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BlogFedEx St. Jude Preview and Picks

FedEx St. Jude Classic

June 11th – 14th, 2015

TPC at Southwind

Germantown, Tenn.

Par: 70 / Yardage:

Purse: $6 million

with $1,080,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Ben Crane

FedExSt.Jude2014

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 10 of the top-50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with just one player from the top-ten #7 Dustin Johnson. The other top 50 players are #19 Phil Mickelson, #20 Billy Horschel, #23 Brooks Koepka, #26 Ryan Palmer, #29 Jamie Donaldson, #41 Webb Simpson, #43 Graeme McDowell, #45 Charl Schwartzel and #49 Matt Every.

Last year 13 of the top-50 were in the field

The field includes 4 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2015.  Those players are #7 Dustin Johnson, #12 Robert Streb, #20 Steven Bowditch and #24 Brooks Koepka.

The field includes 3 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. those players are #7 Dustin Johnson, #12 Robert Streb and #20 Steven Bowditch.

The field includes seven past champions: Ben Crane (2014), Harris English (2013), Dustin Johnson (2012), Harrison Frazar (2011), Justin Leonard (2008 & ’05), David Toms (2004, ’03), and Dicky Pride (1994).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the FedEx St. Jude field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the FedEx St. Jude in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the FedEx St. Jude.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker North America, Bovada.  They give winning odds plus top-five and first round leader odds.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

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We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Player Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Mauritius Open Cadillac Match Play Zurich Classic Shenzhen Intern.
George McNeill
(167.33 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP
Steven Bowditch
(131.67 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DQ
(-5)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(127.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(48)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T17
(33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Dustin Johnson
(122.33 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP T17
(33)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Jason Bohn
(116.67 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Pinckney
(114.67 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP
Billy Horschel
(109.67 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP T17
(33)
T48
(0.67)
DNP
Jerry Kelly
(102.33 pts)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP
Webb Simpson
(99.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(94.33 pts)
DNP DNP T39
(11)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(93.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP
Chesson Hadley
(89.67 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Jon Curran
(73.67 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP 81
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Brown
(72.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP
Colt Knost
(70 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP
Patrick Rodgers
(66.67 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Shawn Stefani
(61 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Boo Weekley
(59.67 pts)
DNP DNP T85
(0)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP
Brooks Koepka
(57 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP DNP T72
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP
Harris English
(51.67 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T17
(33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(43.33 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Chappell
(41.33 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Luke Donald
(40 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(32)
DNP T38
(18)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
John Merrick
(38.67 pts)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bryce Molder
(33.67 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T63
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Player Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Mauritius Open Cadillac Match Play Zurich Classic Shenzhen Intern.
Andrew Svoboda
(-40 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Aaron Baddeley
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Justin Leonard
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Mike Weir
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brice Garnett
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.J. Henry
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Charlie Beljan
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brian Davis
(-27 pts)
DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP
Johnson Wagner
(-26 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Sorry but the news is more about the U.S. Open and what is going to happen next week at Chamber Bay than on what is happening in Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude Classic.  Qualifying for the U.S. Open is over and it’s always intriguing the list of players that make it into the U.S. Open.

One item of importance, a couple of years ago the USGA created a new exemption in which a player gets into the top-60 of the world rankings the week before gets a spot into the U.S. Open.  In a way it’s like the Masters last minute exemption for the player that wins the PGA Tour event the week before the Open.

For those on the bubble in getting an exemption there are a couple of players.  For two they are pretty safe, Andy Sullivan moved up to 56th and Kevin Kisner moved up to 57th.  Both are pretty safe, in the case of Kisner four people have to pass him up, that probably won’t happen.  Kisner, who isn’t playing at the FedEx St. Jude labored all week at the Memorial with a bad back so to play safe he withdrew from his U.S. Open qualifying spot in Columbus.  So the only way for him getting to Chambers Bay is to stay in the top-60.

Of course anyone could win either the Lyoness Open in Austria or the FedEx St. Jude and move into the top-60 and get a spot.  But points are slim and it will take a win.  Here are three others, who are trying to qualifying into the Open on Monday but if they don’t make it could get in if they play well in Memphis.  They are #64 Steven Bowditch, #66 Luke Donald and #68 Harris English.  All would need top-threes to find a spot, if needed.

