WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational expert picks: Who our staff thinks will win
Our Sean Zak caddied for Martin Trainer during last week’s 3M Open after Trainer’s regular caddie qualified for the tournament. Zak carried the bag. Zak wore the white bib. He didn’t just watch golf. He was golf. Unless he had actually swung a club himself, he couldn’t get much closer.
Close counts here.
A quick refresher on our game. Fourteen members of our staff will make three $100 bets — to win, top 10 and a prop bet of choice — for each tournament from the Charles Schwab Challenge through the Masters in November. Each member starts with $4,000, and the odds will come from the DraftKings website. The first-place finisher will play a round of golf when it’s all said and done, and the last-place finisher is on the bag for the winner.
Our primary goal, of course, is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook.
This week, the PGA Tour is playing the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn. Who does Zak like?
Bryson DeChambeau, at 1,200.
“Gimme this man for this price the rest of the year,” Zak wrote.
(To hear about Zak’s complete experience, please go here.)
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($5,851)
To-win: Webb Simpson, +2,200. He missed the cut at the Memorial, but Webb has been having a great season overall. Plus, he was second at TPC Southwind last year.
Top 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick, +275. Fitzpatrick was T4 in Memphis last year and had a nice third-place showing at the Memorial. Let’s keep the momentum going, Matt!
Prop: Top Englishman, Tyrrell Hatton, +300. Hatton has been playing well, and hopefully this bet will cover me if Fitzpatrick doesn’t perform. Or, best-case scenario, I’ll hit on both!
Tim Reilly ($5,300)
To-win: Xander Schauffele, +2,000. My esteemed colleague Sean Zak, who spent time as a PGA Tour caddie last week, convinced me in this week’s Tour Confidential that Xander is due to break through. X is too talented not to start winning a few marquee events, and it starts this week.
Top 10: Jordan Spieth, +500. Spieth has shown some promising signs, and leading into the PGA Championship, which Spieth needs to complete the grand slam, it’s time to take it to another level. Spieth takes a Top 10 spot.
Prop: Top Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood, +500. With eight Englishmen in this week’s field, I’ll take those odds for Fleetwood to come out on top.
Josh Berhow ($4,338)
To-win: Rory McIlroy, +1,150. We’re about due for a Rory win, right? He’s played well here in the past, and a McIlroy win is the conversation starter we need heading into PGA week.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, +138. Bryson’s missed cut two weeks ago was just an outlier. He’ll bounce back in a big way this week.
Prop: Winner to birdie the 72nd hole, yes, +300. A strong finish from the winner … whomever that may be!
Sean Zak ($3,922.30)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,200. Gimme this man for this price the rest of the year.
Top 10: Daniel Berger, +275. GREAT course history. Great season this far. Great chance at a top 10.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +250. After a couple weeks of multiple-stroke victories, we dial it back with fewer players in the field.
Josh Sens ($3,578.90)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3,500. Two schools of thought here. One says that after a series of close calls, Finau must be feeling deflated and is therefore due for a downer of a week. The other school of thought is that he is long overdue. Given the robust odds, I’ll go with the second school.
Top 10: Mackenzie Hughes, +1,100. It’s been feast-ish or famine-ish of late for Hughes, who toggles between highs and lows with the volatility of a skittish stock market. I’ll take him to snag his third top 10 in his past four appearances.
Prop: To be decided by a three-man playoff, +2,200. A deep field, a gettable course and a birdie blitz down the final stretch produce a logjammed leaderboard. Long shot, obviously, but at 22-1, I’ll take my chances.
Jonathan Wall ($3,405)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +3,100. I’ll keep going back to the well until he cashes for me.
Top 10: Daniel Berger, +275, Berger was on a heater until his missed cut at the Memorial. He’ll get back on track at a course where he’s won two of his three Tour titles.
Prop: Daniel Berger over Gary Woodland, -137. Odds aren’t great, but I can’t overlook Berger in this matchup given his past success in Memphis.
