As the first event of a pivotal three-week series to determine the FedExCup champion gets underway, TPC Southwind in Memphis is ready to host. The course, designed by Ron Prichard in 1988, has maintained a consistent presence on the TOUR schedule since 1989.
Starting from 2007, this venue and tournament have been strategically positioned the week before the U.S. Open. From 2019 to 2021, the event evolved into a World Golf Championship, creating a prelude to the FedExCup Playoffs.
In the previous year, TPC Southwind assumed the role of the FedExCup Playoff host for the first time, with a field of 125 players and a 36-hole cut. In the current edition, the Par-70 course will extend to 7,243 yards, hosting a streamlined group of 70 players without a cut.
Over the 35 previous events at TPC Southwind, only Harris English (+9000) remains as a former champion in this week's field. Notably, in the last season, Will Zalatoris clinched his maiden PGA TOUR victory during the first Playoff event, an achievement he won't be able to defend this week due to his recovery from back surgery. English, who secured victory on his debut in 2013, has had consistent performances on this course, including a T10 finish in 2017 and a close call in 2021.
TPC Southwind, characterized by its Par-70 layout and water penalty areas on 11 holes, has consistently ranged between 7,200 and 7,300 yards since 2005. Harris English and Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300) are the two players with three top-10 finishes on this course. Fitzpatrick's impressive record includes a T6 in 2020, T4 in 2019, and a notable T5 last year.
Andrew Putnam (+10000) has demonstrated a strong affinity for TPC Southwind in recent years. His remarkable performances include a second-place finish in 2018 and a T5 in the previous season. Putnam's knack for the course is highlighted by nine out of 12 rounds being at 68 or better. Those in fantasy leagues should consider him as a valuable option.
Jon Rahm (+900) returns for his fourth appearance in the last five years and aims to build upon two top-10 finishes. In his debut in 2019, Rahm impressed with an opening round of 62, leading to a seventh-place finish. The subsequent year posed challenges, but he finished strong with a tie for 52nd. Following a year of absence, Rahm returned in the last season with a consistent display of four rounds in the 60s, finishing tied for fifth.
Similarly, Rory McIlroy (+900) anticipates a smooth ride into the weekend, given the absence of a cut this year. After participating in 2010 (T29) and 2012 (T7), McIlroy took a hiatus from TPC Southwind and later returned for the World Golf Championship in 2019. McIlroy led after 54 holes that year but fell to T4 after a final round of 71. He closed 2021 with three consecutive rounds of 66 for a T12 finish.
Brian Harman (+4500), fresh off his Open Championship victory, boasts a strong track record at TPC Southwind. He secured a shared third place last season, and his performances have been consistently solid over the years. Harman's presence could be an asset to extended lineups.
In conclusion, TPC Southwind's allure and challenges are poised to test the skills of the seasoned players like Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy. With past champions and emerging contenders in the mix, this week's event promises an exciting display of talent and competition.