The FedEx St. Jude Championship kicks off the first of three legs for the FedEx Cup championship beginning on Thursday August 10th. The tournament will be played at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.
The current field for the tournament will consist of seventy golfers with no cut, vying for a chance to compete in the second leg of the FedEx Cup next week at the BMW Championship. The second leg of the field will consist of fifty golfers so this week will be a fight to survive and compete for the PGA Tour’s most lucrative crown.
The most intriguing part of this tournament will be the battle amongst the top-three ranked golfers in the world but especially the world number-one Scottie Scheffler. Scheffler has performed historically well this year, setting the PGA Tour record for earnings in a season with nineteen million YTD.
Scheffler leads the PGA Tour in total strokes gained (2.616), scoring average (68.5), GIR (74.1%) and third in birdie average (4.45). The Dallas native has made twenty-two consecutive cuts which is the third longest active streak on tour. Scheffler won two tournaments this season at the WM Phoenix Open and the Players Championship while finishing top-ten in an incredible fifteen tournaments on the year.
The three-year PGA Tour veteran was two catastrophic rounds away from potentially adding a second green jacket to his wardrobe as well as a Wanamaker Trophy to his collection. Scheffler finished third at the US Open Championship and looked poised to compete for the Open Championship as well in late July.
Scheffler struggled mightily at Royal Liverpool however, making the cut mercifully but finished even-par in the top twenty-five. Links golf takes no prisoners as many European professionals will attest and Scheffler certainly was taken for a ride through the courses undulating hard surfaces and ruthless rough and sand-traps. Golf is a wild, cruel and unforgiving game especially close to the birthplace of the sport.
Scheffler has shot himself in the foot on several occasions especially in major tournaments where he boxed himself into a corner and forced himself to play catch up and rally too late into rounds. The former Longhorn could’ve had a couple major victories and possibly added a few more tournaments to his belt in 2023 with ease if he was able to steady the putter and mitigate some of the mistakes off the tee.
Without a strong performance from Scheffler in the FedEx Cup playoffs, Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy could knock him down from the number-one ranking. The OWGR number-one has been a carousel throughout the past two years with all three golfers having spent time at the mountain top at various points. It wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world if Scheffler drops down the world rankings but it would be a disappointing conclusion to a historically consistent season by the twenty-seven year old.
Will Scheffler be able to bounce back from his uncharacteristically poor performance at the Open Championship here in Memphis? Scheffler has been tremendous all season so it would be a dying shame if the Texan couldn’t at least make a solid run and try to wrestle the FedEx Cup trophy away from the defending champion, McIlroy.
Scheffler will tee off with Rahm and McIlroy on Thursday at 10:26 a.m. ET to a great deal of fanfare and intrigue. This will be a must-watch as a viewer for the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.