It’s an interesting question on what is better of each of the four majors in determining their own fields. The philosophy of Augusta National is trying to get the best players, but in a limited dose.  If you want the best field in golf the PGA Championship always comes close, that’s because they invite the top-100 off the world rankings.  Now the USGA invites the top-60 but the rest they give back to qualifying.

In a way this keeps the tradition of making it open to all players around the country and around the world.  Many say that for the PGA Championship to invite the 51st to 100th it looks great on paper having all of these top players, but the emphasis is lost on those players because it just mirrors any other tournament on the PGA Tour and European Tour in getting the most of their membership in tournaments.

Now the British Open to a degree let’s in folks based on a qualifying system.  But over the years it’s gotten a bit bogged down and only about a dozen spots are open to regular qualifiers before the Open Championship.  But the U.S. Open is still back to the way they use to do qualifying 75 years ago as of the 12 sites that had Open qualifying on Monday, about 75 of those in the field will come out of these qualifying sites.  Of course the bulk of the qualifiers will be made up of players on the PGA Tour and Web.Com Tours, but there are about a dozen players that nobody has ever heard from.  So the question is, which is the best way to run a major championship?  Do we just allow the best players in the world in, if that’s the case we have that in the Players Championship.  Or do we allow any golfer that is really good to possibly play?

I feel that the British Open has it right in keeping their championship open to all but at the same time having the best players in the world also qualifying.  Yes the U.S. Open has qualifying for players in Europe and Japan and 17 got in off of that.  But the Royal and Ancient goes a step further and has a qualifying tournament in Australia, Asia and South Africa also, something that would be nice for the USGA to also offer.  Another group of folks forgotten is those for South America, especially with golf being played in the Olympics next year down in Rio, these folks need to be included.  The bottom line for all these championships, it’s a hard mix to get it right and to also do what they have traditionally done for all these years.

Lastly, in past the FedEx St. Jude has always been a great spot to warm up for the U.S. Open because they have narrow fairways with high rough.  This year with the open at Chambers Bay it’s nothing that resemblance TPC Southwind.  Fairways are not going to be important at Chambers Bay, it’s important at Southwind.  Hitting greens is important at both, but you won’t be working on that at Southwind.  Lastly the greens have so much undulations at Chambers Bay, you won’t get to practice that at Southwind.  So for the second year in a row, Memphis is not the place to be in getting ready for the U.S. Open.

Tournament information:

The St. Jude Classic began in 1958 as the Memphis Open. Started by seven local businessmen, the tournament became their vision while in the grill of the Colonial Country Club in Memphis. With an initial purse of $20,000, winner Billy Maxwell collected $2,800. The modern St. Jude Championship began two years later in 1960. The founders of the Memphis Open donated $600 to entertainer Danny Thomas, who helped found the St. Jude Charity. That year, the tournament was renamed the Memphis Invitational Open.

The tournament consistently grew throughout the ’60s. By 1969, Danny Thomas decided to lend his name to the tournament and in 1970, the first Danny Thomas Memphis Classic was played. That same year, the St. Jude Children’s Hospital became the event’s only charity. In 1972, The Danny Thomas Memphis Classic changed courses to the Colonial Country Club South Course in Cordova, Tenn. Lee Trevino won the first tournament at the new course. It was his second straight victory. Trevino would go on to claim the title a third time in 1980.

In 1977, the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic welcomed former president Gerald Ford, who was out of office and playing a lot of golf. Ford competed in the Celebrity Pro-Am, and amazingly, scored a hole-in-one on the fifth hole. However, that feat would soon be surpassed by Al Geiberger, who shot a record 59 in the second round of the tournament. Sports Illustrated called it “one of the most significant athletic achievements of the century.”

