With just one week remaining until the first Major of the season, the field for this week’s WGC-Fedex St Jude Invitational 2020 has strengthened significantly. On Sunday, Michael Thompson took advantage of a weakened turnout at the 3M Open to claim his second Tour title but the chances of an outside win should be much shorter this time.
The new world number one and the FedEx points leader are both in contention so USAbetting heads to TPC Southwind in Memphis Tennessee for our golf preview, aiming to bet on some winning picks.
Jon Rahm’s victory in the Memorial Tournament a fortnight ago saw him overtake Rory McIlory in those world rankings. Both men are involved in the St Jude Invitational and it’s no surprise that the majority of the American-facing online sportsbooks are struggling to split them: Rahm is 10/1 (+1000) and McIlroy 11/1 (+1100) with Bovada.
In one of the tightest outright betting markets we have seen for some time, no fewer than four players are locked at the same win price in places. Along with Rahm and McIlroy, the prolific Bryson DeChambeau and FedEx leader Justin Thomas are also listed as joint favorites with many sportsbooks, though they are 12/1 shots with Bovada.
Of that bunch, Thomas and McIlroy are former St Jude Champions having won in 2018 and 2014 respectively. It’s tough to split them although DeChambeau has the best overall stats by some distance.
The outright market drifts quite considerably behind the four favorites to Patrick Cantlay (16/1), Xander Schauffele and Webb Simpson (both 20/1). All three are in good form but Simpson’s odds will certainly attract interest. A FedEx leader for some time, Webb was the runner-up by three strokes to Brooks Koepka here last year.
Tyrrell Hatton, Collin Morikawa and Daniel Berger follow while many will be interested to see Dustin Johnson out at 28/1 or more. He is clearly those odds because of his withdrawal from the 3M Open and, while his entry for Thursday should be confirmed before placing a bet, those are tempting figures.
Also close up are Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau and Matthew Fitzpatrick. Along with Dustin Johnson who won here in 2016, we have two further St Jude champions in Matsuyama and Koepka and that underlines the strength of our field.
The contenders continue as we move into the longer prices with the likes of Patrick Reed (33/1), Tommy Fleetwood (30/1) and Gary Woodland (40/1) all promising some value for their fans.
Billy Horschel is another name that should attract attention and, in six starts at TPC Southwind, he has made the weekend each time while recording five top 10 finishes. Moving further down, Abraham Ancer, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Matthew Wolff, Danny Willett and Bubba Watson are among the many high-class players who could come through and convert a substantial profit.
Last week, the difficulties came from a weakened field where an outside bet was always likely to win. This time around, there is so much strength in depth but let us tackle the question by looking at some relevant trends and stats before concluding with USAbetting’s St Jude predictions.
Our Preview’s WGC Fedex St Jude Invitational Predictions, Picks, Course & Betting Trends
This should have been the Olympic week with Justin Rose lining up to defend the Gold Medal that he won in Rio four years ago. Instead, the enforced rescheduling of the PGA Tour sees the 2020 edition of the St Jude Invitational moved forward a week in order to cover.
The tournament was established as the WGC-NEC Invitational in 1999 and the first edition was won by Tiger Woods. He went on to dominate the event, winning his eighth title in 2013 and no other golfer has won more than once.
TPC Southwind hosts for only the second year and this par 70 course has some respectable length at 7,244 yards. Distance hasn’t proved to be a distinct advantage but it will always be a bonus on any course.
A low scoring average of 69.5 last year has been addressed by the strategic moving of some bunkers. TPC Southwind should be more defensive this time around so accuracy and Greens in Regulation will come to the fore to greater degrees.
It is still very new in terms of identifying clear, key stats but in 2019, good all round returns were vital in regards to climbing up the leaderboard. One man who impressed over all four days was Webb Simpson and his consistency this season makes him our pick for the 2020 edition of the St Jude Invitational. There is concern that Simpson’s returns have dipped since the fields have strengthened but he has won in this type of company before and has the game to deliver.
We would suggest monitoring Dustin Johnson’s fitness progress before taking this top 10 finish pick but otherwise, add the selections and look forward to another entertaining four days.
These are our WGC-Fedex St Jude Invitational predictions and betting picks: