PGA: 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship: Preview & Predictions


The 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs kick off with the St. Jude Championship, which begins Thursday at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

The top 125 players in the Cup standings qualified for the first leg of the three-event playoffs, with the top 70 after this week advancing to the BMW Championship. This year’s champion will earn an $18 million bonus.

Field Level Media’s golf experts provide key event notes and best bets for this week’s tournament.

FEDEX ST. JUDE CHAMPIONSHIP
Location: Memphis, Aug. 11-14
Course: TPC Southwind (Par 70, 7,243 yards)
Purse: $15M (Winner: $2.7M)
Defending Champion: Tony Finau (The Northern Trust)
FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-7m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 12-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming: Four daily stream feeds on ESPN+
Twitter: @FedExChamp

NOTES
–Patrick Cantlay is attempting to become the first back-to-back FedEx Cup champion, while Finau seeks to become the first player to successfully defend his title at the Playoff opener. Finau snapped a five-year winless drought at last year’s Northern Trust to open the playoffs by beating Cameron Smith on the first playoff hole.
–Tommy Fleetwood (personal), Daniel Berger (back injury), Nate Lashley (toe) and Lanto Griffin (back surgery) are not playing this week.
–An average of 5.33 players have moved into the top 70 through their play in the first leg of the playoffs over the past three years and qualified for the BMW Championship.
–Players who have competed in the LIV Golf series were banned by the PGA Tour from participating. Among those, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones lost a case in federal court seeking a temporary injunction in order to play this week.
–Memphis has played host to a PGA Tour event every year since 1958.
–Matt Kuchar (No. 54 in the standings) and Adam Scott (No. 77) are the only two players who have qualified for the Playoffs all 16 seasons.
–Joo-Hyung Kim is the first player born in the 2000s to win on tour and will make his first start as a member this week.

BEST BETS
–Rory McIlroy (+1000 at BetMGM) is seeking to become the first three-time winner of the FedEx Cup. His five playoff event victories are second all-time only to Dustin Johnson’s six.
–Scottie Scheffler (+1400) leads the tour with four wins this year and is attempting to join Jordan Spieth (2014-15) as the only players to win the Masters and the FedEx Cup in the same season. He leads at PointsBet with 16.2 percent of the handle backing him at +1500.
–Cantlay (+1600) has streaks of three straight top-10 finishes and six straight top-15s, including a T2 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic his last time out.
–Smith (+1800) is making his first start since winning The Open Championship. He also won The Players this year. Smith opened at +1600 but saw his odds lengthen by mid-week after reports surfaced that he will join LIV Golf after the conclusion of the playoffs.
–Justin Thomas (+2000) has qualified for the Tour Championship each of the past six years. He opened at +1800 and is third at BetMGM with 6.7 percent of the handle supporting him. Thomas leads at PointsBet with 8.0 percent of the total bets backing him at the same +2000 odds.
–Jon Rahm (+2200) finished third last year after holding the 54-hole lead. He is also making his first start since a T34 at The Open.
–Finau (+2200), technically the defending champ although it came at Liberty National under a different tournament name, has won his past two starts. The last player to win three consecutive starts on tour was Johnson during the 2016-17 season. Finau is tied for the highest handle at 9 percent at DraftKings, where he is being offered at +2000.
–Viktor Hovland (+3300) saw his odds shorten from +3500 as he is BetMGM’s biggest liability this week, leading the sportsbook with 9.9 percent of the handle and 6.3 percent of the total bets.
–Will Zalatoris (+2500) is the second biggest liability. He is second with 9.4 percent of the handle and has drawn the same percent of total bets as Hovland.
–Collin Morikawa (+3300) has a T5 at the U.S. Open but missed the cut in his three other most recent starts. The two-time major champion is still the third biggest liability at BetMGM with 5.1 percent of the bets and 6.6 percent of the handle backing him. He is being offered at +2800 at DraftKings, where he is tied with Finau with 9 percent of the handle.
–Sam Burns (+2800) is third at DraftKings with 8 percent of the handle.
–Kim is being offered at +4000 at PointsBet, where he is second with 7.6 percent of the total bets and 11.3 percent of the handle.

–Field Level Media

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