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Statistically Speaking: FedEx St. Jude Championship

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Statistically Speaking: FedEx St. Jude Championship

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    All-time best drives at TPC Southwind

    The first of three FedExCup Playoffs events tees off this week at TPC Southwind in the Memphis suburbs.

    A field of 121 (four players missing through injury, not replaced) will tangle with Ron Prichard's 1988 design. There only job this week is to be in the top 70 on the FedExCup Points Lists when the final scorecards are signed on Sunday night. Those finishing No. 71 to No. 121 will not join the remaining folks as they head to Wilmington Country Club (South Course) for the BMW Championship.

    Before dreams of Delaware dance through the heads of the competitors it's time to tame TPC Southwind. The Par-70 stretches just over 7,200 yards but length isn't the issue this week. Fairways are tight and heavily protected by water, sand and Bermuda rough. The putting surfaces are no picnic either as they are some of the smallest on TOUR.

    Let's take a look at the key stats to dissect this week and who is set to contend accordingly.

    Key Statistics

    Only players listed are competing this week; click stat headline for full list

    Strokes Gained: Tee to Green

    Before last season seven of the last nine winners here led the field in this category. The 2021 winner, Abraham Ancer (not eligible) was fourth last season. Keeping the ball out of trouble off the tee and on the short grass in regulation is paramount this week. Since 2003 TPC Southwind has ranked in top five for balls in the water.

    1Matt Fitzpatrick
    2Will Zalatoris
    3Justin Thomas
    4Rory McIlroy
    5Tony Finau
    6Jon Rahm
    7Luke List
    8Scottie Scheffler
    9Xander Schauffele
    10Sungjae Im

    Knowing when to take your medicine will not hurt on a course where balls find the rough and water at an alarming rate. Standing on the gas pedal for 72 holes isn't the formula here. Avoiding crooked numbers takes the pressure off of racking up birdies. Par is a decent score this week but over par rounds are trouble. The last three winners have made six or less bogeys for the week.

    1Sungjae Im
    2Mark Hubbard
    3Tony Finau
    4Matt Kuchar
    5Shane Lowry
    6Seamus Power
    8Xander Schauffele
    9Christiaan Bezuidenhout
    10Justin Thomas
    12Matt Fitzpatrick

    The only winners in the last six finishing outside the top 10 in this category were 11th and 12th. Finding fairways is fantastic this week but pegging approaches from less-than-ideal conditions is huge. Players who can navigate the golf ball into tiny greens will be rewarded. So will those who take advantage of wedges from the middle of the sprinkler line. Get it closer. Make more putts.

    1Will Zalatoris
    2Russell Henley
    3Cameron Smith
    4Collin Morikawa
    5Justin Thomas
    6Scottie Scheffler
    7Hideki Matsuyama
    8Xander Schauffele
    9Tony Finau
    10Shane Lowry

    It's not the U.S. Open so scoring still matters. With 10 Par-4 holes on the card the last four winners have slotted T3-T2-1-1 in this category.

    1Justin Thomas
    2Xander Schauffele
    T3Patrick Cantlay
    T3Tony Finau
    T3Sungjae Im
    T3Rory McIlroy
    T3Seamus Power
    T3Scottie Scheffler
    T3Cameron Smith
    T3Cameron Young

    If you were paying attention above you’ll notice Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele feature in all four key stats.

    Thomas is paying +1800 for a win at BetMGM Sportsbook as is Schauffele with Finau starting at +2200.

    Odds were sourced on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. For live odds, visit BetMGM.

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