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WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational: Pat can deliver FedEx success

WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational betting tips

Major season is over but top-quality golf continues with this week's WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind which involves 64 of the world's top players with a few absentees such as Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari.

The tournament effectively promotes the St Jude Classic to World Golf Championship status with the Bridgestone Invitational no longer on the calendar.

Justin Thomas won the final tournament at Firestone, but Dustin Johnson is a two-time winner of the St Jude Classic which he won last year and is slight favourite at 8/1 to win the tournament, with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka just behind in the golf odds at 17/2.

Here are our WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational betting tips:

TPC Southwind is a par-70 course 22 miles from Memphis measuring nearly 7,250 yards and is widely regarded as one of the most difficult on the PGA Tour, with tightish fairways and rough that must be avoided.

Two-time St Jude Classic champion Daniel Berger had this to say of TPC Southwind: "It's the hardest course I've ever played in my life.

"It's just extremely long and extremely penalising. The greens are very slopey. You have 10-footers that break four, five feet. Speed control is going to be huge, and fairways."

The stats show that players who have performed well here in the past have ranked high in strokes gained: tee-to-green, strokes gained: off the tee and par-four averages, so attention has been paid in these key areas for this week's St Jude Invitational betting tips, starting with Patrick Cantlay at 20/1.

The American recently won the Memorial Tournament and was tied for third at the US PGA Championship at Bethpage, a notoriously long and demanding par-70 like TPC Southwind.

Cantlay is fourth and 10th in the respective SG: tee-to-green and off-the-tee stats and tops the par-four averages this season, so he seems to tick all the boxes for a potential winner.

On the negative side, Cantlay is making his debut here and had to slog it out in the wind and rain at Portrush over the weekend, but many of the top players are getting their first look at the course this week so the world number 10 is in good company.

Patrick Reed heads to Tennessee buoyed by a first top-10 finish at The Open and fifth place at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit a few weeks ago, so his form is on an upward trajectory.

The 2018 Masters champion is in the top 50 for SG: tee-to-green and par-four averages, and ended a run of back-to-back missed cuts by finishing fifth here six years ago, so he has current and course form, plus some of the skills needed to succeed.

Our only concern is his performance off the tee but the stats show it is not essential to be straight as an arrow to win at TPC Southwind, so 33/1 in a field of 64 looks a decent shout.

Chez Reavie is an accurate sort, though, and is the next of our St Jude Invitational betting tips at 50/1 to win a maiden WGC title and post a second victory in the space of five weeks.

Reavie won the Travelers Championship at the par-70 TPC River Highlands last month and only Ryan Moore has a better average than him for finding fairways.

We said earlier that accuracy is not the be all and end all for success in Memphis, but finding the rough off the tee will certainly not help your cause.

Reavie is 30th for SG: tee to green and 14th for par-four averages, so TPC Southwind looks an ideal fit for a player who missed the cut in Northern Ireland so should be fairly rested for the challenge ahead.

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With just 64 players in the field, we're taking a punt on Aaron Rai to finish in the top 10 on his debut at 20/1.

The Englishman is one of the straightest hitters on the European Tour and inside the top 10 for greens in regulation, although his scrambling stats aren't too bad either should he miss the dance floor.

Rai should also be fresh after failing to qualify for last week's Open and although he has an unsightly three MCs next to his name from his last few outings, he has a good record this year playing in sweltering conditions as it will be this week.

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Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Golf