2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship First-Round Leader Odds, Picks: Tyrrell Hatton & 3 Others Hold Value
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrrell Hatton
The PGA TOUR heads to TPC Southwind to play the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
While we've seen TPC Southwind as a TOUR stop since 1989, this is the first time the course is being utilized as the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The best ball strikers tend to rise to the top at the course, with putting not nearly as much of a factor as we saw last week at the Wyndham Championship. Additionally, good drivers of the golf ball and strong mid-iron players will have a big advantage on this layout.
A hot putter is always useful, but TPC Southwind is a track where you can still contend while having an average week with the flat stick.
In the past 10 PGA TOUR events at TPC Southwind, there have been 23 first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the 23, nine of those leaders — or co-leaders — have teed off in the morning and 14 have teed off in the afternoon.
In 2013, there were five PM players tied for the first-round lead (along with one AM starter), which is the reason it looks like a PM start has been advantageous. However, looking through the data, there doesn't seem to be much of an advantage for either side.
When building a first-round leader card, it's always important to keep an eye on the weather. The wind can always change, but as of Tuesday evening, there doesn't appear to be any significant wind for either the AM or PM starters.
2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship First-Round Leader Bets
Tyrrell Hatton +5000 (DraftKings)
I like to target players who are coming off of a hot Sunday in the previous week's tournament to carry the momentum into the following Thursday.
Tyrrell Hatton fits the bill.
The Englishman fired a final-round 64 and something seemed to click with his iron play, as he gained 2.8 strokes on approach on Sunday alone.
TPC Southwind is a course that seems to be growing on Hatton as well, as his best finish was last season (17th). He shot three rounds in the 60s prior to a disappointing Sunday, but a 65 on Saturday showed he can score on this layout.
Hatton's preferred putting surface is Bermudagrass, and he seems to be rounding into form at the right time to make a late-season push.
Round 1 Tee Time: 7:48 a.m. ET
Russell Henley +5000 (DraftKings)
While many people may be disappointed with Russell Henley's fifth-place finish at last week's Wyndham Championship, it's difficult to deny that his performance was even more proof that he's back to playing some great golf.
In his past two starts, the 33-year-old has gained 11.0 and 9.7 strokes from tee-to-green in consecutive weeks. At the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Henley ranked seventh in the field in approach, and at the Wyndham Championship, he ranked first.
Simply put, his irons are scorching hot.
Henley isn't known as a "closer" on Sunday's, but he's certainly known to get out of the gates fast. He ranks fifth on TOUR in his past 50 rounds in Strokes Gained: Total in the first round.
Round 1 Tee Time: 8:10 a.m. ET
Seamus Power +6000 (DraftKings)
Seamus Power is quietly having a great season with four top-10 finishes, in addition to making a deep run at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.
He also has three top-25 finishes in his past five starts and has been consistently gaining strokes on the field from tee-to-green.
The Irishman hits plenty of greens in regulation, which makes him a strong fit for TPC Southwind. His past two starts at the course have yielded finishes of 27th and 12th, demonstrating how well the course suits his eye.
Power ranks 19th in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in the first round, and I don't mind the early afternoon tee time.
Round 1 Tee Time: 12:33 p.m ET
Ryan Palmer +10000 (DraftKings)
He hasn't been in the best form as of late, but I feel that Ryan Palmer is going a bit under the radar this week.
Palmer absolutely loves TPC Southwind and has the course history to back it up. He has a third- and fourth-place finish in 2012 and 2013 and has also played the course well when St. Jude was a WGC, finishing 15th in 2020 and 26th in 2021.
The Texan is a boom-or-bust player and is one of the few longshots in this field that I can see going blow-for-blow with the best players in the world over the course of the week.
There are certain players who can spike and have extremely low rounds — despite being in relatively poor form — and Palmer is one of them. The 45-year-old shared the first-round lead at TPC Southwind back in 2015, and I think he has a chance to do it again in 2022.
Round 1 Tee Time: 8:43 a.m. ET