WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Hatton can triumph at TPC Southwind

England's Tyrrell Hatton
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton can take glory
Join today
View market

Dave Tindall is back with three each-way selections for the World Golf Championship event in Memphis...

"Good links players have often done well in this event and in its pre-WGC days Lee Westwood beat Robert Karlsson (and Robert Garrigus) in a play-off. Westwood and Karlsson are past winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - as, of course, is Hatton who won it 2016 and 2017, adding a second place in 2018."

Main Bet: Tyrrell Hatton each-way @ 28/1

Sometimes a player doesn't leap off the page on first glance when getting an initial snapshot of prices but the more I look at it, the more I just can't ignore Tyrrell Hatton at 28/1 this week.

The Englishman was in superb form before the suspension of golf in March, scoring a gutsy breakthrough first win on the PGA Tour in Florida at a time when Paul Azinger had caused a stir by questioning if European Tour players were up to it. Yes they were Paul.

And when the action did return, Hatton picked up where he left off, finishing third at the RBC Heritage. In his one start since, he's added fourth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

It means in six PGA Tour starts this season, the fiery but very likeable 28-year-old has made the top six in five of them (T14 in the other).

That includes T6 in the last WGC event to be played, the Mexico Championship.

The next step for Hatton is landing a real biggie and it's one I'm confident he can take.

Some players adapt quickly to the highest level and Hatton showed that in 2016 when, taking T5 (Open Championship) and T10 (USPGA) in back-to-back majors having started that campaign outside the world's top 100.

He's continued that habit by being faster than the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick to gain a win Stateside and now the world No. 15 looks equipped to improve on his previous best in WGCs of T3 (Mexico 2018).

It's noticeable that 12 months ago in this event, there were five English players in the top 11 - Fleetwood (T4th), Fitzpatrick (T4th), Ian Poulter (8th), Justin Rose (11th) and Aaron Rai (T12th).

Coincidence? Perhaps not. Good links players have often done well in this event and in its pre-WGC days Lee Westwood beat Robert Karlsson (and Robert Garrigus) in a play-off.

Westwood and Karlsson are past winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - as, of course, is Hatton who won it 2016 and 2017, adding a second place in 2018.

The Bermuda greens may help the English players too and Hatton has some great form in Florida, including that Arnold Palmer Invitational victory in March.

How else does his game fit? Well, it's a par 70 this week which means two extra par 4s and Hatton is tied 1st in Par 4 Scoring Average this season.

In addition, four of the last five winners at TPC Southwind ranked 1st for the week in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green while 2019 champ Brooks Koepka was 1st for SG: Putting.

Hatton sits 5th for SG: Tee to Green and 1st for SG: Putting.

Whichever way I come at it, his name keeps popping up so, in fact, that 28/1 is more than acceptable given the doubts over some of the leading lights.

On his tournament debut here last year, the Liverpool fan opened with a 66 to sit tied seventh after day one but, perhaps fatigued after his top six in the previous week's Open Championship at Royal Portrush, he slipped from T18 after 54 holes to T43.

Well rested this time, I expect a weekend title bid this time.

Next Best: Patrick Reed each-way @ 33/1

Patrick Reed has won a major and two WGC events - the latest in March - and yet, despite that pedigree, others with far less on their CV are often priced up shorter.

The 2018 Masters winner shot 69-63-67-67 to win the WGC-Mexico Championship in March and that made it eight PGA Tour wins.

The last six are the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, The Barclays, the US Masters, the Northern Trust and the WGC-Mexico. In short, Reed relishes elite company and it brings out the positive side of his combative nature.

I've been a little wary to get involved since the re-start given how he thrives off the crowds but I think the quality of field will be enough to get the competitive juices flowing fast this time.

T7 at the Charles Schwab, his best finish in five starts since was against the best field he's played against, Reed taking T10 at the Memorial Tournament.

As for course form at TPC Southwind, the American was T12 here last year after a slow start while his penultimate visit in its regular Tour days resulted in a top five in 2013.

The putter heated up again at Muirfield Village (12th for SG: Putting) and his driving was the best it's been in a long time.

"I hit the ball great," the 29-year-old said there and, scrolling through the scores, he was the only player to break par in both weekend rounds.

Reed is 8th in Par 4 Scoring this season which puts another piece of the jigsaw in place and, overall, he represents some value at 33/1.

Final Bet: Chez Reavie each-way @ 100/1

It's hard to find many non-elite winners of strokeplay WGC events so there are good grounds to focus on the front end of the market.

Jon Rahm, a winner at Memorial, is due a win in one while I also like last year's runner-up Webb Simpson and 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions victor Xander Schauffele.

But plenty of lesser names have filled the places so I'll end with an each-way punt on one at three-figure price - Chez Reavie.

Course form is an obvious way in as his last five starts at TPC Southwind show 27-6-4-12-27.

The T27 last year could be viewed as a sign that he wasn't quite as good when this event became elevated in status (to a WGC) for the first time but he was T18 with a round to go and let's not forget some other fine displays against the very best.

Reavie was third in last year's US Open (before winning the Travelers) and added a top five at the 2019 Tour Championship.

This year, he made the top 10 at Riviera while he had two decent weeks at Muirfield Village when T17 in the Workday Charity Open and T22 at Memorial.

Reavie was fourth after 36 holes in the Memorial and seventh after 54 so his game is in a good place: that's not a throwaway line as he's recorded positive figures in all the main strokes gained categories in the last two events.

A win is asking a lot but he's certainly capable of running into a place so I'll take the 100/1.

Others at three-figure prices I looked at were the South African trio of Louis Oosthuizen (proven quality), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (rising star) and Erik Van Rooyen (third at WGC-Mexico): they'll find the Zoysia fairways familiar to the grass they grew up on.

Finally, Brendon Todd has some fine form on Bermuda greens and is another to consider at 100/1. The American is put up as a strong selection by Steve Rawlings in his in-depth preview.

Staked: £844
Returned: £664.83
P/L: -£179.17

2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

Dave Tindall,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles