We make our first and only trip to Tennessee for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, an event that was originally held at the Firestone Country Club since 2003. We didn’t land a winner last week, but Brooks Koepka had a top-five finish and another golfer on the card had a top-20 finish.
Here are five golfers to consider throwing on your card this week.
Dustin Johnson, +800 - Dustin Johnson has finished outside of the top-25 in his last three events, but some recent hiccups don’t erase his ridiculous consistently over the last several months. If there was a course to get Johnson back on track, it’s this one, as Johnson is the defending champ at TPC Southwind and won here in 2012 as well. In his last five rounds in Memphis, Johnson is producing a 64.8 scoring average. Favorites don’t seem to be cashing much these days, but there’s good reason to like Johnson to break out of his event funk.
Rory McIlroy, +1000 - Rory McIlroy was the guy to beat last week and completely bombed from the start. Maybe the pressure played a role, but the good news is he finished Friday digging himself out of a hole and putting together some positive vibes. McIlroy also was able to rest a little bit heading into this event after missing the cut. McIlroy hasn’t played in Memphis in seven years, but he had a top-10 finish in that last trip, and he’s had three top-10 finishes in three of his last four WGC events. I like McIlroy’s chances of redeeming himself with much less pressure on his shoulders.
Patrick Cantlay, +2200 - Patrick Cantlay wasn’t great at The Open, but he’s still produced top-25 finishes in seven of his last eight events where he’s made the cut. Cantlay continues to be one of the more consistent golfers this year and actually is first with a scoring average of 69.18. Fatigue can also be a factor this time of year for players who have had a heavy workload, and this will be just Cantlay’s fifth event since June, so he’s one of the fresher players in the field. While it’s his first time seeing this course, these odds hold some serious value.
Hideki Matsuyama, +3300 - Hideki Matsuyama has missed the cut just twice in the last year, and both of those came at The Open. Matsuyama is consistently putting together strong performances and you can make a case he’s been the most trustworthy player this year due to him always seeing the weekend. Matsuyama won this event in 2017 with a -16 and his five stroke win was the widest margin of victory at this event since Tiger Woods in 2013. While a shaky short game has prevented Matsuyama from being able to turn these strong showings into wins, it’s hard to turn down these odds with somebody who always shows up.
Chez Reavie, +6000 - I can understand why Chez Reavie has such lengthy odds considering he’s missed back-to-back cuts and three of his last five events overall. The good news for Reavie is that this is a no cut event. In all seriousness, Reavie has three top-15 finishes at TPC Southwind, which includes finishing sixth or better in each of the last two years. Given his success in Memphis, Reavie is worthy of being a long shot this week.