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The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs begin this week in Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind. Replacing the Northern Trust (won by Tony Finau last year) as the first event of the post-season, the tournament will host the Top 125 players in FedEx Cup Points, with the Top 70 moving onto next week’s BMW Championship. TPC Southwind has a rich history and will definitely require 4 days of consistent golf in all aspects to win here. Top contenders by listed odds are Rory McIlroy (+1000), Scottie Scheffler (+1400), Cameron Smith (+1600) and Patrick Cantlay (+1600).
Patrick Cantlay (+1600)
– Cantlay rose to the occasion during the post-season last year, going toe-to-toe with Bryson Dechambeau at the BMW Championship with an all-time putting performance. He’s quietly having a very good 2022 season, despite not having an individual victory all year. Ten Top 10 finishes including 6 consecutive starts finishing inside the Top 15 spanning back to Memorial… Cantlay is due for a victory.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2000)
– Already securing a T4 and T6 finish at TPC Suothwind in his career, Fitzy will look to add to the victory column this week among the world’s best. He went head-to-head with the best in the world and came out victorious at this years US Open, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for him. Leading the tour in SG: Tee-To-Green, Fitzpatrick is priced at 20-1 for a reason. He’ll be in the hunt.
Viktor Hovland (+3300)
– The world of golf was waiting for Hovland to get back to form, and he certainly did so in his last start at St. Andrews. Hovland was toe-to-toe with Rory before firing a final round 74 and finishing T4. I’m expecting Hovland to remain in form after taking some time off in preparation of the post-season. If he’s on, there aren’t many guys who are going to outpace him for 4 days. Even in a strong field, 33-1 is too good of value. Favorite play on the board.
Sahith Theegala (+9000)
– 90-1 could easily fall under our long shot category, but Sahith graduated from that some time ago. There’s just something about going to sleep on Wednesday nights without a Theegala outright ticket. Couldn’t be me. I’ve broke this down several times, so we’re all aware Sahith plays his best golf in big tournaments with the best fields of competition. If you’re new here…. just take it. Similar to Jordan Spieth in terms of the emotions that come with betting on him, be prepared for some ups & downs… and some club tosses.
Patrick Cantlay (+360)
– Welcome back to the Top 5 category Patty Ice. Familiar territory for #4 on the OWGR.
Jon Rahm (+490)
– Since Scottie Scheffler took over the #1 spot in the OWGR, I’ve said Rahm is still the most complete and overall best player in the world. I still believe that. Sliding all the way back to #6 in the current rankings. Rahm hasn’t missed a cut this calendar season, but hasn’t been the Rahm we once knew, outside of a win in Mexico, either. No better time than the FedEx Cup Playoffs for Rahm to reassert his dominance amongst the best in the world.
Joohyung Kim (+900)
-You didn’t think Tom Kim would get left off this week after his performance last week, did you? Kim cashed us a 32-1 outright ticket in one of the better performances I’ve watched. Spotting the field 4 strokes after starting his tournament with a quad bogey, then going on to win by 5? Bouncing around like Rory on a Sunday? This kid is going to be a star, and I think he’ll prove that this post-season.
Sungjae Im (+290)
– Aside from Tony Finau, I’m not sure anybody in the field has a more impressive “last two starts” resume, if that is a thing. Two consecutive runner-ups for Sungjae should have him at high confidence heading into the playoffs.
Joaquinn Niemann (+490)
– Nothing extremely impressive from Niemann in the last couple months outside of a T3 finish at Memorial, so I’m expecting Niemann to regain his rhythm heading into the playoffs. Another guy who hasn’t played since The Open, but he’s one of the most talented guys in the field. Breaking into the Top 10 would be some momentum heading into the BMW Championship for the young Chilean.
Max Homa (+260)
– Max let us down two weeks ago at Rocket Mortgage. He was our 3u max play to finish Top 20 and missed it by a stroke. I said when it happened that he would make up for it in the playoffs. Here we are. 3u max play this week.
Chesson Hadley (+750)
– Hadley has shown his ability to play with his back against the wall in the last few weeks being on the bubble of making it into the Top 125 to be in this field. Now, that pressure goes away as he has nothing to lose. Has to be aggressive to make something happen and slide into the Top 70 to play in next week’s BMW Championship.