Have we got a prayer in Memphis?

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Not the best of weeks last time I am sorry to say with one player pulling out injured and the others playing pretty well considering their prices – but still failing to make it in to the places so sadly we did not get paid out.

With the regular season now over we move n to a pretty exciting three weeks with the Fed-Ex Playoffs that will see the top 125 on the Fed-Ex rankings competing this week, followed by the top 70 the following week – and finally a field of just 30 will see the Champion crowned on August 28th. There is a lot of money and a lot of kudos at stake here and for many, these next three tournaments are as good as any of the majors.

We start off with the St Jude Championship in Memphis on the TPC Southwind Course where we have many years of form to look at – they have been playing on the tour here since 1989 – but make no mistake, this can be one tough assignment. Only two Apr-5s to attack on this par 70 course, long rough to contend with for wayward drives, eight par-4’s measuring in at over 450 yards, 11 holes with water in play, and some pretty small greens to contend with. Add in the potential of high humidity and soaring temperatures and this could well be a war of attrition – but working out who will cope with the conditions is all part of my job, allegedly.    

On to finding the winner – fingers crossed…

Selections with reasoning:

***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here accurately as they differ by the minute. Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.

1pt each way Matt Fitzpatrick 20/1 top 8 places most bookmakers (16/1 top 10 with Boylesports (22.0 Betfair)

I have diverted a larger percentage of my attention from my feelings to statistics this week (I have always used some for points of reference), and they suggest a big weekend for the popular Englishman, though maybe there is a touch of patriotism in there somewhere. Seven of the last 10 winners here arrived heading the tee to green figures and he heads those this year, and my some margin. He also sits in the top 12 (just) for bogey avoidance and make no mistake, the rough and the water here have caused no end of troubles over the years and keeping the ball on the straight and narrow obviously helps players to get under par for their round. He might not win to be honest, but he has a very good chance of hitting a place for us and in an event this competitive, that will do for me.

1pt each way Will Zalatoris 25/1 top 8 places William Hill and SkyBet (30.0 Betfair)

Am I the only one reminded of a character from Happy Gilmore whose name escapes me when er I think of Will Zalatoris? To be fiar, who cares if you can hit your irons like he can, and that is precisely why I have added him to my three this week in a very competitive tournament. He sits second for tee to green stats, and has had a good (if unsuccessful) season with a second in the Famers Insurance Open, the PGA Championship, and the US Open – suggesting he is well overdue a well-deserved victory. He putts well on bermudagrass and is clearly at his best on these tougher courses and maybe, just maybe, this weekend will see him at his very best.

1pt each way Justin Thomas 18/1 top 8 places most bookmakers (21.0 Betfair)

Where do I start with Justin Thomas – the man is just a golf machine. He sits on the three spot for strokes gained tee to green, number 10 for bogey avoidance, number 5 for strokes gained with approach shots to the green (potentially crucial here), and number one for par four scoring – and there are 10 of those on each round here. Of course he isn’t perfect, but those facts are simply astounding suggesting this course is built to fit, and I will be surprised if he doesn’t mount a serious challenge barring bad luck or injury.

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