MEMPHIS, Tenn. – We are less than a month away from the world’s best players making their way to Memphis for the first-ever FedEx St. Jude Championship.
TPC Southwind is now the home to the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, where the top 125 golfers on the PGA Tour will tee it up for a chance to move one step closer to the $18 million that goes to the FedEx Cup Champion.
But that’s the rub.
A number of the world’s best won’t be in Memphis next month.
Players with serious Memphis ties like two time Memphis winner Dustin Johnson, who hit one of the most iconic shots in this city’s golf history when he holed out on 18 to win back in 2018.
But Johnson is banned from playing here this year, as is 2019 Memphis champ Brooks Koepka and last year’s winner Abraham Ancer.
“It’s certainly disappointing when you have players who have great history here and great memories and great stories for fans. And of course, with interaction with St Jude and patients,” said new tournament director Joe Tomek. “But for me and my team, it’s a chance for new players to make new memories.”
Johnson, Koepka, and Ancer are part of the group of players who now play on the rival LIV Tour meaning they can’t compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
While those guys may be missed, Tomek knows there will be more than enough star power and great golf to go around.
“What no one else can recreate is what we have here in Memphis. Obviously, the competition is going to be world-class and unmatched here, but also what we’re able to do outside the ropes.” Tomek said. “Having FedEx sponsor their hometown event and being able to give back to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you can’t replicate that. That’s something that this city has created over 65 years. That history and that local touch point is what it’s about for us.”
The FedEx St. Jude Championship runs from August 11th through the 14th.