(CBS Miami) — The PGA Tour returns with the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational after a one-week break for the Olympics. In Japan, Xander Schauffele took gold representing america, adopted on the medal stand by Rory Sabbatini for Slovakia and CT Pan for Chinese language Tapei. Of the medal winners, solely Schauffele shall be in motion at TPC Southwind. However he’ll have loads of firm. 9 of the world’s high 10 gamers will tee off, 4 of whom additionally competed on the Olympics.
A type of rivals presumably battling fatigue shall be Justin Thomas. The world’s fifth-ranked participant is the defending WGC-FedEx St. Jude champion. He gained final yr’s occasion by three strokes and completed twelfth the prior yr, in his solely different look. Thomas hasn’t reached the highest 10 since his Gamers Championship win in March.
“That’s robust, to be actually trustworthy, to exit after which come again,” says CBS Sports activities lead golf analyst Nick Faldo. It’s going to get you come what may. That’s a giant time change, 14-hour time change. Some guys can do this. Going after which coming straight again, it will likely be a troublesome week for any individual like that. Who is aware of? Defending you’ll get additional motivation to do your finest.”
Brooks Koepka has discovered extra success of late. The WGC-FedEx St. Jude winner from 2019, who’s ranked simply behind Thomas, has made the highest 5 in 5 of his final 10 occasions. That features a tie for second on the PGA Championship and a tie for fourth on the U.S. Open.
Dustin Johnson (#2), Collin Morikawa (#3), and Bryson DeChambeau (#7) additionally be part of the top-heavy discipline. Solely top-ranked Jon Rahm is lacking. He withdrew from the occasion earlier than the Olympics after which examined optimistic for COVID, lacking that competitors as nicely. The expertise extends nicely past the highest 10. Except for Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton is the one different top-25 participant not taking part in. Which means 23 of the world’s 25 finest will step as much as the tee come Thursday in a no-cut occasion that may have them taking part in via the weekend.
“Many gamers deem this as their end-of-season push,” in line with Faldo. “Clearly, [they] get pleasure from being in Memphis as nicely, benefit from the golf course. It’s an excellent discipline.”
TPC Southwind’s been a daily cease on the PGA Tour since 1989. Positioned in Memphis, Tennessee, the non-public golf membership hosted the FedEx St. Jude Basic via 2018. The title sponsor, whose company workplaces are close by, then took over what was then the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, moved the occasion to to TPC Southwind and rechristened it the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational a yr later.
TPC Southwind has lengthy been one of many Tour’s tougher programs and greater attracts. It was designed by Ron Prichard on a former dairy farm nestled within the rolling Tennessee countryside. In 2004, the TPC Southwind underwent an extensive renovation. The work included 11 new tees and 15 new bunkers. The fairways have been slimmed down and adjusted, with the grass modified from Bentgrass to Bermuda grass. The course was prolonged by over 200 yards, with bushes and native areas added. More upgrades occurred a pair years in the past, with bunkers added, resized and re-edged. Layouts on sure holes have been shifted with yardage added.
The scenic TPC Southwind, a par-70, measures 7,233 yards. This ball-strikers course requires precision and shot-shaping. Seven of the holes dogleg left, 5 extra dogleg proper. The fairways could be difficult; the greens are agency. Virtually 100 bunkers dot the course, and water hazards could be discovered on greater than half of the holes. When the wind picks up, which it typically does, the issue is compounded that rather more.
The par-3 11th hole could be the course’s most notable. At 155 yards, it’s much like TPC Sawgrass’s iconic island inexperienced on 17. A pond surrounds the inexperienced, and a small bunker guards the entrance edge. Gamers are likely to go along with a brief iron to make the inexperienced; laying up is clearly not an possibility. The wind can maintain up a lofty shot and drop it within the water. Longer photographs may discover one of many two bottom bunkers.
The 14th gap, an extended par-3 at 181 yards, is among the many Tour’s harder par-3s. It performs from a raised tee and carries over a pond that guards the entrance and proper of the inexperienced. The inexperienced slopes again towards the water.
The 18th gap, a par-4 that stretches to 450 yards, doglegs to the left round one other pond. Bunkers guard the golf green to the fitting to make issues much more fascinating. A robust ending gap, the 18th guarantees its share of drama, particularly with followers returning.
“I feel there’s a few robust runs. As a result of whenever you take a look at it, brief fours, simply awkward holes,” Faldo mentioned.
“In the event that they get loads of wind, the greens are fairly small,” Faldo continues. “It’s received a good collection of troublesome holes on that golf course. Most likely why the fellows get pleasure from taking part in it as nicely, as a result of it’s fairly demanding. If you happen to play nicely, you’ll end nicely.”
Listed below are the favorites:
Brooks Koepka (12-1)
Koepka has performed nicely at TPC Southwind over the course of his profession. He positioned second on the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational final yr, after profitable it the yr prior, and completed third and second within the FedEx St. Jude Basic in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Koepka has completed no worse than sixth in every of his final three tournaments.
Collin Morikawa (14-1)
Morikawa, ranked third on this planet, tied for fourth within the Olympics taking part in for america. That follows his win on the Open Championship a pair weeks earlier than and a tie for fourth on the U.S. Open a month earlier than that. Morikawa positioned twentieth in his solely prior occasion at TPC Southwind.
Xander Schauffele (14-1)
Schauffele, ranked fourth on this planet, is coming off a gold-medal efficiency within the Olympics. His finest displaying at TPC Southwind was a sixth place final yr. However he cracked the highest 10 on the U.S. Open and the Masters in 2021.
Watch the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/08/04/wgc-fedex-st-jude-invitational-preview-tpc-southwind/ | TPC Southwind ‘Fairly Demanding,’ Says CBS Sports activities’ Nick Faldo – CBS New York