World Golf Championship event to elevate Memphis golf identity

Big names coming to TPC Southwind for FedEx St. Jude Invitational

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - We are less than a week away from the biggest golf event in Memphis history.

This is the first year TPC Southwind is hosting a World Golf Championship, meaning the best players in the world are coming to Memphis.

There isn't a single golfer on the course at TPC Southwind, but the place is still buzzing with action in preparation for the biggest golf event in Memphis history, the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

“We’re down to the last thousand details as we say it,” said Darrell Smith, FESJI executive director. “I mean there’s no shortage of work being done.”

Inside and outside workers are everywhere making sure the course is perfect before Memphis hosts its first World Golf Championship event.

“We got a lot of things left to do but we’re going to be ready come next week as we welcome the world’s best,” Smith said.

Unfortunately, the worlds best will not include Tiger Woods who missed the cut at the British Open Friday and decided not to play next week in Memphis.

Changes made to WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational

“We’re obviously bummed to see Tiger not be here, hopefully he gets back healthy,” said Nick Parker with the PGA Tour. “But still a very very exciting field with a ton of guys who haven’t been here in a long long time.”

Forty-six of the world’s top 50 golfers are playing, including major names like current top ranked golfer Brooks Koepka, among many, many others. The timing of the event also gives these top golfers extra incentive to play well.

“These guys have a ton to play for,” Parker said. “This is the second to last event of the regular season. The Windham rewards is $10 million dispersed to the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings after the end of the regular season.”

After 61 years of PGA Tour events, Memphis is moving into another chapter of upper-echelon golf. "I'm excited for our city to be on this stage," Smith said. "Our city deserves to be on this stage and I'm looking forward to showing all the travelers and everyone who comes into town what Memphis is all about."

That move will bring an estimated $15 million to $35 million more in economic impact versus years past.

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