2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational betting odds, preview, and course notes
For many of the PGA Tour’s top golfers, this weekend’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational will be their last competition of the regular season, before the FedEx Cup Playoffs tee off at the Northern Trust in mid-August.
The final World Golf Championships event on the calendar, the no-cut St. Jude will host a 66-player field that includes 48 of the top 50 in the official world golf rankings. World No. 1 Jon Rahm will miss the tournament, as he tested positive for COVID-19 just before he was set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
Xander Schauffele, who won gold in Tokyo last week, shares the lowest odds (+1100) to win, with Dustin Johnson, who won the St. Jude Classic in 2018, before it became a WGC event.
Reigning champion Justin Thomas is a +1600 choice to join Tiger Woods as the only player to defend a WGC event, while 2019 winner Brooks Koepka, 2021 Open Championship victor Collin Morikawa, and South African star Louis Oosthuizen sit at +1200.
FedEx St. Jude Invitational 2021
Sun, August 8 2021, 9:00 PM
TPC Southwind course notes and relevant statistics
The St. Jude returns to TPC Southwind, one of the toughest courses on tour, for the third straight year. The par-70, 7,233-yard Ron Prichard design will challenge golfers at every turn, with nearly 100 bunkers, 11 water hazards, rolling fairways, doglegs, and small Bermuda greens.
Since the layout was updated in 2004, more than 5,000 balls have found the water — the most, by far, of any PGA Tour course.
Did you know? - TPC Southwind, host of this weeks WGC, ranks #1 for most balls in the water during a TOUR event since 2003 💦🏌️♂️pic.twitter.com/0E68ARq1nt— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) July 26, 2019
The key to staying dry and rising up the leaderboard is expert iron play and a mix of accuracy and distance off the tee.
Based on the past four winners at TPC Southwind (Johnson and Daniel Berger won here in 2018 and 2017, respectively, at the St. Jude Classic), ball striking, strokes gained tee to green, greens in regulation percentage, proximity to the hole, and par 4 scoring are some of the most important statistics.
Southwind features 12 par 4s from 396 yards to 504 yards (most of which are between 450 and 500), plus four par 3s between 148 and 198 yards, and just two par 5s, at 510 and 555.
Best bets for the 2021 St. Jude Invitational
One player capable of contending for the top of the leaderboard is Berger (+2200), who has regained his form off a rib injury in the spring.
Berger most recently finished eighth at the Open Championship and came in seventh at the U.S. Open in June.
Featured Groups for @WGCFedEx:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 3, 2021
🏌️ Justin Thomas
🏌️ Justin Rose
🏌️ Xander Schauffele
⛳ Collin Morikawa
⛳ Hideki Matsuyama
⛳ Harris English
🏌️ Brooks Koepka
🏌️ Jordan Spieth
🏌️ Rory McIlroy
⛳ Dustin Johnson
⛳ Bryson DeChambeau
⛳ Cameron Smith
(presented by @ROLEX) pic.twitter.com/f16kyfidQo
The 28-year-old won back-to-back at Southwind at the St. Jude in 2016 and 2017, then finished runner-up in 2020, against a much tougher field.
Berger ranks fourth on tour in bogey avoidance, eighth in greens in regulation percentage, 12th in ball striking, and 14th in strokes gained approaching the green.
He posted a win at Pebble Beach in February and is due another, now that his health is back to full strength.
For a boom-or-bust longshot, look to Phil Mickelson (+10000) to vie for a top-10 finish. While the 51-year-old has been unpredictable all season, one thing he has consistently demonstrated throughout his career is an affinity for TPC Southwind.
Last season, Mickelson finished runner-up at the St. Jude and landed in the top 12 in all six of his appearances from 2013 to 2018.
His worst finish in that span was 12th in 2018, while his best was a pair of second-place finishes in 2013 and 2015, and third in 2015.
No one expected Mickelson, at age 50, to make history with a win at the PGA Championship in May, but a dominant performance at the St. Jude would hardly be a surprise.
How to watch the 2021 St. Jude Invitational
The winner of the 2021 St. Jude will collect $1.89 million of a $10.5 million purse and 550 FedEx Cup points.
You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, noon to 5 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 2 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage 2 to 6 p.m. ET over the weekend.