Zephyr Melton ($3,145)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3,500. Is there a better example of someone “trending” than Tony Finau over the past couple years? No one has been on the doorstep more. The man has done everything but get the win. He’ll break through soon enough.
Top 10: Abraham Ancer, +400. I like the deadly ballstriker’s chances at TPC Southwind. Plus, he should have no problems dealing with the heat having played his collegiate golf in the South. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that OU sucks, however.)
Prop: Albatross in the tournament, yes, +2,500. Pulling the ole switcheroo. This is the week we cash out.
Alan Bastable ($3,050)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +3,100. Hovland played the first six restart events, with only one “poor” performance, a T-48 at the Memorial, where he was understandably drained. A week off has given the Norwegian time to rest up, and now, in sweltering Memphis, look for him to heat back up.
Top 10: Tony Finau, +300. Three things you can count on in life: death, taxes and Finau top-tennin.
Prop: Top Engilshman, Tommy Fleetwood, +500. Having shaken out the quarantine rust at the 3M (where he MC’ed), Fleet bounces back this week.
James Colgan ($3,038)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +1,000. He’s playing the best golf of anyone not named Jon Rahm near the top of the board but still hasn’t won since the restart. Give me JT to win this week.
Top 10: Sergio Garcia, +500. Sergio is a good combo of sustained success in 2020 (he’s third this season in strokes gained: off the tee) and recent performance (finished T-5 at the Heritage a few weeks back). A top 10 feels in the cards.
Prop: Top Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood, +500. Consecutive rounds in the 70s and a missed cut to re-open his Tour season don’t exactly scream “hidden gem,” but now Fleetwood’s got a round under his belt and we’ve seen that his ability generally rises with the field, which is fantastic this week.
Andrew Tursky ($2,750)
To-win: Brooks Koepka, +3,650. Brooks has been playing absolutely terrible lately, so that means he’ll probably win this week – that’s just how it goes with him. Remind them who you are, Brooks.
Top 10: Joaquin Niemann, +650. Everytime people forget about Joaquin, he pops up in contention. Fingers crossed he’s going to have one of those weeks, and not a missed-cut dud.
Prop: Top 20, Webb Simpson, +100. I’ve been seriously cold the past few weeks and I need a win before I run out of money. Maybe it’s because I keep betting with my heart and not my head. But here is a sensible bet. No shot Webb doesn’t finish top 20 … right?!
Nick Piastowski ($2,393)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3,500. Questions answered. Finau puts it together this week.
Top 10: Daniel Berger, +275. Berger won at TPC Southwind in 2017 and ’18.
Prop: Winning margin, two strokes, +350. Finau has a little breathing room at the end.
Luke Kerr-Dineen ($2,150)
To-win: Webb Simpson, +2,200. Some juicy odds for a guy with two wins this season.
Top 10: Tyrrell Hatton, +250. Has been a bastion of consistency on the PGA Tour this season, and I’ve seen no evidence that it’s not going to continue for a while yet.
Prop: Patrick Reed, top four American, +600. Coming off a top 10 at Memorial, don’t be surprised to see him lurking in contention throughout the week.
Ashley Mayo ($1,950)
To-win: Abraham Ancer, +4,500. I’m putting all my eggs in the Ancer bucket, because he’s long overdue for a big win. His recent play and unwavering confidence will suit him well this week in Memphis.
Top 10: Abraham Ancer, +400. We’re allowed to pick the same player here, right? Good.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +250, It’ll be close.
Dylan Dethier ($1,900)
To-win: Rory McIlroy, +1,150. I’m supposed to trust the process even though I just lose every week, right? Keep looking for value picks? Well, I’m done trusting the process. Gimme ol’ reliable. Rory McIlroy is the player most likely to win this golf tournament, and I need a win real bad. Rory McIlroy +1150 it is.
Top 10: Scottie Scheffler, +650. I’m not gonna apologize for being ahead of the curve on this one. Scheffler’s return to top form starts this week.
Prop: Max Homa, top 20, +350. This seems like decent value for another guy who’s heating up. Again, I haven’t gotten a single one of these right, so basically just skip to the other guys in this thing.