FedEx St. Jude Championship
August 10th – 13th, 2023
Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,243
Purse: $20 million
with $3,600,000 to the winner
Will Zalatoris (Will not defend)
This is based on the most important stats for the TPC Southwind, data from last year’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and data from all the players in the field with stats from 2023.
TPC Southwind has been a fixture on the PGA Tour since 1989. Between then and 2018, it was the home of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Between 2019 and 2021, it hosted the World Golf Championship FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Starting last year, it became the first event of the FedExCup playoffs, which two years ago was the Northern Trust played in the New York area.
The one surprising aspect of TPC Southwind was that many felt it would be a more challenging test. The last year FedEx St. Jude Classic was played at TPC Southwind in 2018; the course played to a 70.52 scoring average and was ranked 11th on the PGA Tour. Since course stats were kept in 2003, the oddity of TPC Southwind was that it always played over par. So when the WGC-FedEx was moved to the course in 2019, it played to a 69.50 average. Many wondered what had happened to the course. The course played again under par with a 69.55 average in 2020 and was ranked 14th hardest. In 2021 the average went down to 69.05, ranking 33rd on the PGA Tour. Last year it was 69.16 and was the 30th hardest course on tour. A couple of reasons for the drop; first, with the event played at the end of July and August, it didn’t rain as much, so the rough wasn’t as high and lush as it was when the old FedEx St. Jude Classic was played in mid-June. Another reason for the lower scores is that the old FedEx St. Jude had fields of 156, while the field for the World Golf Championship is under 80. Last year there were 120 players in the field, but this year, only 70, and since they are the best in golf, look for the scoring average to be in the 68.8 area.
Memphis has been pretty dry, hot, and muggy of late. Now it’s rainy at TPC Southwind on Monday, and they expect rain just about every day, but with the high temperatures, it won’t be enough to affect the course.
In looking at our four categories, our first for TPC Southwind are strokes gained tee-to-green. Last year the course ranked 20th in driving accuracy and 18th in greens in regulation, while winner Will Zalatoris was T-34th in driving accuracy and T-8th in greens in regulation, so he was 18th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. In 2021 the course ranked 25th in driving accuracy and 20th in greens in regulation, while Abraham Ancer, who won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in 2021, was T-10th in driving accuracy and T-5th in greens in regulation, so he was 4th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. During the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude, the course ranked 22nd in driving accuracy and 9th in greens in regulation, while winner Justin Thomas was T-12th in driving accuracy and T-7th in greens in regulation, so he was 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. Over the years, this has been an essential stat for the champions. In 2019, Brooks Koepka won and was 6th. In 2018 Dustin Johnson won and was 1st in this stat. The same with the winner Daniel Berger in 2017 and 2016; he was the first in both years. In 2015, champion Fabian Gomez ranked 1st, which is pretty consistent, and the reason that strokes gained tee-to-green is essential.
The next significant stat is one-putt percentage; TPC Southwind ranked 49th (Thats mean there are more one-putts); it ranked 49th last year, 36th in 2020, 47th in 2019, and 45th in 2018. This means many players had many one-putts, probably because the greens at TPC Southwind are large at 12,276 Square feet. Last year’s winner Will Zalatoris was T-10th in this stat with 35 one-putts. In the previous year, 2021, Ancer was T-18th in this stat with 34 one-putts. In 2020 Justin Thomas didn’t do well in this state; he ranked T-51st with only 29 one-putts. The previous year Brooks Koepka was T-1st as he had 42 one-putts. In 2018, Johnson ranked T-30th; in 2016, he was T-52nd, while Gomez ranked T-2nd in 2015. Still, the norm is for the best players to have a lot of one-putt greens.
Our third important stat is scrambling; players will miss greens and get it up and down. The course ranked 38th last year, 34th in 2021, and 31st in 2020. In 2019 it ranked 37th and 31st in 2018. Last year’s winner, Zalatoris ranked 7th; in 2021, Ancer ranked 1st; Justin Thomas was 6th in 2020, while in the previous year, Koepka was 1st while Johnson was 4th in 2018, T-24th in 2016, and Gomez was 8th in 2015.
Our final category was birdie average; last year, it ranked 30th; in 2012, it ranked T-32nd; in 2020, it ranked 16th; in 2019, it ranked T-24th. In 2018 it ranked 10th; in 2017, it ranked T-10th; it was 14th in 2016; and in 2015 was 11th, which means it was hard to make birdies as the field average was 3.93 last year, 3.70 in 2020, 3.73 in 2019, 3.27 in 2018, 3.11 in 2017, 3.16 in 2016 and 3.15 in 2015. For Zalatoris last year, he made 21 birdies and ranked T-3rd. In 2021 Ancer made 20 birdies with ranked T-6th. In 2020, Thomas made 19 birdies, ranking T-8th, while in 2019, Koepka averaged 5.25 birdies per round and was 3rd. Johnson also averaged 5.25 in 2018 and ranked 1st; in 2016 was 5.00 and was T-1st, while Gamez averaged 5.00 and was T-2nd in 2015.
So yes, TPC Southwind can be considered a shotmaker type, of course, and we will probably get a shotmaker winner.
*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: A combination of hitting fairways and greens. So this is important to find a player that will do well in this stat.
