Starts: 14th August 2022
Course: TPC Southwind
Par: 70 (35-35)
Length: 7,233 yards
Grass Type: Bermuda
2021 Champion: Abraham Ancer
Designer: Ron Prichard
Used Since: New venue (Course used prior for WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational and FedEx St Jude Classic)
Fairways: Zoysia, Narrower than average
Rough: 2.5 inches - Not severe
Greens: Bermuda grass - Smaller than average
Water Hazards: In-play on 8 holes
Par 5's: 3rd and 16th
Premium on: Solid tee to green and approach play
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
This event is the first of the Fed-Ex playoff series where the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list compete. The Top 70 will advance to the BMW Championship next week.
This course hosted WGC events in 2021 and 2020, it was previously the host of the FedEx St Jude Classic. We therefore have 30+ years of course form.
The course underwent an upgrade in 2004, with Loren Roberts overseeing a host of changes including new trees, additional bunkers, narrowing of the fairways and a change to Bermuda grass on the greens. Place less emphasis on any form pre-2004.
Since 2003, TPC Southwind’s 5,989 balls in the water are the most at any PGA TOUR course during that stretch. TPC Sawgrass (4,809), Muirfield Village (4,753) and PGA National (4,730) are the next three. (Source - PGA Tour)
Possible thunderstorms. Wind around 7mph.
Partly cloudy. Wind around 9mph.
Sunny. Wind around 8mph.
Partly cloudy. Wind around 5mph.
With this switching to a FedEx event, trends hold less significance.
Past champions have also found success here with Berger, Johnson and Justin Leonard having twice triumphed in the past 12 years.
American golfers have dominated with only Abraham Ancer, Lee Westwood and Fabian Gomez having won from other countries since 2000.
Seven of the last ten winners at TPC Southwind have led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green so there is an emphasis on players who are striking the ball well. With smaller than average greens, and water a persistent threat, it's no surprise a sound long game is required.
A look at the stats of the top four last year are below. It's clear there is less emphasis on driving and more on approach, whilst a tidy short game on and around the greens looks a key for success too.
SG: Off The Tee
Greens In Regulation
SG: Around The Green
The 457-yard ninth is a hard dogleg to the right that requires a precise, long tee shot before an approach shot over water. Players out of position off the tee will likely need to hit a conservative second shot up the right side. The 18th hole has water running along its entire left side, but unlike No. 9, this 453-yard par-4 is a dogleg to the left.
The par 5 16th played the easiest over the four days in 2021.
Fast or Slow Start
None of the three men in the playoff last year were within four of the lead after day one. The previous two WGC winners at Southwind were in the top 18 after round 1.
All three winners have been inside the top 12 at halfway.
In the past, winners tended to be within striking distance going into the final day but not necessarily leading. Koepka was a stroke back in 2019 and overcame Rory McIlroy to win. Both DJ and Daniel Berger won in 2018 and 2016 respectively when leading after the third round. Berger's second win in 2017 came from three shots off the pace with a round to go.
However, in 2022, Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama came from 8 and 9 shots back of leader Harris English to reach a playoff which they lost to Abraham Ancer. Comebacks are possible here with lots of water in play.
The 16th is the easiest hole on the course but the 17th is tough and in 2021, No. 18 played as the course’s second-toughest hole with an average score of 4.14. Only No. 5, a 485-yard par 4, played harder at 4.22. However, while players made six double-bogeys or worse at No. 5, they racked up nine such scores at TPC Southwind’s challenging finishing hole. (Source - PGA Tour)