2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Odds & Picks: Bet Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns & More
Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A/R&A via Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa
2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Preview
It's been a while since we've hit a winner, and much like the golfers in this week's field, hopefully we've saved our best for the playoffs.
Only the top 70 in the FedExCup standings will compete in Memphis this week, and only the top 50 in the standings after this event will compete at the BMW Championship next week.
This is an important week for golfers who are between 51st and 70th, and an important week for anyone that has their eye on the $18 million first-place prize for winning the Tour Championship.
This course will always be near and dear to my heart, as this is the place where Will Zalatoris picked up his first PGA Tour victory. It was a wild finish in a playoff against Sepp Straka, and one that I will never forget.
Let's hope to recapture some of that magic this week at TPC Southwind. The course is a Par 70 that measures 7,243 yards. It features bermudagrass rough and greens with zoysiagrass fairways.
This course is all about minimizing mistakes. The fairways are narrow (29 yards wide on average), the rough is penal, the greens are small (4,300 square feet on average) and water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes.
There will be a lot of birdies this week, but also a lot of big numbers. Past winners include the likes Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Abraham Ancer and Daniel Berger (x2). They're all golfers that have good iron play and an ability to scramble with the best of them.
With narrow fairways, water hazards and plenty of dog legs, this is far from a bomber's track. Total driving is likely the best off-the-tee metric to use this week, as there's a benefit to being fairly long and straight.
There are only two par fives on the course, so there are very few approach shots from more than 200 yards. In fact, over 60% of approach shots will be hit from 125 to 200 yards. Around-the-green play is more important than usual given how difficult it is to hit these greens in regulation.
FedEx St. Jude Championship Key Stats
- Strokes gained approach
- Total driving
- Bogey avoidance
- Greens in regulation
- Strokes gained putting (emphasis on bermuda)
- Proximity from 125-200 yards
FedEx St. Jude Championship Outright Picks
Collin Morikawa +2500 (BetMGM)
I don't have a great track record when it comes to betting on Morikawa, but I'm willing to let bygones be bygones if he's willing to play some good golf this week.
He has a little added motivation, as he's one of a handful of golfers that could be a captain's selection for the Ryder Cup.
When it comes to course fit, there are few that suit Morikawa better than TPC Southwind. He's one of the best total drivers of the ball on tour, and he's certainly a top-five iron player.
His short game is always a question mark, but he's shown an ability to have spike weeks with the putter.
He's played here three times and has finished T26 or better each time.
It's been a lackluster season thus far and a win in the playoffs could really change the season for him as a whole.
Sam Burns +3500 (FanDuel)
If I could only make one bet this week, it would be Burns at +3500. He's always been his best on bermuda courses, and he's taken a liking to this one, finishing T20 and T2 here over the last two years.
He's not as consistent as others on the PGA Tour, but he certainly has the upside. When he makes cuts, he almost always finishes in the top 25.
Since we don't have to worry about a cut this week, perhaps he can keep his foot on the gas for all four rounds.
He's coming off of a solid T14 finish at the Wyndham Championship, where he gained 4.6 strokes on approach and 4.1 strokes putting.
If he can replicate those numbers this week, he should be in the mix on Sunday.
Tom Kim +4000 (FanDuel)
Kim hurt his ankle before the Open Championship, but that didn't stop him from coming in a tie for second at the year's final major. A lot of his strokes were gained on the green, but we shouldn't hold that against him.
It's also worth noting that he finished T6 at the Scottish Open the week before.
He picked up his first PGA Tour win at this time last year (Wyndham Championship), and he finished T13 at this event the week after.
He's accurate off the tee and is capable of gaining more strokes than anyone in the field with his irons.
His game is trending nicely and this course suits him well.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week!