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Xander Schauffele
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

St. Jude: Backing in-form Schauffele

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: August 9, 2022, 3:34 pm ET

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Just like that the PGA Tour regular season has concluded with the Wyndham Championship. Joohyung “Tom” Kim took the golf world by storm, becoming the youngest PGA Tour winner since Jordan Spieth. The drama was in the air, notably former World No. 4 Rickie Fowler was fortunate to make the playoffs on the button. This week the golfers head to TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN for the St. Jude Championship. This is the first year the St. Jude is a FedEx Cup Playoff event. TPC Southwind is know for its abundance of water hazards and bunker protected greens. Historically the golfers who have excelled here are great ball-strikers. I will be using course history and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking to help determine who I will be betting on in the placement market. These bets can be found on PointsBet Sportsbook:

 Xander Schauffele to finish top-20 (-105)

At this point I think it's time I sign up for the Schauffele fan club. It's either him or Matt Fitzpatrick who have won me the most money this season. Much like I did for Justin Thomas, I continuously go back to the well until the water runs dry. This week's well is a top-20 finish for Schauffele.

Schauffele is ranked seventh in my primary model. This ranking is lower than many of the events that he's been in but not concerning. He's a top-20 machine who is top-10 in SG: BS, SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green and is very accurate with the driver.

It's hard not to back a golfer in this good of form. He's finished inside the top-20 in seven straight events and in 12 of his 16 events. The Masters and the Players were brutal as he was on the tough end of the weather draw so I can cross those events out. That's 12 out of 14 events he finished inside the top-20. Even with the implied probability of 51.2, I still consider this positive expected value. Back the ever-consistent Schauffele to finish inside the top-20.

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Scott Stallings to finish top-20 (+300)

It wouldn't be a big tournament if there wasn't a lesser-known guy who sneaks their way into contention. This week, that guy should be Stallings. At +300 it's almost too impossible to pass up these odds. Hopefully this top-20 finish will be less sweaty than Troy Merritt's Sunday backdoor top-20 at Rocket Mortgage to cash us a +350 ticket.

I absolutely love this spot for Stallings, not only has he been playing very good golf, he's inside the top-20 inside my primary model. That in large part has to do with his great ball striking and the crazy number of strokes he's been gaining on approach.

This week's field is much stronger than last week's Wyndham, but he's still deserving of consideration. He's ripped off top-20 finishes in his last four events, three of which were top-10 finishes. He excelled off-the-tee and has gained on average +4.4 strokes on approach.

Matt Fitzpatrick to finish top-20 (+105)

Backing current major winners in the FedEx Cup Playoffs is always a solid plan. They have wins on the biggest stage in golf. Not only have the proved they are winners, but they also don't have the stress of having to fight for their tour card. This allows for them to play stress free and attack the FedEx Cup championship.

There aren't many golfers on Tour calmer and more collected than Fitzpatrick. Prior to Fitzpatrick winning the US Open, he was a mainstay in the top-20. He's sitting 12th in my primary model and already has 10 top-20s on the season. He's not the longest off the tee, but he is a brilliant ball striker. I have no backing him to finish top-20 at this short of a price.

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Brad Thomas

Brad is a sports handicapper who is lucky enough to write about his true love; sports. "We may all root for different teams, but our objective remains the same… Beat the books! Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint." Follow Brad on Twitter @MrBradThomas.