WGC Fedex St Jude Invitational Winners and History
The WGC Fedex St Jude Invitational is the successor to the long-standing WGC Bridgestone and in a way, to the Fedex St. Jude Classic. In 2019, the long running St. Jude Classic was dropped from the PGA TOUR schedule, while the WGC moved to the tournament’s host at TPC Southwinds in Memphis.
Memphis, not coincidentally, is home of both FedEx and the St. Jude Hospitals.
The WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational began life in 1962 as a four-man invitational tournament held at the Firestone Country Club. The field expanded, and by 1976, it was an official PGA Tour event known as the World Series of Golf. Thanks to the strength of field, it was considered just a step below the Majors, with a victory granting a 10-year exemption on Tour. The field at that time consisted of tournament winners from the various international tours.
NEC sponsored the event from 1984 to 2006.
In the years since the WGC Invitational (either as WGC-NEC or WGC Bridgestone) in 1999, Tiger Woods has owned the event, winning eight times.
The current field is composed of 75 players, who fit the following criteria:
- Playing members of the last named United States and International Presidents Cup teams.
- Playing members of the last named United States and European Ryder Cup teams.
- Players ranked among the top 50 on the Official World Golf Rankings (one week and two weeks prior to event).
- Tournament winners of worldwide events since the prior year’s tournament with an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of 115 points or more.
- The winner of one selected tournament from each of the following tours: PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
St. Jude is the name of a children’s hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital was founded in 1962 by popular nightclub entertainer and television star Danny Thomas.
Thomas was born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in Deerfield, Michigan. His parents were Maronite Catholic immigrants from Lebanon. Deerfield is a small town 33 miles southeast of Ann Arbor.
St. Jude’s founding founding was the result of a vow Thomas had made as a young actor—that if he found success he would open a hospital dedicated to Saint Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. It is a moving story:
More than 70 years ago, Danny Thomas, then a struggling young entertainer with a baby on the way, visited a Detroit church and was so moved during the Mass, he placed his last $7 in the collection box. When he realized what he’d done, Danny Thomas prayed for a way to pay the looming hospital bills. The next day, he was offered a small part that would pay 10 times the amount he’d given to the church. Danny Thomas had experienced the power of prayer.
Two years later, Danny Thomas had achieved moderate acting success in Detroit, but he was struggling to take his career to the next level. Once again, he turned to the church. Praying to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, Danny Thomas asked the saint to “help me find my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.”
His career took a turn for the better, and soon he moved his family to Chicago to pursue career offers. A few years later, at another turning point in his life, Danny Thomas visited a church and remembered his pledge to St. Jude. Again he prayed to St. Jude and repeated his pledge to build a shrine to the saint if he would show him the way.
In the years that followed, Danny Thomas’ career flourished through films and television, and he became an internationally known entertainer. He remembered his pledge to build a shrine to St. Jude.
A list of past WGC FedEx St Jude winners follows:
|WGC Fedex St. Jude Invitational|
|2018||Justin Thomas||US||265 (-15)|
|2017||Hideki Matsuyama||Japan||264 (-16)|
|2016||Dustin Johnson||United States||274 (-6)|
|2015||Shane Lowry||Northern Ireland||269 (-11)|
|2014||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland||265 (-15)|
|2013||Tiger Woods||United States||265 (-15)|
|2012||Keegan Bradley||United States||267 (-13)|
|2011||Adam Scott||Australia||263 (-17)|
|2010||Hunter Mahan||United States||268 (-12)|
|2009||Tiger Woods (7)||United States||268 (-12)|
|2008||Vijay Singh||Fiji||270 (-10)|
|2007||Tiger Woods (6)||United States||272 (-8)|
|2006||Tiger Woods (5)||United States||270 (-10) PO|
|2005||Tiger Woods (4)||United States||274 (-6)|
|2004||Stewart Cink||United States||269 (-11)|
|2003||Darren Clarke||Northern Ireland||268 (-12)|
|2002*||Craig Parry||Australia||268 (-16)|
|2001||Tiger Woods (3)||United States||268 (-12) PO|
|2000||Tiger Woods (2)||United States||259 (-21)|
|1999||Tiger Woods||United States||270 (-10)|
|NEC World Series of Golf|
|1998||David Duval||United States|
|1997||Greg Norman (2)||Australia|
|1996||Phil Mickelson||United States|
|1994||José María Olazábal (2)||Spain|
|1993||Fulton Allem||South Africa|
|1992||Craig Stadler (2)||United States|
|1991||Tom Purtzer||United States|
|1990||José María Olazábal||Spain|
|1989||David Frost||South Africa|
|1988||Mike Reid||United States|
|1987||Curtis Strange||United States|
|1986||Dan Pohl||United States|
|1985||Roger Maltbie||United States|
|World Series of Golf|
|1982||Craig Stadler||United States|
|1981||Bill Rogers||United States|
|1980||Tom Watson||United States|
|1979||Lon Hinkle||United States|
|1978||Gil Morgan||United States|
|1977||Lanny Wadkins||United States|
|1976||Jack Nicklaus||United States|