This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.
FedEx St. Jude Championship
The PGA Tour heads to Memphis for the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.
I mentioned last week that there were some big names on the outside looking in at a playoff spot, and while three of them -- Billy Horschel, Adam Scott and Justin Thomas -- all made a charge, none were able to make it in. Only Lucas Glover did enough to move into the top 70, and he did it in style, winning the Wyndham Championship. Now we will sit back and see if he parlays that into something bigger.
As for what lies ahead in the coming weeks, well, things should be interesting. I hadn't looked at the standings in a bit, so I was admittedly shocked to see Jon Rahm still ahead of Scottie Scheffler. Those two have a large lead on the next player -- Rory McIlroy -- but remember, any win over the next two weeks is going to result in a significant gain in the standings. If either Rahm or Scheffler win in Memphis, you can pencil them in for the lead heading into the TOUR Championship.
My instincts are telling me that anyone other than Scheffler hoisting the trophy in Atlanta would be a surprise, but after all this is golf -- a game full of surprises.
All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 9:00 PM ET Tuesday.
Scottie Scheffler (6-1)
Scheffler is the best player on the planet right now, and I although I think he will win the TOUR Championship, this price in this spot is a little ridiculous -- especially with him missing the cut in his only start at TPC Southwind. Sure, he wasn't playing as well 12 months ago as he is now, but with limited data to go on, we don't know if his game simply isn't as suited for this course as it is others, or if he was just off last year. Whatever the case, there isn't enough value here.
Jon Rahm (17-2)
Theset two have been atop the betting board all year, so why stop now? Rahm started the year on fire but hasn't really done anything since his win at the Masters. Still, he remains atop the standings. That goes to show you just how well he played early in 2023. Rahm has shown the ability to get around this track, posting a T5 last time he stopped at Southwind. His form is still in question, though, so I would pass on this price.
Rory McIlroy (17-2)
McIlroy is in a similar spot to Scheffler, as his form appears fine but his only showing on this course leaves a lot to be desired. Again, we could fall back on his form at this time 12 months ago, but with such short odds, do we feel comfortable assuming he will fare better simply because he is playing better? He probably will, but at less than 10-1 this just doesn't seem like a smart play.
THE NEXT TIER
Viktor Hovland (20-1)
Hovland came close to making a major mark this season, but he fell just short in a couple of big events. He still has time to really make an impression, and he could do so by winning the TOUR Championship. For that to happen he will need to have some success over the next couple weeks to put him in prime position for the last event. Hovland has been pretty steady all season, so his form has never really been in question. He posted a T20 here this past year, so it looks like he can get around this course. At this number he's definitely in play.
Rickie Fowler (30-1)
Fowler could flame out over the next few weeks and it would still have been quite a year. Expectations for Fowler were growing heading into this season, but I doubt many pegged him for a top-10 spot in the standings entering the playoffs. Fowler has been steady all season and displayed some upside by winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July. Can he cap off his campaign with a playoff win? Why not? He has given himself plenty of chances to win in recent months, and I see no reason why he won't be in the mix again.
Wyndham Clark (30-1)
We had two surprise major winners this season, and the question of "what do they have left?" is bound to come up over the next few weeks. I feel that both -- Clark and the next man up -- have plenty of gas in the tank, and I'm expecting both to play well this week. Clark hasn't done much since winning the U.S. Open in June, but he hasn't fallen off the map either. He has treaded water for the past month or so, but now he's ready to strike again.
Brian Harman (45-1)
This event will show us a lot about Harman. Manu players who win a major after a decade of trying would get complacent, and honestly, who could blame them? But is Harman different? If he still has the fire to compete in the playoffs, we should see a decent effort, as he posted a T3 at Southwind last year.
Sepp Straka (60-1)
Straka is not the most established player in the field, but he's got too much going for him to be this far down the betting board. Whatever the reason, you're getting outstanding odds on the guy who nearly won this event last year and happens to be playing excellent golf. Yes, he missed the cut at the 3M Open, but that came after a win at the John Deere Classic and a runner-up at The Open Championship. You can't blame him for last week's letdown.
Highly-chosen Pick: Rickie Fowler - So who's left at this point? I can't imagine many OAD players have Scheffler, Rahm or McIlroy at their disposal, so who is the best player remaining? Since many people weren't sold on Fowler's return until later in the campaign, perhaps he's still available for a lot of teams. If so, he's certainly a good choice.
Moderately-chosen Pick: Sepp Straka - Straka should be available for most OAD players, and if you're one of them, consider yourself lucky because you've got a quality option. Straka showed at The Open that he can compete in a strong field, so he should not be intimidated in Memphis.
Lightly-chosen Pick: Brian Harman - There weren't a lot of great spots to use Harman this season, so it's likely he's readily available for a lot of teams. That doesn't mean many will use him, because I'm sure many OAD players are afraid of the major hangover. As mentioned earlier, though, I don't think that will be the case with Harman.
Buyer Beware: Collin Morikawa - What started as a promising season for Morikawa has largely been a disappointment, as he has recorded just one top-5 since the end of January. Also potentially concerning is his participation -- or lack thereof -- over the past six weeks. Morikawa has only played two events since the start of July.
