2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship: Top 10 power rankings at TPC Southwind

FedEx St. Jude, TPC Southwind, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
FedEx St. Jude, TPC Southwind, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The FedEx St. Jude Championship hosts the first leg of the 2023 FedEx Cup Playoffs.

A new era of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is set to begin.

Both the playoff system and season-long points race have undergone various tweaks and changes since the FedEx Cup began in 2007.

The latest iteration now sees the coveted top-125 marker for players to make the first round of the playoffs whittled down to the top 70.

That made for an interesting close to the regular season with some more big names being forced to play the 3M Open and/or Wyndham Championship to ensure they’d crack the top 70.

Some big names fell short of qualifying for the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

No. 71 Justin Thomas, No. 72 Adam Scott, No. 78 Shane Lowry, and No. 90 Billy Horschel are among those heading home. Thomas and Horschel are both FedEx Cup champs.

Those who did make the top 70 are here this week in Memphis, Tennessee.

All who qualified are in the field. There is no 36-hole cut.

This tournament has been held annually since 1958 under various names, at various courses, and with various formats.

TPC Southwind has been the host course since 1989. It currently plays at 7,244 yards for a par 70. There’s trouble lurking with 94 bunkers and 10 water hazards on the tree-lined course.

Bermuda is the grass on the greens and in the rough. Zoysia is on the tee boxes and fairways.

It’s far from a bomber’s paradise out there as accuracy off the tee is rewarded on a relatively average-length course. The front nine is the easier side, so look for players to make charges out in front of the leaders on the weekend.

It projects to be a rainy week with a chance of rain and thunderstorms every day. Temperatures project to be in the 70s-90s Fahrenheit with wind not expected to be a huge factor.

Let’s dive into this week’s top 10:

FedEx St. Jude Championship, TPC Southwind, PGA Tour, FedEx Cup Playoffs, FedEx St. Jude, 2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm
Tommy Fleetwood, 2019 FedEx St. Jude, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Tommy Fleetwood is playing some of the best golf of his career. He just can’t beat an entire field in one swoop.

The Englishman continues to seek his first career PGA Tour win after another high finish fell shy at The Open Championship. Fleetwood finished T-10th at Royal Liverpool for his fourth top-10 without a win in his last five starts.

Fleetwood has six career DP World Tour titles and is a Ryder Cup hero. We know he can both win and perform in the clutch. He has a slew of high finishes at majors, too.

His time is coming soon. A week like this where he might be a bit more motivated than others could play to his advantage.

Fleetwood is making his fourth FedEx St. Jude Championship appearance. His high water mark came in 2019 when he carded 68-70-65-66 to finish T-4th and five shots back. Fleetwood was two behind second place.

This is his first appearance at TPC Southwind since 2021.

The 32-year-old ranks seventh on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (1.866). He’s in the top 40 in every SG stat, including seventh around-the-green (.406) and eighth tee-to-green (1.373).

Fleetwood is also ninth in scrambling (65.2%) and 12th in sand saves (59.8%).

The long-locked golfer is 30th in bogey avoidance (14.25%) and fifth in scoring average (69.296).

He has a propensity for going low, as we saw when he carded a Sunday 63 this year at the U.S. Open. The capability of making birdies in bunches will play well at Marco Simone this fall.