The PGA Tour rolls into Memphis this week for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational - what a mouthful.
An elite field of 78 is set to compete at TPC Southwind for the first WGC title of the restart, which will be a fantastic table setter ahead of next week's PGA Championship.
This week's limited field and absence of a Friday cut changes things from a betting perspective. Guaranteeing this many top-tier players four rounds generally leads to a high-end talent winning, which is why there are rarely long-shot winners at WGCs aside from the match-play tournament.
2019: Brooks Koepka (-16) - WGC
2018: Dustin Johnson (-19)
2017: Daniel Berger (-10)
2016: Daniel Berger (-13)
2015: Fabian Gomez (-13)
2014: Ben Crane (-10)
The regulars line the top of the betting board, with Rory McIlroy (+800) and newly minted world No. 1 Jon Rahm (+900) leading the way. Both players are fully capable of winning this week, but McIlroy's and Rahm's odds are simply too short to back.
That leaves Xander Schauffele at +1500 as the most intriguing option below +2000. Of the 26-year-old's four PGA Tour wins, three have come in no-cut events, and he's also recorded three runner-up results in tournaments that guarantee him four rounds.
Webb Simpson at +2000 is also worth a look. He's only three starts removed from winning the RBC Heritage, and the 34-year-old now heads to a par-70 course while leading the field in strokes gained: total on such courses over his last 100 rounds. The course also features Bermuda grass greens, which is statistically Simpson's best putting surface.
This range has produced a number of winners since the restart. Simpson, Dustin Johnson, and Collin Morikawa were all priced around +3000 prior to winning, and the tier is worth targeting again in Memphis.
Daniel Berger (+2500) is a two-time winner at TPC Southwind, and he's already collected a post-restart victory. The 27-year-old has been playing exceptionally well in 2020, and now he returns to a course where Berger has experienced success. No one should talk you out of backing him this week.
Oddsmakers are tempting you into taking the defending champion Brooks Koepka at +3000. He isn't playing well and appears to be favoring a sore knee recently, but that shouldn't deter you. First, he wouldn't be playing if Koepka was seriously injured with major championships quickly approaching. Second, he gained 5.3 shots tee to green last week before missing the cut at the 3M Open. If he was hurt, Koepka wouldn't be hitting the ball that well.
Tyrrell Hatton (+3000) continues to play a limited PGA Tour schedule, but the 28-year-old dominates whenever he plays. In his last three United States starts, he's notched a win, and third- and fourth-place results. His number is very fair, especially compared to English counterparts Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood.
Big names win WGCs, which makes digging for long shots risky. But in stacked fields like the one in Memphis, the long shots are still some of the world's best.
Here are a few to consider at TPC Southwind:
Dustin Johnson (+4500): Yes, Johnson has played horribly in his last three rounds. But don't forget, only four rounds ago he was hoisting the Travelers Championship trophy. He's also a two-time winner at TPC Southwind, and a recent winner with this type of pedigree priced at +4500 is pretty much an automatic bet.
Paul Casey (+7000): Casey consistently ranks among the best ball-strikers in any field he enters. He missed the cut last week at the 3M Open because the veteran lost over six strokes putting in two days. That has to correct itself, right?
Erik van Rooyen (+12500): Two weeks ago, the South African gained 8.8 strokes tee to green at the difficult Muirfield Village. He was a popular pick last week in Minnesota, but Van Rooyen wound up missing the cut. Going back to him could pay off handsomely, especially if he improves on the third-place finish Van Rooyen earned at the WGC played in February.
Xander Schauffele (+1500)
Where Schauffele's game is at right now is similar to Rahm's play entering the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. In Schauffele's last round, he recorded the second most strokes gained: tee to green of his career. Two of his best five career rounds in that category both came at the Memorial Tournament. You could argue he's never hit the ball better than right now.
Additionally, Schauffele thrives in no-cut events, and he should again this week in Memphis. Even at +1500, which is as short of a number as you'll find on Schauffele, he's worth a selection.
Brooks Koepka (+3000)
Take a chance on the man who prides himself on defending titles. He's won back-to-back U.S. Opens and PGA Championships, and you better believe Koepka wants to defend this week in Memphis.
His ball-striking returned at the 3M Open, and not long ago he flirted with contending at the RBC Heritage. You'll never see a price this high on Koepka at a tournament where he's the defending champion, so take advantage.
Dustin Johnson (+4500)
Johnson at +4500 is flat-out wrong, and that's without factoring in his recent form and course history.
He won his 21st PGA Tour title less than a month ago and is a two-time winner at TPC Southwind. Forget about his recent stretch of 80-80-78 and back a prolific winner with six WGC trophies resting on his mantle.