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WGC FedEx Tips & Predictions: Three against the field in Memphis

Justin Thomas features amongst our WGC FedEx tips and predictions.
Justin Thomas features amongst our WGC FedEx tips and predictions.

Our golf tipster Russell Palmer returns to take a look at three tournaments this week, starting with the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational beginning on Thursday with three selections...

Going into Sunday's round at the 3M Open I had a faint hope that either Matt Wolff or Harris English could go low and get us some returns but it wasn't to be. This week it's the WGC FedEx St Jude International which sees a much stronger field and there's plenty of course form to get stuck into as well.

Played at TPC Southwind in Tennessee, the course has hosted a PGA Tour event since 1989 when it was formally known as the Memphis Open. As this is a World Golf Championship the majority of the field is made up from the official world golf rankings and it's half the field size of a normal event with no cut.

I've picked out three players I like the look of this week, all having shown some form since golf returned last week and all with solid course form.

Market Leaders

Jon Rahm heads the betting this week at a best price 11/1 with Bet365. The Spaniard rose to the top of the world rankings when winning The Memorial a fortnight ago in fine style and the bookies make him the one to beat this week.

It's a competitive heat though, with the man he displaced at the top of the rankings Rory McIlroy a point bigger at 12/1 and a player that interests me Justin Thomas at the same price.

Will it be Justin's time?

Thomas took last week off but before that has returned three top ten finishes since the Tour resumed, including a play-off defeat to Collin Morikawa in the Workday Charity Open three weeks ago. A respectable top 25 finish at the Memorial, Thomas took last week off so comes here fresh to a course where he finished 12th last year.

The 27-year-old has two wins earlier in the season and still heads the FedEX standings, whilst ranking first for shots gained tee to green and shots gained total. Thomas is my main play this week. 

Golf Odds
WGC FedEx at a glance

Further down the betting I really like the look of Tyrrell Hatton at 28/1 with Paddy Power who are paying seven places this week.

The Englishman has been on fire this season both in the US and Europe, a winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational before lockdown he's gone T3 and T4 in his two tournaments in the States during the 'Covid Swing'.

The 28-year-old's stats this season on the PGA Tour are great, ranking shots gained putting and shots gained total, plus second for shots gained approach to green and fifth for shots gained tee to green. Ranking inside the top 25 for shots gained around the green as well, a good week with the driver can see Hatton bang in contention here and I really like his chances.

For one at a bigger price this week I was torn between Billy Horschel who has put up some terrific figures since returning from lockdown and has some consistently excellent finishes here in Memphis at 45/1, to Phil Mickelson who has equally as solid course form but is as big as 125/1.

Horschel's figures include a tie for 7th in the Workday Charity Open and at TPC Southwind he has five top ten finishes in his last six visits, but you have to go back to 2018 for his last win on Tour.

With Mickelson you know what you're going to get but at treble figure odds you're willing to ride that rollercoaster. Whilst he's not pulled up any trees since lockdown, the veteran has been consistently making the cut mark, notably at The Memorial when conditions were such that you'd quite easily expect him to fall away.

He also has bags of experience at Southwind, seven straight cuts made at the course including four top tens, finishing twice on two occasions plus a third.

With a smaller field this week and no cut, I'm happy to take a chance on Phil.

Best of the rest

Taking one for the top, the middle and the bottom, Xander Schaffele has been tipped up by everyone in the village this week but now best price 20/1 I felt as though I'd missed the boat, whilst I do like the looks of the aforementioned Billy Horschel if he can just get some putts going. Meanwhile, if the course is paying tough expect Matt Fitzpatrick to go well. The Sheffield metronome is such a good ball-striker and plays well in tough conditions as his finish at The Memorial a fortnight ago testifies.

As always, good luck with your bets this week. I'm away at the folks in Bournemouth so won't get to follow much of the action until Sunday night. Please gamble responsibly.

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