Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: St. Jude Classic
FanDuel has revamped its PGA format, and now there's no longer a rounds split for your rosters. That means all eight of your golfers will be in action from their opening tee times through (hopefully) the final hole.
That'll change the way you play a bit, and safety and cuts will be vitally important, but that doesn't account for the course.
This week, we're breaking down TPC Southwind, host of the St. Jude Classic. Here's what you should know about it.
Course and Tournament Overview
TPC Southwind, a par 70 spanning 7,244 yards, is tough. Like, really tough. It's been one of the hardest courses on the entire PGA Tour for the past 10 years or so.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Avg O/U Par|
In fact, this course hasn't played below par since 2003, prior to a massive course overhaul.
Despite the noble cause, the field tends to be watered down because the U.S. Open is looming next week. That's the case again this time around.
Recent Tournament History
Daniel Berger (-13) won last year's event and became the third player since 2012 to win his debut at TPC Southwind (along with Dustin Johnson in 2012 and Harris English in 2013). Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and Steve Stricker (-10) tied for second. Despite a closing-round 63, Dustin Johnson finished fifth, due to a 73 in Round 3.
Fabian Gomez (-13) won in 2015, a four-stroke win over Greg Owen. Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Matt Jones, Seung-Yol Noh, and Michael Thompson tied for third at -8.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee to green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at TPC Southwind.
|Key Stats for the St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach the Green|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Par 4 Scoring|
Strokes gained: off the tee is the key stat this week, as only one player has won here in the past five years while finishing outside the top 20 in strokes gained: off the tee.
However, season-long strokes gained: approach the green has actually correlated stronger to final score among players to make the cut in the past five years. You can always trust strokes gained: tee to green, but really what we're getting at is to downplay strokes gained: around the green in favor of the other two this week.
Scrambling and greens in regulation tie together here, as the greens at TPC Southwind are small. Being able to get GIRs will be tough, and saving pars when missing them can help avoid disaster.
Par 4 scoring, as well, is something to prioritize at this par 70, based on historical data in the past five seasons.
Course History Studs
Phil Mickelson has played this course four straight seasons and finished T2, T11, T3, and T2 in those. Six of his past eight rounds here were under par, and the other two were an even 70.
Brooks Koepka has played here three consecutive years. He finished T19 in 2014 and improved to T3 in 2015 and T2 last season. Just two of his 12 career rounds were over par.
Billy Horschel has played well at TPC Southwind in recent years. After missing the cut in 2009 and 2011 and a T72 in 2012, Horschel was T10 in 2013, T6 in 2014, and T8 in 2015.
Seung-Yul Noh has three top-10s in four tries since 2012 (T7, cut, T3, T7). He didn't play in 2014. He shot a 72 in Round 2 two years straight. Avoiding that could be enough to push for the top of the leaderboard yet again.
Ben Crane won this event in 2014 after a T18 in 2013. Since the revamp in 2003, he has made all nine cuts and produced four top 25s.
Harris English won in 2013, missed the cut in 2014, was T45 in 2015 and T26 last year.
Ryan Palmer finished T68 last season but was T22, T32, 4, T3 in his four prior tries. He had missed the cut three times between 2007 and 2010, but he's played TPC Southwind nine total times and looks to have figured things out a bit -- if you can overlook his 2016, in which he was over par in three of four rounds.
Ken Duke has played TPC Southwind seven times since the revamp in 2003 and made six cuts (2013 being the lone miss). He was T9 in 2016 and was T7 in 2012.
Chad Campbell has reeled off seven straight cuts at this event and produced two top 10s (T3 in 2012 and T8 in 2015).
Boo Weekley has made 8 of 10 cuts since 2007. He has four top 25s (including a T27 in both 2012 and 2013).