Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational

    Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. Want more? He also provides a cheatsheet with stats, course history, current form, player write-ups for cash and GPP, a customizable model, and much more.

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    The Course

    TPC Southwind
    Par 70 - 7,237 Yards
    Greens - Bermuda

    **Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**

    Previous Five Winners

    • 2019 WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational - Brooks Koepka(-16)
    • 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic - Dustin Johnson(-19)
    • 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic - Daniel Berger(-10)
    • 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic - Daniel Berger(-13)
    • 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic - Fabian Gomez(-13)

    Top Stats in the Model

    • Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
    • Par 4 Scoring
    • Birdie or Better %
    • Proximity Ranges --> 150 - 200 Yards
    • Putting Performace on Bermuda

    After a week with one of the weakest fields we have seen since the Fall season, the PGA Tour heads into TPC Southwind for the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. As with any WGC event, that means this is a no-cut event with a limited field but an elite one at that. It includes nine of the Top 10 and 44 of the Top 50 players in the World Golf Rankings.

    This is the second WGC event hosted by TPC Southwind and before that the course hosted the annual FedEx St. Jude Classic going all the way back to 1989. The WGC event last year played as the 25th hardest course on Tour in terms of average scoring while the last four years(2015-2018) of the St. Jude played much harder. The course didn't change and the only real difference was the strength and size of the field. Brooks Koepka took him this event last year with a winning score of -16 and was one of just four players who tallied 20+ birdies.

    The fairways at TPC Southwind are on the narrow side of things with the elite field only averaging 59% fairways hit last year and the course has seen an average of just 55% fairways hit in the previous four St. Jude Classis's. Missing the fairway won't hurt you too much around here with the rough not as penal as we have seen recently but the greens and approach shots is where it gets interesting. The average size of these greens is just 4,300 square feet which are among the smallest on Tour. The field averaged just 62% Greens in Regulation last year and SG: Approach easily came in as the #1 stat in terms of correlation among strokes gained stats. When breaking that down further, we see that 27.5% of all approach shots come from the 150-175 yard range and 21.6% coming from the 175-200 yard range(data via Fantasy National Golf Club). This is the area I will be digging into deeper.

    I see the winning score coming in the mid-teens once again so birdie or better % will be high in the model. On top of the stats, I will also be focusing heavily on form since the return of golf(new to the sheet) and looking at not only my stats on sheet(long-term)but combining that with some rolling stats for the short-term on Fantasy National.

    With all that said, let's dig into the picks.

    Top Tier Targets

    Tyrrell Hatton
    World Golf Ranking (#14)
    Vegas Odds (26/1)
    Draftkings ($9,700)
    FanDuel ($10,800)

    Hatton is currently #4 in my model on the sheet but if I remove course history(T43 last year) he jumps all the way up to the top and this doesn't;t even factor in a sub $10K price tag this week. He has been on an incredible run in 2020 finishing T6 at the WGC Mexico and followed that up with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has played twice since the return of golf and has finished Top 5 in both events(RBC Heritage, Rocket Mortgage). That T43 last year was also the results of Hatton losing a whopping 5.5 strokes putting and the good news on that front is that he has gained an average of 7.6 per event in the two since the return and 3.5 strokes per event over his last five on Tour. He is my top PTS/$ play in this top tier and in play in all formats.

    Justin Thomas
    World Golf Ranking (#3)
    Vegas Odds (13/1)
    Draftkings ($10,700)
    FanDuel ($11,700)

    With this being a no-cut event I put together a database looking at performance at these events and went back to the start of the 2017-18 season. There are a few names who jump off the page but none more so than JT who has absolutely dominated these no-cut events. He has played in 16 events in this sample size winning four times, three of which have come in his last five and he has also tallied 10 Top 10's in that time and has finished Top 25 in 15 of the 16 events. WOW. He has also been very good since the return of golf with four Top 10's in six events and in that time ranks(in this field) 3rd in SG: Approach, 3rd in Par 4 scoring, and 12th in DK scoring. Sitting outside the Top 3 in pricing on both sites, JT is a core play for me this week.

    Mid Tier Targets

    Billy Horschel
    World Golf Ranking (#38)
    Vegas Odds (46/1)
    Draftkings ($8,500)
    FanDuel ($9,500)

    Horschel isn't the flashiest player in the field but that usually gives him some lower ownership and he consistently returns value for DFS. He was a little slow out of the gate after the COVID-19 break(T38, MC, MC) but has since turned it on with a T7 and T13 at Muirfield Village in back to back weeks for the Workday Charity Open and Memorial Tournament. Statistically, since the return, he ranks 26th in BoB%, 21st in DK scoring, 34th in ball striking, and excels putting on Bermuda greens. On top of that, he has had a ton of success here at TPC Southwind with five Top 10's in his last six trips here including a T9 in 2019, the first year it was played as a WGC event. Fire up Horschel in all formats.

    Gary Woodland
    World Golf Ranking (#19)
    Vegas Odds (46/1)
    Draftkings ($8,600)
    FanDuel ($9,700)

    It is a bit of a mixed bag with Woodland when looking at all the data this week. First of all, he hasn't been great here at TPC Southwind(T55 last year, T91 in 2016) but has been terrific recently at no-cut events with three straight Top 10's at the Tournament of Champions, Zozo Championship, and CJ Cup. Overall in the new database, he has six Top 10's and 11 Top 25's in 15 no-cut events with an average of 85.8 DK points per event. The other positive here is that he ranks 5th in SG: Approach, 9th in opportunities gained, and 3rd in birdie or better since the return of golf. At these prices, he is in play in all formats.

    Value Targets

    Keegan Bradley
    World Golf Ranking (#75)
    Vegas Odds (161/1)
    Draftkings ($6,300)
    FanDuel ($7,400)

    When it comes to lineup construction in no-cut events, stars and scrubs is very viable for a couple of reason starting with the fact even your scrubs get four rounds to make birdies. The scrubs in these events aren't exactly the same scrubs we see on a regular basis when looking at full-field events. Keegan Bradley is a perfect example as he comes into this week ranked Top 20 in this field in ball striking since the return of golf on the back of his elite iron game, especially from long range. He has also posted a win, three Top 10's, and five Top 25 finishes in his last 10 no-cut events. At these prices, I willing to take a risk on a player with his elite ball-striking and hope he can sink some putts over the four days.

    Corey Conners
    World Golf Ranking (#63)
    Vegas Odds (111/1)
    Draftkings ($7,300)
    FanDuel ($8,400)

    Speaking of elite ball-strikers, Corey Conners ranks 4th in this field in that area since the return of golf and 8th since the start of 2019. That iron game also has him 11th in opportunities gained and 6th in par 4 scoring since the return and while he hasn't flashed any Top 10 upside he does have Top 25 finishes in three of the last five events. He is one of my favorite value plays this week. Go Canada!





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