The First Look: FedEx St. Jude Championship
August 07, 2022
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
- Tony Finau will be the defending champion after his win last year in the first FedExCup Playoff event. (Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR)
The FedExCup Playoffs begin this week with the FedEx St. Jude Championship outside Memphis, a city that’s held a PGA TOUR event every year since 1958.
Tony Finau looks to defend his title from last season’s FedExCup opener after recently winning back-to-back titles on TOUR.
FIELD NOTES: The top 125 in the FedExCup standings are set to tee it up at TPC Southwind and return to action on TOUR… Count Cameron Smith as one of those who plays for the first time since winning The Open at St. Andrews. The Claret Jug winner lost in a playoff to Finau a year ago at the event played at Liberty National Golf Club, and also was T5 last year in the World Golf Championship at TPC Southwind… Scottie Scheffler, thanks to his four victories earlier in the year, heads into the FedExCup Playoffs first in the FedExCup Points List and as the winner of the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10… Last season’s FedExCup Champion Patrick Cantlay travels to Memphis ranked fifth in the standings thanks to a TOUR-high 10 top-10s and a win with Xander Schauffele in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Cantlay is seeking to become the first back-to-back FedExCup champ… TOUR rookie Cameron Young sits ninth in the FedExCup standings after an incredibly impressive maiden TOUR campaign that features seven top-3 finishes, including a runner-up at The Open and T3 at the PGA Championship… Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns, who lost in a playoff at last year’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational played at TPC Southwind, are back looking for some more magic in Memphis. Burns and Matsuyama are Nos. 3 and 10, respectively, on the FedExCup standings. Burns has three wins this season while Matsuyama has two… Keep an eye on Daniel Berger this week. Berger, who is projected 79th in the FedExCup standings, loves TPC Southwind. He won there in both 2016 and 2017 and finished T2 in 2019 and T5 last season, when the event was elevated to a World Golf Championship… Justin Thomas, who is eighth in the FedExCup standings after winning his second PGA Championship, is another recent TPC Southwind winner (2020) who is set make his return to action… The 125 golfers who are eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs’ first event will be determined after the final round of the Wyndham Championship on Sunday…Rory McIlroy, who’s seeking to become the first three-time FedExCup champ, is playing for the first time since a heartbreaking final round at The Open. He ranks sixth in the FedExCup.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 FedExCup points.
COURSE: TPC Southwind, par 70, 7,243 yards. The Ron Prichard design was established in 1988, with Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller as player consultants. This is the first time TPC Southwind has hosted a FedExCup Playoffs event. The course boasts Bermuda greens, plenty of streams, ponds, and lakes, plus undulating zoysia fairways. During last season’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, the course played to an average score of nearly 1-under, at 69.05.
STORYLINES: The FedEx St. Jude Championship is the first of three FedExCup Playoff events… Only the top 70 in the FedExCup standings after the FedEx St. Jude Championship will be continue to the BMW Championship… No golfer has ever won the FedExCup in back-to-back years. Last season’s winner, Patrick Cantlay, is in a solid position heading into Memphis at No. 5. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are the only two-time FedExCup winners… The winner of the FedExCup will earn $18 million… How about Tony Finau’s summertime sizzle? Finau, who is looking to become the first person to successfully defend his title at the FedExCup Playoffs opener, comes into the FedExCup playoffs having won the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic in back-to-back weeks. He was the first golfer on TOUR to win two weeks in a row since Brendon Todd in 2019.
72-HOLE RECORD: 254, Dustin Johnson (2020 – TPC Boston)
TPC SOUTHWIND RECORD: 264, Brooks Koepka (2019), Abraham Ancer (2021), Hideki Matsuyama (2021), Sam Burns (2021).
18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Dustin Johnson (Second round, 2020 – TPC Boston)
TPC SOUTHWIND RECORD: 61, Tom Lewis (Third round, 2020), Bob Estes (First round, 2001), Jay Delsing (Fourth round, 1993).
LAST TIME: Tony Finau busted out of a five-year winless drought to capture last season’s FedExCup Playoffs opener in extra holes over Cameron Smith. Finau went on a 5-under run through Nos. 12-16 on the back nine Sunday to climb the leaderboard. He nailed a testy 6-footer for par on the 72nd hole to get it to 20-under for the week. Smith made back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 and again on 16 and 17 but couldn’t convert a 20-footer for birdie on the par-4 18th. Smith and Finau played just one extra hole, as Smith’s drive was so wild it went over the retaining wall that separates Liberty National from the Hudson River. Finau made an easy-does-it par, and the trophy was his. Jon Rahm, the 54-hole leader, finished third at 18 under. He was firmly in the mix late on Sunday but bogeyed Nos. 15 and 18 to fall out of contention. Alex Noren, Tom Hoge, and Justin Thomas rounded out the top five.
Keith Mitchell had a clutch finish as he looked to earn his way into the second playoff event. At No. 101 in the FedExCup standings, he birdied his final three holes in the final round to get into a tie for eighth and moved into 63rd position.
HOW TO FOLLOW (All times ET)
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.–7 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
PGA TOUR LIVE
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Stream 1 Main Feed: 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Main Feed: 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Main Feed: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Main Feed: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Group: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Group: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 2 Marquee: 9:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Marquee: 9:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Marquee: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Marquee: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Group: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Group: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 3 Featured Groups: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Featured Groups: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Featured Groups: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Groups: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Hole: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Hole: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 4 Featured Holes: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Featured Holes: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Featured Holes: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Holes: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Hole: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Hole: 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
• Main Feed: primary tournament-coverage featuring the best action from across the course
• Marquee Group: new “marquee group” showcasing every shot from each player in the group
• Featured Groups: traditional PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of two concurrent featured groups
• Featured Holes: a combination of par-3s and iconic or pivotal holes