For the 1985 tournament, Danny Thomas and other tournaments officials decided it would be best if the tournament incorporated St. Jude’s more, so the tournament was re-named the St. Jude Memphis Classic. The name didn’t last long because, a year later, FedEx became the official sponsor of the event and re-named it the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

In 1989, the FedEx St. Jude Championship underwent its second course change, this time to the TPC at Southwind. The tournament has been held at Southwind every year since. 2007 was the first year of the Stanford St. Jude Classic, but with the problems of the company there was a parting of the ways as the event got FedEx back in 2010 as a sponsor and just resigned last week to be with the event through 2017.  Now with all of the sponsorship problems, for the first time in the Tiger Woods/Tim Finchem era the purse of this event went down as in 2008 the purse was $6 million and in 2009 was just 5.6 million.  But in 2011 FedEx came back into the picture and retook sponsorship of the event.  Now the purse has raised back to $6 million but the good news is that the future of the event is stable for the next couple of years.

Course information:

TPC Southwind

  • Germantown, Tenn.
  • 7,239 yards     Par 35-35–70
  • The TPC at Southwind opened in 1988 and became the home of the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 1989. The course was designed by Ron Prichard, with help from Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller. The course opened as a small, tight course with lots of trees, bunkers and water hazards. Originally, Southwind featured zoysia grass on the fairways and bent grass on the greens. The course stayed this way until after the 2004 FedEx St. Jude Classic. Following the tournament’s conclusion, the course closed for renovation.
  • During the renovation, all of the greens were redone and the grass was switched from bent grass to Champion Bermuda Grass. Many of the fairways were narrowed and re-contoured to make an already tight course, even tighter. Additionally, 15 new bunkers were added, bringing the total number of sand traps to 96, three of the 10 water hazards were enlarged and more than 125 trees were planted on the course. Overall, the course yardage increased by more than 200 yards to its current length of 7,244 yards. After the renovation, the course’s rating went up to a 75.9 with a slope rating of 138.
  • In 2014 TPC Southwind played to an average of 70.718, three quarters of a shot over par and ranked 12th on the PGA Tour.  The previous year, 2013 is was about the same as TPC Southwind played to an average of 70.760 and ranked 14th on the PGA Tour.  If players are looking for a breather during the St. Jude, they will find no solace at Southwind as last year 8 of the 9 holes on the back nine, except for the par 5 16th, played over par. The tight, difficult front 9 seems like a pre-cursor to the hellacious back. The trouble begins immediately, with numbers 10, 11, and 12. The trio provides a degree of difficulty, the par 4 10th played to a 4.110 average last year. The next hole can be tricky, it’s a 157-yard, par 3 that bears a close resemblance to the famed 17th hole island green at TPC Sawgrass.  The only difference is the target on this hole is double the size of the 17th at Sawgrass.  Another tough hole is number 14, a 231-yard par 3 that is annually on the list of “Most Difficult Par 3’s on Tour.”   The difficulty of the back 9 reaches a crescendo with holes 17 and 18.  Both par 4s, the 17th is a 490 yard par 4 that was the 124th toughest hole on the PGA Tour playing to a 4.212 average.  The 18th played the third hardest hole at Southwind as it played to a 4.158 average, the 186th toughest hole on the PGA Tour in 2014.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the FedEx St. Jude:

Key stat for the winner:

Major changes came to TPC Southwind seven years ago making it tougher.  It’s a bit longer than before, but the landing areas in the fairways have always been generous and have stayed the same.   This doesn’t mean the course is a rollover, since it ranked 11th on the PGA Tour in accuracy. There is thick rough to contend with, but again those that hit it accurately will score low this week.  But the course is really hard in hitting greens as last year it was the 6th hardest greens to hit on tour, while in 2013 it was the 2nd hardest.   One thing that all past champions have in common — except for last year’s champion Ben Crane and Dicky Pride, Notah Begay, Jeff Maggert and Brian Gay — is the knack for hitting greens.  Most of the champions since 1990 not only did well the week of the FedEx, but also in the year they won as the chart below shows:

  • In 2014 Ben Crane hit 42 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T47th, for the year he ranked T130th.
  • In 2013 Harris English  hit 48 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T9th, for the year he ranked 59th.
  • In 2012 Dustin Johnson hit 50 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T4th, for the year he ranked 81st.
  • In 2011 Harrison Frazar hit 50 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T8th, for the year he ranked 164th.
  • In 2010 Lee Westwood hit 47 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T9th, for the year he ranked 37th.
  • In 2009 Brian Gay hit 49 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T19th, for the year he ranked 168th.
  • In 2008 Justin Leonard hit 45 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T11th, for the year he ranked 54th.
  • In 2007 Woody Austin hit 52 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 2nd, for the year he ranked 67th.
  • In 2006 Jeff Maggert hit 39 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T47th, for the year he ranked 98th.
  • In 2005 Justin Leonard hit 48 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T4th, for the year he ranked 94th.
  • In 2004 David Toms hit 51 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T1st, for the year he ranked T20th.
  • In 2003 David Toms hit 58 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 39th.
  • In 2002 Len Mattiace< hit 53 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T11th, for the year he ranked 75th.
  • In 2001 Bob Estes hit 50 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T22nd, for the year he ranked 45th.
  • In 2000 Notah Begay III hit 50 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T16th, for the year he ranked 104th.
  • In 1999 Ted Tryba hit 58 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 60th.
  • In 1998 Nick Price hit 51 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T8th, for the year he ranked 89th.
  • In 1997 Greg Norman hit 59 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 10th.
  • In 1996 John Cook hit 61 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 9th.
  • In 1995 Jim Gallagher, Jr. hit 50 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T26th, for the year he ranked 66th.
  • In 1994 Dicky Pride hit 54 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T14th, for the year he ranked T152n.
  • In 1993 Nick Price hit 55 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T12th, for the year he ranked 6th.
  • In 1992 Jay Haas hit 57 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 36th.
  • In 1991 Fred Couples hit 47 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked T29th, for the year he ranked 16th.
  • In 1999 Tom Kite hit 54 of 72 greens at the St. Jude ranked 1st, for the year he ranked 3rd.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • In picking a winner, it should be more feel than strategy.  You see hitting a lot of greens is important, but look at Ben Crane last year. He was unique because he didn’t fit the mold of the other champions as he hit 33 fairways which ranked T-30th and hit 42 greens which ranked T-47th.  Be he was super around the greens, was 2nd for the week in scrambling and 1st in Strokes Gained Putting.  Of the 73 putts he had inside ten feet he only missed two, which those kind of putting stats your never going to lose.
  • We have seen this before, in 2006 Jeff Maggert felt himself around the course, hitting lots of fairways (he was first) but more importantly he putted lights out (only took 99 for the week). So, yes, hitting greens is important, but when you take less than 100 putts for the week (only been done 131 times since 1997) you are going to win.  The same with Brian Gay in 2009, he didn’t hit as many greens as past champs but had only 100 putts which ranked 2nd.
  • Another trend that Crane’s victory was to reintroduced the non-marquee name winning.  In the last decade at Memphis, Crane joins the list of winners that includes Harrison Farzar, Brian Gay, Woody Austin and Jeff Magger as non-marquee winners.  Look at 2009 winner, Brian Gay and 2011 winner Harrison Frazar along with 2013 winner Harris English that is a perfect example of what I mean.  So don’t look for that marquee name to be on top of the leaderboard on Sunday, especially this year in which the tournament lacks marquee names.
  • In trying to pick a winner, look at those that seem to be just starting to play well.  Maybe this means those that have had a good finish in the Memorial last week or Byron Nelson two weeks ago will prevail.  Look at how the last couple of winners have played, look for that kind of player to do well.  Also look for a player that has had tournaments ruined by one poor round.
  • Hitting greens will be at a premium. Just like in a U.S. Open, hitting lots of greens goes a long way in this event.  In the last 17 years, four champions lead the greens hit category and 12 of the 17 were in the top-11 of this category.  Look for the winner to hit globs of greens this week.
  • Look for a winning score of 269 this week, that’s the average winning total since TPC Southwind was first used in 1989.
  • Since 1989, only four champions (Dicky Pride in 1994, Notah Begay III in 2000, Dustin Johnson in 2012 and Harris English in 2013) were younger than 30.  Six of them were over 40, the oldest being Woody Austin in 2007 at 43 years, 4 months, Greg Norman in 1997 at 42 years, 4 months and 2006 winner Maggert who was 42 years, 3 months.  Last year’s winner Ben Crane was 38 years, 3 months and 2 days old.  Another oldie was in 2011 when Harrison Frazar was 40 days short of his 40th birthday while Brian Gay in 2010 was 37 years, one months old.
  • Before 2008, winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic had been part of big seasons for seven of the nine winners. Each had finished the season ranked in the top 25 on the PGA Tour money list the year that they were victorious at the TPC Southwind (Ben Crane was 67th last year). The players are Notah Begay III (2000, 20th), Bob Estes (2001, 9th), Len Mattiace (2002, 18th), David Toms (2003, 8th; 2004, 22nd), Justin Leonard (2005, 12th) and Woody Austin (2007, 15th).  Maggert broke that streak when he finished 60th on the money list.  In 2008 Justin Leonard was 33rd on the money list while 2009 winner Brian Gay was 13th.   2010 was a return to the winner having a big season, no two ways about it Lee Westwood had a monster season in 2010.  Same with Harrison Frazar who was on the verge of quitting the PGA Tour before being saved with his FedEx win in 2011 while Johnson in 2012 finished 17th on the money list.
  • Last but not least the weather.  This time in Memphis is always questionable with hot, muggy days that sometimes have rough thunderstorms in the afternoon.  The same for this week, temperatures are in the high 80s and each day of the tournament will have a 50% chance of late afternoon storms.

