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.
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Checking The Chalk
Justin Thomas ($10,700) has struggled a bit with a wrist injury since the Florida Swing. He hasn’t had a bad season but definitely hasn’t been what we’re used to seeing from him. Thomas has won at least one tournament every year since 2014 and had seven worldwide wins between 2017 and 2018. Over his past three starts, he’s finished 36th, 9th, and 11th while carding 10-of-12 rounds at 70 or better. It’s hard to argue against getting him in your lineups at that price.
Billy Horschel ($7,500) is a name that always seems to pop up as the season goes on. Last year, he caught fire down the stretch finishing with three top-3 finishes in the final four events of the season. In his 141 starts since the start of 2014, he’s performed much better on par 70s than all other courses. He averages over three strokes gained tee to green on par 70s compared to 0.6 strokes at all other tracks, per the RotoViz Splits App. Horschel missed the cut in Northern Ireland last week but he played better on Friday, shooting a 71.
Bryson DeChambeau ($8,800) has now made four straight cuts culminating in a runner up finish at the 3M Open. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through PGA Twitter without seeing outrights being made on Bryson. With a field of fewer than 70 golfers and game theory at a premium this week I think a fade is in order here. On courses over 7,200 yards, DeChambeau has averaged nearly two fewer strokes tee to green than on shorter courses over his career, per the RotoViz Splits App.
Patrick Cantlay ($9,800) is second in the model this week and just the seventh-highest priced golfer. His raw score is -2.2 in the Power Ranking Model. Historically, golfers in the -2 and Better group of the model have finished in the top 10 at a 45% clip and gone on to win the event 11.3% of the time. Cantlay struggled to really get on a roll in Northern Ireland, but he’s played so well recently, it isn’t really a concern. Over his past five starts, 13 of his 20 rounds have been at 70 or better.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,900) is averaging just under 80 DK points per start this season. Over his past five starts, he’s broken that 80 point barrier four times though. Matsuyama 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. He was more or less done in by one triple bogey on Friday but looked good otherwise. Of his past 14 rounds, he’s had seven finish in the 60s. His Power Ranking score is -1.9. Golfers in that same group have finished in the top 10 30.6% of the time.
So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 49/54 (90.7%) made cuts, 36/54 (66%) top 30s, and 16/52 (29.6%) top 10s. Here are this week’s cash locks:
- Patrick Cantlay ($9,800)
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,900)
WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational Model Results and Ownership Projections
|Name||Salary||Own%||Power Ranking Model|
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||7900||8.90||-0.4|
Image Credit: Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.
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