WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: 10 players to watch this week at TPC Southwind

Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: 10 players to watch this week at TPC Southwind

PGA Tour

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: 10 players to watch this week at TPC Southwind

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The bad news is Tiger Woods isn’t playing in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The good news? The tournament will still have the best field Memphis has seen

Of the world’s 50 top-ranked players, 46 have committed to play at TPC Southwind starting Thursday, including the top four.

British Open champion Shane Lowry committed to the WGC-FedEx before his victory at Royal Portrush and subsequent celebration(s).

With that as backdrop, here are 10 who fans should keep their eye on, via Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

10. Jordan Spieth

(Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

Spieth may be ranked 37th in the world but there’s no way Memphis should miss one of the best young golfers out there. The three-time major winner hasn’t played in Memphis since 2010. Spieth has not won on the PGA Tour since his 2017 victory at The Open.

 

9. Jon Rahm

(Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

The 24-year-old tied for third at the U.S. Open this year and won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Rahm is ranked No. 8 in the world and is looking for his first WGC title.

 

8. Bryson DeChambeau

(Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

DeChambeau, who has one of the most unconventional swings in golf, made his first PGA Tour start in Memphis in 2015 and also played here in 2017. He returns as the No. 7 golfer in the world and looking for his first WGC win.

 

7. Justin Thomas

(Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

Thomas is the defending WGC-Invitational champion and only two years removed from being PGA Tour Player of the Year. This is his first pro tournament in Memphis.

 

6. Gary Woodland

(Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

Known as one of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, Woodland finally won his first major this year with the U.S. Open. He’s been one of the best golf stories this season, and his wife is expected to give birth to twins later this month.

 

5. Phil Mickelson

(Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

Always one of the most popular players in Memphis, Mickelson should have one of the largest galleries at TPC Southwind. As much he loves the city and course, Mickelson’s status is now in question after he question his poor play following missing the cut at the British Open.

 

4. Justin Rose

(Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

Rose is ranked No. 4 in the world and is the defending FedEx Cup champion. He finished third at the U.S. Open last month.

 

3. Rory McIlroy

(Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

McIlroy missed the cut at Royal Portrush but won new-found status as an adult after his exit Friday. McIlroy enjoyed the adoration of his home country’s fans and paid them back by handling his loss and disappointment like someone befitting of his 30 years. McIlroy has been one of the PGA Tour’s biggest names over the past decade and won the WGC-Invitational in 2014. The four-time major winner and No. 3 golfer in the world has won two PGA Tour events this year. Can he win his third in his first trip to Memphis since 2012?

 

2. Dustin Johnson

(Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

Memphis will never forget Johnson’s walk-off eagle to cap his win in the FedEx St. Jude Classic last year. So will he have an encore in 2019? Johnson used the win to catapult into the No. 1 world ranking and he currently sits at No. 2.

 

1. Brooks Koepka

(Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

Koepka has finished second and third in past appearances in Memphis. Will this be the year he breaks through? The world’s No. 1-ranked golfer has been on a tear this year, winning the PGA Championship and finishing second at the Masters and U.S. Open before his T-4 at the 148th Open Championship. While Koepka fell flat early Sunday at Royal Portrush, he has become golf’s chief unofficial spokesperson for quicker play.

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