2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship Odds: Betting Picks & DFS Targets
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Will Zalatoris.
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the FedExCup playoffs.
There are 121 golfers set to tee it up this week and they are all hoping to end the week in the top 70 in the FedExCup standings. While everyone in the field has secured their PGA TOUR card for next season, there is still a ton to play for. In addition to the $15 million first place prize, anyone that makes it to East Lake will get plenty of exemptions into big events.
TPC Southwind has held a PGA TOUR event every year since 1989, but the event it has held has changed a few times. This has been a WGC event each of the last three years, so it had a limited field and didn't feature a cut. Prior to that, it featured a full field with a cut. For this year, we have an invitational-sized field that will feature the standard top 65 and ties cut rule.
Unlike the birdie-fests that we have seen the last few weeks, TPC Southwind will provide a tough test for the golfers in the field. Water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes, the double bogey or worse rate is higher than most PGA TOUR stops, and both the fairways and the greens are difficult to hit on average. Given the strength of the field and the lack of wind in the forecast, we should expect a winning score somewhere in the mid-teens.
Hitting fairways will be a premium this week, as the average greens in regulation rate from the rough is below 50%. Golfers will also want to avoid the hazards that are both in play off the tee and on approach shots. Iron play is always important, but even moreso this week with the tiny bermuda greens. With everyone expected to miss greens throughout the week, scrambling will play a pivotal role in determining a winner.
Favorite Bet: Will Zalatoris +2500 (BetMGM)
Ever since Zalatoris lost the U.S. Open, I have had this event circled as his best chance to pick up his first PGA TOUR win. He is a self-proclaimed major specialist and plays his best golf on difficult courses. TPC Southwind certainly fits the bill, as it routinely plays as one of the 15 toughest courses on TOUR.
Over the last six months, Zalatoris leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach. Sure, he parted with his caddie last week, but there's no way to quantify that and perhaps a new face on the bag will help him if he's in contention down the stretch.
Zalatoris finished T8 here last year in his debut and should be able to improve on that finish this year.
Top-40 Parlay: Henley, Conners, Horschel, Hatton +834 (FanDuel)
With only 121 golfers set to tee it up this week, more than half the golfers are going to make the cut. This makes made cut parlays and top-40 parlays a lot more viable than usual.
Ball-striking is extremely important this week and you'll be hard-pressed to find two more accurate players than Russell Henley and Corey Conners. Both have elite ball striking numbers in their last few events. Billy Horschel has used this event as a personal ATM over the years, making nine straight cuts with five top-10s during that stretch.
And finally, Tyrrell Hatton has posted back-to-back top-15 finishes and seems poised for a big run in the playoffs. He finished in the top 20 at this event last year and loves putting on bermuda greens.
Contrarian DFS Play: Chris Kirk: $7,400 DraftKings / $9,000 FanDuel
Believe it or not, Kirk has gained strokes off the tee in 16 straight events. Yes, this Chris Kirk.
Kirk is incredibly accurate, which is going to give him a major edge on the field at TPC Southwind. His iron play has been solid all season and he's top five in this field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green.
Kirk's putting can be hit or miss, but he's an average putter overall with slightly above-average splits on bermuda greens. He didn't qualify for any of the WGC events here the last three years, but finished T6 the last time he teed it up at this course.
As always, thanks for reading and best of luck this week!