Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Golf fans watching this week’s World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational from Memphis on television may notice something a bit different since the coronavirus restart: Fans on the course. While the PGA Tour has already announced it would not allow fans at any tournaments the rest of the season, tournaments and title sponsors will be allowed to have up to 50 guests per day this week and that spouses/significant others also would be allowed.
None of those people will be tested for the coronavirus but must undergo a temperature check and will be limited to where exactly they can go on the grounds of TPC Southwind, a par 70 at around 7,240 yards that is a former dairy farm southeast of Memphis.
There are four WGC events annually on the PGA Tour and they have the biggest purses of any event other than the four majors, Players Championship and Tour Championship. The fields are absolutely loaded but much smaller (generally around 75) as players have to qualify to be eligible – being in the Top 50 of the world rankings is one way. There will be no cut this week.
This tournament used to be known as the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and played in Ohio, but Bridgestone’s sponsorship relationship with the PGA Tour ended after the 2018 event and primary Tour sponsor FedEx picked it up and moved the tournament to its world headquarters base of Memphis. TPC Southwind previously hosted a regular Tour event called the St. Jude Classic.
Then ranked No. 1 in the world, Brooks Koepka won the 2019 WGC-St. Jude Invitational at 16-under 264, three up on fellow American Webb Simpson. Koepka shot a final-round 65, while 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy shot 71 to finish T4. Koepka is struggling some this year and +2800 to repeat, while McIlroy is a +1100 second-favorite. Simpson is +2000.
This will be the first event Spaniard Jon Rahm plays since jumping to No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career following a victory at the Memorial Tournament on July 19. Rahm, who now has 10 worldwide wins and four on the PGA Tour, was seventh in Memphis last year and is the +1000 favorite.
Tiger Woods has won this tournament a record eight times, but all when it was held at Firestone Country Club in Akron. Woods didn’t play last year and isn’t this week, either. He’s about the only big name not in the field.