman was impressive with his approach playing and gained 5.3 strokes on approach, which was good for sixth in the field.

Hatton got hot in his final round last week, shooting a 64. Often we see golfers who are down the previous Sunday carry the momentum into the next tournament. Hatton is a much better player than he’s shown so far in 2022, and it looks like he’s found something ahead of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

If he has, TPC Southwind should be a good course for him as he finished 17th last year and was in contention before a fourth round 72 that took him out of the running.

Russell Henley (+6000, WynnBet)

It’s fair to wonder if Russell Henley can close out a win on the PGA TOUR after seeing him blow leads at last season’s Wyndham Championship and this season’s Sony Open. Considering that the FedEx Cup St. Jude Championship will be made up of a much stronger field than either of those events, makes it perfectly reasonable to question it even more. However, at his number, I’m willing to give it one more shot.

Henley is in the best form we’ve seen him in this season. In his past two starts, the 33-year-old has finishes of 10th and fifth and has scored 11 and 9.7 strokes from tee to green in those events. At the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Henley ranked seventh in the field in approach, and at the Wydham Championship, he ranked first.

TPC Southwind is a course that should suit Henley’s game to the tee. With a premium on iron play and hitting greens in regulation, the former Georgia Bulldog is perfect. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a course where he doesn’t have to score a ton of putts to win.

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