DraftKings Picks for The WGC FedEx St Jude Championship 2021
Man, I love golf! The men’s Olympic event really delivered. Xander Schauffele captured gold, Rory Sabbatini put on a show for silver, and CT Pan emerged from a seven-man playoff to steal bronze. The action picks right up again this week as the final World Golf Championship (WGC) event of the season sees the world’s best head to TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN for the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Let's get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend.
What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week.
Before we get into the field I have to say a few more things about the Olympic event. Last week was one of the most entertaining weeks of golf in recent memory. Fortunately, outside of the US we weren’t subject to NBC/CBS’s domination of golf and were able to see countless shots, no commercials, and climactic Sunday drama without Paul Azinger spewing total nonsense.
Alrighty, let’s get into this. There is a pile of money up for grabs in Memphis this week for the third edition of the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational and a stellar field to hunt it down. Most of the top 50 in the world are ready to tee it up with 2020 champion, Justin Thomas, coming straight from Tokyo to defend his title and 2019 winner, Brooks Koepka, in the field as well. Collin Morikawa, Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler, and Paul Casey round out the $9k and above range.
Though this is just the third WGC event at TPC Southwind, the course has been in a regular rotation on the PGA Tour for about 30 years, most recently in the form of the FedEx St Jude Classic. Winners of that event at Southwind include Dustin Johnson (2018,2012) and Daniel Berger (2017,2016) who have won the event twice and Harris English and Lee Westwood who won in 2013 and 2010 respectively.
TPC Southwind Course Breakdown
Like most TPC courses, Southwind is tree-lined, has a lot of doglegs, and removes the need to have a bomber in the bag. Accuracy off the tee and approach better be in the bag though with TPC Southwind having some of the smallest greens on tour and up there with the most balls in the water as well. There are 11 holes with water in play and they are magnets to golf balls. Along with the bermudagrass rough, a main defense for the course are 75 bunkers.
Looking at key stats; this is definitely a ball striker’s course with an emphasis on fairways and greens in regulation. Both of those stats are well below tour average with approach being the most important stat followed by putting on bermudagrass. Both par 5s are reachable making par 5 scoring a must along with 450-500 yard par 4s which make up almost half the holes played all week. The winning score of the event is typically in the mid teens so birdie or better and Fantasy National's opps gained should make their way into your models.
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The Picks & Fades
Each week I will give you my plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range.
DB: Play - Scottie Scheffler | Fade - The two highest owned guys
Pat: Play - Brooks Koepka | Fade - Rory McIlroy
AC: Play - Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Daniel Berger | Fade - Collin Morikawa
I’m sure you don’t need or want me to get too deep into Brooksy. If he is in the field, he is more than likely in here. It’s hard to ignore Louis even if he will be chalky. He’s playing ridiculously good, skipped the Olympics and has sweet course history which includes a T6 in 2020. Mr course horse himself, Daniel Berger. He won at TPC Southwind in back to back years just before it changed to a WGC and then followed that history up with a T2 last year. The top guy is almost always a fade for me cause their ownership is usually enough to consider and then add their estimated value which usually requires a T5 or better. Kawa just missed out on the bronze medal and that has to still sting a bit.
DB: Play - Abraham Ancer | Fade - Tommy Fleetwood
Pat: Play - Matthew Fitzpatrick | Fade - Patrick Reed
AC: Play - Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson | Fade - The Tokyo Contingent
Going with my narrative of fading the Tokyo contingent, the $8k is pretty scarce. Only Tony Finau, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Webb Simpson didn’t participate in the Olympic Games. I may just fade this entire range cause I’m not in love with any of them except for Fitz but I have been on Fitz all year. A T6 and a T4 for Fitz his last two outings at the WGC FedEx St Jude is obviously worth a look even though his stats have faltered just a bit. These guys travel better than most but I know I have experienced cross globe jet lag and with the highs and lows of competing in the Olympics, there is enough talent elsewhere for me.
DB: Play - Harris English | Fade - Billy Horschel
Pat: Play - Tyrrell Hatton| Fade - Will Zalatoris
AC: Play - Jason Kokrak, Harris English | Fade - Sungjae Im
Kokrak is up there as one of my most played guys this season and I am not hopping off now. Though he may be prone to missing a couple fairways and making some bogeys, he makes birdies like the best of them with strong opps gained, par 5 scoring, and a hot putter. Love some English here as well. He has won on the course and ranks high in everything with 20 rounds total and over the last three months joins Kokrak in birdies and par 5 scoring. Sungjae must be feeling a bit deflated after a mediocre performance in Tokyo. With the travel and his history here, Im will be a fade this week.
DB: Play - Sam Burns, Ryan Palmer, Martin Laird
Pat: Play - Kevin Kisner, Max Homa, Stewart Cink
AC: Play - Phil Mickelson, KH Lee, Wade Ormsby
Though I did immediately like the idea of having Phil Mickelson and Wade Ormsby knowing that they would be super low, Sam Burns and Kevin Kisner were right away my two favorites. But… since we like to give you guys different plays down here, I present to you Phil, KH Lee, and Wade. Phil’s history here is pretty stellar having finished T2 in 2020 with 32 total rounds at TPC Southwind where he ranks near the top in every stat. Lee is accurate off the tee and majority of his stats are middle of the road but he has won this year which landed him his first WGC start. Ormsby is definitely a low owned flyer but has a decent history in some big events and is coming off of back to back top 20s on the Euro tour.
THE INS & OUTS
Nothin yet and is typical for WGC events. Be weary of the first round WD though. It's free money for all as long as they tee off on Thursday.