This Week: Brian Harman - I have plenty of firepower to get me through the TOUR Championship, but I have to plot out my final three weeks to get the most of what I have. Unless something goes awry I plan to use Clark and McIlroy over the next two weeks, so if I remove them from the equation, I have to go with Harman in this spot.
|Wyndham Championship||J.T. Poston||T7||$223,060||$12,983,623|
|3M Open||Hideki Matsuyama||T30||$46,744||$12,760,563|
|Open Championship||Cameron Smith||T33||$84,112||$12,713,819|
|Genesis Scottish Open||Ludvig Aberg||MC||$0||$12,629,707|
|John Deere Classic||Sepp Straka||1||$1,332,000||$12,629,707|
|Rocket Mortgage Classic||Chris Kirk||T14||$160,000||$11,297,707|
|Travelers Championship||Harris English||T60||$44,600||$11,137,707|
|U.S. Open||Brooks Koepka||T17||$284,167||$11,093,107|
|RBC Canadian Open||Tommy Fleetwood||2||$981,000||$10,808,940|
|The Memorial Tournament pres. by Workday||Collin Morikawa||WD||$0||$9,827,940|
|Charles Schwab Challenge||Justin Rose||T12||$178,350||$9,827,940|
|PGA Championship||Tony Finau||T72||$26,500||$9,649,590|
|AT&T Byron Nelson||Adam Scott||T8||$277,875||$9,623,090|
|Wells Fargo Championship||Matt Fitzpatrick||T35||$99,600||$9,345,215|
|Mexico Open||Brandon Wu||3||$531,300||$9,245,615|
|Zurich Classic of New Orleans||Billy Horschel||T11||$93,633||$8,714,315|
|RBC Heritage||Cameron Young||T51||$49,133||$8,620,682|
|Masters Tournament||Scottie Scheffler||T10||$432,000||$8,571,549|
|Valero Texas Open||Matt Kuchar||T3||$525,100||$8,139,549|
|WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play||Tyrrell Hatton||T59||$76,500||$7,614,449|
|Valspar Championship||Adam Hadwin||MC||$0||$7,537,949|
|THE PLAYERS Championship||Xander Schauffele||T19||$275,000||$7,537,949|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard||Keith Mitchell||T24||$163,000||$7,262,949|
|The Honda Classic||Shane Lowry||T5||$288,120||$7,099,949|
|The Genesis Invitational||Max Homa||2||$2,180,000||$6,811,829|
|WM Phoenix Open||Jon Rahm||3||$1,380,000||$4,631,829|
|AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am||Joel Dahmen||T41||$31,950||$3,251,829|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Jason Day||T7||$282,750||$3,219,879|
|The American Express||Sungjae Im||T18||$110,000||$2,9327,129|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Corey Conners||T12||$138,908||$2,827,129|
|Sentry Tournament of Champions||Russell Henley||T30||$208,500||$2,688,221|
|The RSM Classic||Mackenzie Hughes||MC||$0||$2,479,721|
|Cadence Bank Houston Open||Taylor Montgomery||T57||$19,236||$2,479,721|
|World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba||Tom Hoge||MC||$0||$2,460,485|
|Butterfield Bermuda Championship||Seamus Power||1||$1,170,000||$2,460,485|
|THE CJ CUP in South Carolina||Rickie Fowler||T34||$54,180||$1,290,485|
|ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP||Maverick McNealy||T12||$222,310||$1,236,305|
|Shriners Children's Open||Matthew NeSmith||T2||$712,000||$1,013,995|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Denny McCarthy||T39||$31,995||$301,995|
|Fortinet Championship||Sahith Theegala||T6||$270,000||$270,000|
|Wyndham Championship||J.T. Poston||5|
|3M Open||Tony Finau||4|
|Open Championship||Cameron Smith||3|
|Genesis Scottish Open||Thomas Detry||2|
|John Deere Classic||Zach Johnson||1|
|Rocket Mortgage Classic||Tom Kim||0|
|Travelers Championship||Brian Harman||4|
|U.S. Open||Brooks Koepka||3|
|RBC Canadian Open||Corey Conners||2|
|The Memorial Tournament pres. by Workday||Sahith Theegala||1|
|Charles Schwab Challenge||Jordan Spieth||0|
|PGA Championship||Xander Schauffele||14|
|AT&T Byron Nelson||K.H. Lee||13|
|Wells Fargo Championship||Rickie Fowler||12|
|Mexico Open||Jon Rahm||11|
|Zurich Classic of New Orleans||Patrick Cantlay||10|
|RBC Heritage||Cameron Young||9|
|Masters Tournament||Scottie Scheffler||8|
|Valero Texas Open||Matt Kuchar||7|
|Valspar Championship||Sam Burns||6|
|THE PLAYERS Championship||Justin Thomas||5|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard||Tyrrell Hatton||4|
|The Honda Classic||Shane Lowry||3|
|The Genesis Invitational||Adam Scott||2|
|WM Phoenix Open||Hideki Matsuyama||1|
|AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am||Maverick McNealy||0|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Luke List||3|
|The American Express||Andrew Putnam||2|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Harris English||1|
|The RSM Classic||Jason Day||0|
|Cadence Bank Houston Open||Russell Henley||0|
|World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba||Billy Horschel||4|
|Butterfield Bermuda Championship||Russell Knox||3|
|Shriners Children's Open||Matthew NeSmith||2|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Denny McCarthy||1|
|Fortinet Championship||Chez Reavie||0|