FedEx St Jude Championship Golf Betting Tips 2022

Who is the GM Tipster backing to win in week one of the Playoffs?

Four golfers pictured
(Image credit: Future)

FedEx St Jude Championship Golf Betting Tips 2022

There won’t have been a more spectacular first-time winner than Joohyung Kim who gave the Wyndham field a four-shot start by quadruple-bogeying the first hole on Thursday and opening his final round with an eight-under front nine of 27 to put his toiling rivals swiftly to the sword for a five-shot victory.

And he’s only just turned 20! Known as Tom because of a childhood passion for Thomas the Tank Engine, the South Korean wonder-boy, advised here at 33/1 last week, not only clinched a PGA Tour card for next year but bagged a late spot in the FedEx Cup race, starting this week with the St Jude Championship in steamy Memphis.

This is not to be confused with the World Golf Championship event called the St Jude Invitational which was played at TPC Southwind for the past three years and resulted in victories for Brooks Koepka (2019), Justin Thomas (2020) and Abraham Ancer who edged Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama in a three-way shootout last year.

Instead we have 7243-yard par 70 Southwind replacing the Northern Trust for the first of this year’s three Playoffs and the only one for which the top 125 in the FedEx points league qualify.

This week’s Major-class field will cut to 70 for the BMW in Delaware next week and then the 30 survivors go forward to the traditional climax of the competition at East Lake, Georgia, with its $75m bonus pool and $18m pot of gold for the lucky winner. Lucky because the way the winner is decided borders on the farcical: instead of the FedEx leader after the BMW being handicapped to GIVE inferior rivals a start at East Lake, he GETS a start of ten from the worst five qualifiers and a significant advantage over the rest, depending on where the stand in the table at the time.

It’s directly the opposite to what happens in racing where the best horses have to concede weight to the weaker ones in a handicap so that, ideally, they should all finish in a dead-heat, something of course that never happens.

As last year’s lucky winner Patrick Cantlay said as he pocketed what was then $15m, having started as points leader going into the Tour Championship and made full use of his minus-ten on the starting grid: “Even in a format I don’t like, it actually was to my benefit this week. For that, I am very grateful.”

The bottom line was that Jon Rahm (who had to give Cantlay a four-shot head start), Kevin Na and Xander Schauffele would all have finished ahead of the “winner” in any normal tournament. Who came up with this bright idea?

So whether they like it not, there’s a big incentive to be top of the pile come East Lake and that’s where Scottie Scheffler resides at the moment. If he stays there, he gets the -10 rating, while defending champ Cantlay, fifth as of now with ten top-tens but without a solo victory, would have to give the leader five start and is playing catch-up this time.

Patrick Cantlay was the winner of the 2021 Fedex Cup

Last year's FedEx Cup winner Patrick Cantlay might just be coming into form at the right time

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even though Cantlay’s Memphis form is only so-so, he and favourite Rory McIlroy must surely contend on their super-consistent current form. Since June Cantlay has gone 3-14-13-4-8-2 while the pride of Holywood, bitterly disappointed by his failure to clinch the Open though he must have been, has looked happier with his game since capturing the Canadian Open and he does have a fair Southwind record in the WGCs - fourth in 2019 and 12th last year.

The Memphis form encourages a bet even on a tight, medium-length layout not obviously suited to his expansive game and he will be keen to move up the ladder from sixth on the FedEx ratings. Not having played since St Andrews is a slight worry as he may be not be at peak but the same comment applies to Open champion Cam Smith, Scheffler, Rahm, Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and other leading contenders.

Although it is a reasonably level playing field in that regard, Cantlay does have an edge in having competed since his two top-tens in Scotland and competed well with that second to the flying Tony Finau in Detroit.

Having got back-to-back wins out of Finau, it’s asking a lot to tip him for the hat-trick at this higher level but there’s no denying the man from Utah’s putter, once a liability, is magical at the moment.

Finau waves to the crowd

Finau can't win again...can he?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Young guns Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young, Sam Burns and now Tom Kim are all entitled to great respect but Kim’s win, wonderful though it was to watch, came when the big cats were away and the only two top-20 men, Zalatoris and Billy Horschel, never got into the argument. Much more is needed here.

Outside McIlroy and Rahm, Europe have serious shouts with US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton, the latter warming up nicely with a top-ten in Greensboro. Fitzpatrick shared fourth with Rory at Southwind in 2019 and three years on is a far more formidable competitor. This looks a good course for the Sheffield star. He and Smith, fifth last year, look good for the frame and Spieth’s 12th places in 2019 and 2021, backed up good showings in Scotland, make him attractive each-way too.

Finally, a word for course winner Thomas. Usually you need a warm putter on Southwind’s small, severely undulating Bermuda greens but his was the weakest link when he won two years ago. His approach play though was out of this world as it was for Ancer last year, whereas 2019 WGC champion Koepka had an exceptional putting week.

Justin Thomas holds a trophy

Justin Thomas won the WGC here in 2020

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ancer and Koepka have joined two-time St Jude winner Dustin Johnson at the LIV Golf money factory and there are no rebels in sight. DJ made far more as a signing-on fee for LIV than he could make as FedEx Cup winner … so who will be next to defect?

It certainly won’t be Thomas who has spoken loud and proud in defence of the PGA Tour. His reward could come this week but on his British performances (missed cut in the Scottish, down the field in the Open) you couldn’t fancy him. Yet after a month to sort out his game, JT might emerge a new man. It’s not a tournament with an obvious winner … but when is it ever?

Memphis is due to have early-week thunderstorms which will take the sting out of the fairways but straight, accurate driving will still be needed on a course where half the holes are doglegs. The rain should have gone by the time the tournament tees off and, for humid Tennessee, temperatures in the low 30s are pretty gentle.

Wyndham Championship Golf Betting Tips 2022

  • 2pts each-way Cam Smith at 16/1
  • 2pts each-way Rory McIlroy at 11/1
  • 1pt each-way Patrick Cantlay at 18/1
  • 1pt each-way Matt Fitzpatrick at 22/1
  • 1pt each-way Jordan Spieth at 28/1

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Jeremy Chapman
GM Tipster

Celebrating my 52nd year tipping and writing about golf. Tipped more than 800 winners (and more than 8000 losers!). First big winner Lee Trevino at 8-1, 1972 Open at Muirfield. Biggest win £40 each-way Ernie Els at 80-1 and 50-1, 2012 Open. Most memorable: Giving the 1-2-3 at 33-1, 50-1, 33-1 out of 4 tips from a field of 180 in 2006 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. According to one bookmaker “Undoubtedly one of the greatest tipping performances of all time”. And, of course, putting up a 150/1 winner with Stewart Cink in my very first column for Golf Monthly. Lowest handicap 9 Present handicap 35.6. Publications tipped for: Sporting Life, Racing Post, Racing&Football Outlook, Golf World, Golf Weekly, Golf Monthly, Fitzdares Times. Check our Jeremy's latest tips at our Golf Betting tips home page