After a week over in Northern Ireland, the tour turns its attention to TPC Southwind for the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The course is a par 70 and plays just a bit over 7,240 yards. The greens are just over 5,400 square feet and are bermudagrass. The greens typically run around 12 feet on the stimpmeter which makes these some of the faster greens on tour. As the golfers make their way around the track they’ll have to deal with 94 bunkers and 10 water hazards. Given that this is a WGC event, we’re looking at a much smaller field, and there will be no cut this week.
Be sure to check out the TPC Southwind course preview for more important stats and trends.
Towards the top of the salary scale, Jon Rahm ($42) seems a bit underpriced this week. He has the fourth shortest odds at 12/1 but is the sixth most expensive golfer on the slate. Rahm played well with the exception of a shaky Sunday down the stretch. He still managed an 11th place finish at The Open Championship after his third-, second-, and first-place finishes heading into Royal Portrush. Rahm’s hitting close to two-thirds of his greens in regulation over that span. During his career, Rahm has gained nearly a full extra stroke tee to green on courses below 7,400 yards.
There’s no “seems” or “maybe” underpriced with Henrik Stenson ($26). He’s surrounded by guys in the 60/1 – 80/1 range and is even cheaper than a few guys in the triple digits despite sitting at 25/1 at many books. Stenson has now made 10 straight cuts and is coming off of a 20th place finish at The Open. Over his past three events, six of his twelve rounds have finished in the 60s. Since the start of 2014, Stenson has gained an extra 1.8 strokes tee to green on par-70 courses.
Dustin Johnson ($49) is our top priced golfer this week at just under $50. Alex Noren ($20) is sitting down at min price just begging to be played. The resemblance between how the two are playing is uncanny. Noren is actually hitting more fairways and about the same number of greens in regulation. In addition to all of that, Noren has been exceptionally bad with his putter. While that might not sound like a positive, we’re looking for some regression in that department. Since we’re guaranteed four rounds no matter what, I’m not concerned about taking some risks here.
Bubba Watson ($33) represents a $15 discount from Brooks Koepka ($48) this week. He hasn’t put together a solid four rounds in quite some time but Bubba is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. The guaranteed four rounds with his birdie upside might make Watson worth a stab in a GPP. Cameron Smith ($20) is another min-priced golfer that popped in Koepka’s sim score list this week.
Rory McIlroy ($48) also has a guy in his pivot list that can save you $15. Hideki Matsuyama ($33) shows up this week and it makes a ton of sense. Matsuyama has been striking it extremely well lately. He was hitting over 75% of his GIR over his past three events heading into The Open and hit 70% of his greens in Royal Portrush too. Matsuyama was more or less done in by one triple bogey on Friday but otherwise played well.
Image Credit: John Jones/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Henrik Stenson.
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