TPC Southwind Profile: A Stiff Challenge At WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

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(CBS Miami) — TPC Southwind’s been a regular halt connected the PGA Tour since 1989. Located successful Memphis, Tennessee, the backstage play nine hosted the FedEx St. Jude Classic done 2018. The rubric sponsor, whose firm offices are nearby, past took implicit what was past the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, moved the lawsuit to to TPC Southwind and rechristened it the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational a twelvemonth later.

The heightened Tour presumption — WGC events connection larger purses and further FedExCup points — rubs disconnected connected the big people arsenic well. But TPC Southwind hardly needed the further cachet. It’s agelong been 1 of the Tour’s harder courses and bigger draws.

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TPC Southwind was designed by Ron Prichard on a former dairy farm nestled successful the rolling Tennessee countryside. (A mates of atom silos and a windmill remain.) The architect, champion known for restoring classical Donald Ross courses, looks to bring that accepted aesthetic to newer courses. And helium accomplished that extremity here. His designs tin besides beryllium recovered astatine specified notable courses arsenic Aronimink Golf Club successful Pennsylvania and Charles River Country Club successful Massachusetts. Tour veterans Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller consulted connected the project.

In 2004, the TPC Southwind underwent an extensive renovation. The enactment included 11 caller tees and 15 caller bunkers. The fairways were slimmed down and adjusted, with the writer changed from Bentgrass to Bermuda grass. The people was extended by implicit 200 yards, with trees and autochthonal areas added. The upgrades qualified it for Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification.

More upgrades occurred a mates years ago. And portion these renovations weren’t arsenic extended arsenic those from 15 years prior, they were significant. Bunkers were added, resized and re-edged. Layouts connected definite holes were shifted with yardage added.

The scenic TPC Southwind, a par-70, measures 7,233 yards. And arsenic CBS Sports play expert Ian Baker-Finch enactment it successful a 2017 interview, “you amended travel prepared to play well, due to the fact that you tin get successful occupation beauteous easy if you’re not sharp.”

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This ball-strikers people requires precision and shot-shaping. Seven of the holes dogleg left, 5 much dogleg right. The fairways tin beryllium challenging; the greens are firm. Almost 100 bunkers dot the course, and h2o hazards tin beryllium recovered connected much than fractional of the holes. When the upwind picks up, which it often does, the trouble is compounded that overmuch more.

The par-3 11th hole whitethorn beryllium the course’s astir notable. At 155 yards, it’s akin to TPC Sawgrass’s iconic land greenish connected 17. A pond surrounds the green, and a tiny bunker guards the beforehand edge. Players thin to spell with a abbreviated robust to marque the green; laying up is evidently not an option. The upwind tin clasp up a lofty changeable and driblet it successful the water. Longer shots mightiness find 1 of the 2 backside bunkers.

The 14th hole, a longer par-3 astatine 181 yards, is among the Tour’s much hard par-3s. It plays from a raised tee and carries implicit a pond that guards the beforehand and close of the green. The greenish slopes backmost toward the water.

The 18th hole, a par-4 that stretches to 450 yards, doglegs to the near astir different pond. Bunkers defender the fairway to the close to marque things adjacent much interesting. A beardown finishing hole, the 18th promises its stock of drama, particularly with fans returning.

This year’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational boasts a stellar tract of the PGA Tour’s champion 1 week aft the Olympics and 2 weeks earlier the commencement of the FedExCup Playoffs. Nine of the world’s top-10 players volition beryllium connected hand, though Bryson DeChambeau’s presumption is unclear aft a affirmative COVID trial successful Japan. Because this is simply a no-cut event, everyone volition play done the weekend.

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Watch the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET connected CBS.

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