The stage is set for the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs. This season’s top-70 golfers travel to Memphis this week to compete in a no cut tournament that kicks off PGA playoff action. TPC Southwind is a par 70 measuring around 7,200 yards. It has historically favored elite ball strikers, including past winners like Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Daniel Berger. This year’s event is no different. Hitting the fairway will once again be a huge factor for success, particularly because the unpredictable Bermuda rough will make it tough on golfers to hit it into these smaller greens. I’ll be targeting elite ball strikers for my PGA DFS core plays this week on DraftKings. Let’s get to the DFS picks!
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2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship PGA DFS Core Plays
Patrick Cantlay, $9,800
Patrick Cantlay has been an elite option for PGA DFS players in 2023, including five top 10 finishes across his last 12 starts. He ranks inside the top 10 in this field in Fairways Gained over the last fifty rounds, as well as top 10 in Bogey Avoidance and Birdie or Better Percentage. Cantlay is an elite ball striker who hits the ball in the fairway consistently, which makes him a perfect fit for the demands of the course this week. His recent performances across the pond at the Scottish Open and British Open did leave a lot to be desired, which has dropped his price below the $10k range on DraftKings. That might help him in the PGA DFS ownership projections, so I’ll be taking the price discount and firing Cantlay up in all formats this week.
Collin Morikawa, $9,000
The 2023 campaign has been a bit of a disappointment for Collin Morikawa. He has just three top 5 finishes and no wins on TOUR this season. His ball striking is not to blame for the lack of success. Morikawa ranks 2nd in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach and 3rd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green over the last fifty rounds. Additionally, he’s hit nearly 70% of his fairways off the tee this year, which bodes well for his success this week. Morikawa finished 5th at this event last year, so it’s clear he possesses the necessary skills to compete on this course. I’m making him another PGA DFS pick in my core plays on DraftKings this week
Russell Henley, $7,800
Russell Henley collapsed down the stretch at last week’s Wyndham Championship after holding the lead for most of the tournament. He finished in an extremely disappointing 2nd place. However, the consistency of Henley’s recent play bodes well for him at this price point on DraftKings for FedEx St. Jude’s Championship DFS this week. He ranks 4th in the field in SG: Approach over the last 24 rounds and he ranks inside the top 20 in both Strokes Gained: Putting and SG: Tee to Green. Henley has hit 72% of fairways this year and he vastly prefers the Bermuda grass putting surfaces that he’ll find at TPC Southwind. He’s one of the best value plays on the board and another one of my core plays for PGA DFS picks this week.
GPP Flier – Si Woo Kim, $7,400
It would be easy to overlook Si Woo Kim if you only looked at finishing positions this season. Since Kim’s victory at the Sony Open in January, the South Korean has managed to tally just two finishes into the top 20. However, when you dig into the numbers it’s clear that Kim has been playing fantastic golf from tee to green. He ranks 15th in SG: Approach over the last 24 rounds and 7th in SG: Off the Tee. He’s extremely accurate both off the tee and into the greens, but Kim has really struggled with the putter. Over the last three events he has managed to lose over twelve strokes on the field putting.
Stokastic’s PGA DFS ownership projections make it clear that Kim’s recent struggles is getting the field off of him this week. He is expected be under 10% owned in Stokastic’s current ownership projections. Kim may not be the safest play in this price range, but he offers immense upside that could catapult lineups to the top of PGA DFS leaderboards. He’s a great contrarian PGA DFS pick and GPP flier for large-field tournaments.