The FedEx Cup Playoffs start this week with the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind. This course has gone from hosting a regular tour event to a WGC and now to the first leg of the playoffs. The top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings advanced to this week, and the top 70 will move on to the BMW next week.
TPC Southwind is a simple course when it comes to handicapping. To be successful, players need to keep the ball in play off the tee and need to be elite from 125 to 200 yards, as we will see upwards of 70% of approach shots from that range this week. (On a normal week, that number would be 50 to 55%.) The emphasis on a specific yardage allows us to focus on certain players. Let’s look at three particularly strong candidates for DraftKings:
Justin Thomas $10,200
Thomas is the sixth most expensive golfer this week, and that’s actually too cheap. We are getting a bit of a discount on him here because of his struggles in links golf over his past two events. But let’s look at the bigger picture. He has elite upside and consistency, racking up 12 top-eight finishes in the past year. He leads the field in approach from 125 to 200 yards, so it makes sense that he won at TPC Southwind in 2020.
Viktor Hovland $9,000
Hovland has finished fourth or better in seven of his past 19 starts had won three times. Hovland comes into the FedEx St. Jude Championship rested and in good form after a fourth-place finish at the Open. He ranks second in approach from 125 to 200 yards. This price point is just too low for Hovland.
Shane Lowry $8,300
This is a great buy-low spot for Lowry after he struggled to an 83rd-place finish last week at the Wyndham Championship. If we dig into that performance, we can see that he gained 4.3 strokes on approach, yet he lost a whopping 10.1 strokes combined putting and chipping. Short game can go hot and cold, so I’m willing just to call that an anomaly. Prior to last week, Lowry finished 32nd or better in 14 of 15 events. He drives it well and ranks fourth in approach from 125 to 200 yards so this course should suit his game well. So it’s no surprise that he has finished top 30 in all three of his appearances at this course, including a T-6 in 2020.