*One-Putt Percentage: The figure that shows how many times a player one putts a green.
*Scrambling: The percent of the time a player misses the green in regulation but still makes par or better.
*Birdie Average: Average number of birdies made over the course of a round
The 70 of the 70 players from this year’s FedEx St. Jude field with stats from 2023:
Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.
|#||Name||*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green||*One-Putt Percentage||*Scrambling||*Birdie Average||Total Rank
|1||Jason Day (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||20||14||2||14||50||8900|
|2||Max Homa (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||16||12||20||7||55||8800|
|3||Byeong Hun An (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||19||8||6||31||64||7500|
|4||Tyrrell Hatton (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||7||16||23||19||65||9700|
|5||Patrick Cantlay (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||5||23||36||2||66||9800|
|6||Tommy Fleetwood (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||8||3||7||52||70||9100|
|7||Rickie Fowler (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||10||28||35||6||79||9500|
|8||Xander Schauffele (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||12||36||28||18||94||10000|
|9||Jon Rahm (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||3||39||56||1||99||11100|
|10||Eric Cole (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||60||6||18||21||105||6900|
|11||Viktor Hovland (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||9||42||51||9||111||10200|
|12||Wyndham Clark (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||17||35||33||27||112||8500|
|13||Si Woo Kim (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||13||15||37||50||115||7400|
|14||Brendon Todd (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||70||11||18||25||124||6800|
|15||Sungjae Im (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||29||40||46||16||131||8000|
|16||Justin Rose (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||21||29||32||50||132||7200|
|17||Tony Finau (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||6||93||31||5||135||8700|
|18||Denny McCarthy (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||68||9||15||56||148||7500|
|19||Nick Taylor (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||41||22||72||20||155||6200|
|20||Brian Harman (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||59||37||1||63||160||8300|
|21||Scottie Scheffler (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||1||150||14||3||168||12100|
|22||Hideki Matsuyama (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||15||80||13||63||171||8400|
|23||Thomas Detry (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||90||21||25||37||173||6900|
|24||Rory McIlroy (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||2||85||82||7||176||11500|
|25||Jordan Spieth (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||28||43||42||72||185||9300|
|26||Tom Kim (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||18||83||73||24||198||7800|
|27||Stephan Jaeger (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||26||98||55||30||209||7300|
|28||Lucas Glover (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||32||90||41||46||209||7400|
|29||Matt Fitzpatrick (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||46||48||12||104||210||8600|
|30||Russell Henley (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||22||100||22||76||220||7800|
|31||Chris Kirk (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||36||51||40||94||221||6800|
|32||Sam Burns (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||82||7||69||63||221||8100|
|33||Ben Griffin (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||56||57||68||41||222||6100|
|34||Matt Kuchar (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||47||66||4||111||228||6600|
|35||Sam Ryder (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||122||10||66||34||232||6000|
|36||Taylor Montgomery (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||151||1||73||9||234||6100|
|37||Adam Hadwin (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||62||58||43||72||235||6900|
|38||Patrick Rodgers (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||49||69||47||84||249||6500|
|39||Taylor Moore (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||78||56||15||104||253||7000|
|40||Sahith Theegala (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||88||20||129||16||253||7600|
|41||Beau Hossler (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||100||17||43||94||254||6700|
|42||J.J. Spaun (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||37||100||8||111||256||6600|
|43||Collin Morikawa (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||4||117||121||15||257||9000|
|44||Mark Hubbard (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||43||76||65||84||268||6600|
|45||Keegan Bradley (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||42||99||124||13||278||7700|
|46||Tom Hoge (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||55||91||115||29||290||6300|
|47||Cam Davis (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||31||126||88||48||293||7200|
|48||Emiliano Grillo (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||48||105||106||34||293||7100|
|49||Seamus Power (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||102||63||98||37||300||6300|
|50||Adam Svensson (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||57||111||60||75||303||6700|
|51||Keith Mitchell (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||40||70||143||56||309||7100|
|52||Cameron Young (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||33||106||171||4||314||8200|
|53||Andrew Putnam (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||86||109||21||98||314||6400|
|54||Aaron Rai (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||27||149||76||71||323||7000|
|55||Corey Conners (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||14||139||133||41||327||7600|
|56||J.T. Poston (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||72||78||99||78||327||7300|
|57||Harris English (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||104||49||24||150||327||7000|
|58||Adam Schenk (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||64||123||50||108||345||6400|
|59||Vincent Norrman (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||45||157||130||21||353||6700|
|60||Lee Hodges (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||52||82||64||161||359||6500|
|61||Brandon Wu (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||79||102||139||41||361||6200|
|62||Alex Smalley (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||30||153||66||119||368||6800|
|63||Mackenzie Hughes (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||121||60||49||143||373||6000|
|64||Sepp Straka (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||54||113||166||48||381||7700|
|65||Kurt Kitayama (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||63||95||135||137||430||6400|
|66||Sam Stevens (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||51||155||142||123||471||6300|
|67||Davis Riley (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||106||114||177||82||479||6200|
|68||Nick Hardy (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||87||159||162||78||486||6500|
|69||Hayden Buckley (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||84||138||161||127||510||6100|
|70||Matt NeSmith (Plyr/Tnmt/YTD)||72||166||134||157||529||6000|