The 2022-2023 PGA Tour regular season is over and now we begin the FedEx Cup Playoffs this weekend. It was another incredible year with Jon Rahm, Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman taking down major championships for the PGA while Brooks Koepka scored the LIV Tour’s first major victory. This season did not have nearly as much drama as last season but with the merger of the two tours still in the works, who knows where we will be at this time next year. Now, let’s take a closer look at the first of three courses over the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind plays host to the first of three events in the playoffs. The Top 50 players at the end of this weekend will participate in next week’s BMW Championship at Olympia Fields and then the Top 30 players at the end of that tournament will play in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. These players know TPC Southwind well from its long run as the host of the St. Jude Classic from 1989 to 2018.
TPC Southwind is a beautiful par 70 that measures out 7,243 yards and is considered a true test of a golfer. It challenges all parts of a player’s game. If you look at the history of winners on this course, there isn’t any particular type of player that has had the majority of success on this track. Even the most accurate players have had problems keeping it on the fairway here. The course features water hazards on ten different holes; a lot of balls have landed in the drink over the last 15+ years since the course was remodeled. TPC Southwind’s greens are very small and difficult to hit which will make scrambling of vital importance. Greens in regulation should be in your rotation of stats as well on this course. This is a ball strikers course but we’ve got a lot of those guys playing this weekend, so the tiebreaker has to come down to putting. If I’m picking between two guys, putting will be the determining factor for me.
All of the big boys are back in the mix to win that $18 million dollar top prize. You’ve got Masters’ champion Jon Rahm, Open champion Brian Harman, and U.S. Champion Wyndham Clark all in the mix. You’ve also got defending FedEx Cup champ Rory McIlory participating after finishing Top 10 in 3 of the 4 majors, Scottie Scheffler who won twice and finished Top 25 in 19 of his 20 starts, and a lot more quality players like Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Tyrrell Hatton and more. Justin Thomas is the biggest name to fall short of the Top 70 and will not be participating this season.
When you look at the forecast on Tuesday evening, they are calling for scattered throughout the day on Thursday. Friday looks good for now but Saturday has storms in the forecast as well. We will have to wait and see as we get closer to Thursday. Temperatures will be in the low 90s throughout the weekend with humidity levels in the mid-70s. These players are either going to get wet from the rain or from sweating.
ONE & DONE PICK: Jon Rahm