 

Who to watch for at the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Best Bets:

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T24 T10 Win

He can overpower course with his length and is in the middle of greens hit with a 96th place ranking. More importantly he is ready to win again after finishing T-8th at the Nelson and T-13th at the Memorial. More importantly his record at Southwind, in 12 appearances he won in 2012 and in 12 rounds has been under par in 9 of them. One more item is the Lee Westwood fracture, that is for players that tend to win a week before the major and have nothing left for the major the following week. Think that Johnson is the type to win before a major and not have anything left in the tank.

Billy Horschel

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 T10 T72 CUT CUT

Played well last two years, ranks 15th in greens hit this year. But what I like is the fact that he plays well in the summer and his game is heating up in his last two starts was T13th at the Players and T11th at Memorial.

Camilo Villegas

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T11 T10 CUT T3 T8 T29 T18 T46 T16

Guy Plays well at southwind with four top-11st in last five years including a T3rd in 2011.

Best of the rest:

Webb Simpson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T3 T29 CUT T64

Has all the right stats, 19th in greens hit for 2015 and 32nd in fairways hit. Was T3rd last year he could be the guy this week.

Ryan Palmer

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T32 4 T3 CUT CUT CUT T10

Top 4s 2 of last 3 starts, can overpower course, ranks 35th in ball striking. It’s getting close to time for him to win.

Brooks Koepka

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T19

Just feel it’s getting time for him to contend, this is a course a lot like Phoenix were he won so watch him this week.

Carl Pettersson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T3 T8 CUT T24 CUT

Here is someone that you least expect to win that could this week. Plays well on this type of course and hasn’t done much this year.

Solid contenders

Phil Mickelson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T11 T2 T59

Has done well the last two times he has played here. Think he is really looking to do anything possible to get his game ready for Chambers Bay so look for good results this week. He also isn’t worried about winning this week and having enough in the tank for the following week, twice already has won the week before winning a major.

Harris English

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT Win

Past champion, T-33rd in greens hit this year, his game is at the right place right now to do well.

Boo Weekley

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T46 T27 T27 T32 T53 CUT T4 CUT

This is his type of course, hasn’t done well in the past but that could change this week.

Nick Watney

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Hard to believe that he is playing for the first time in this event, course should be good for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Luke Donald

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Gosh have no idea what is up with this guy. Like Tiger at one time Donald ruled golf by winning the money race on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in 2011, now struggling with his game. Playing in this event for the first time, could be a great place for him.

Shawn Stefani

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T63 T7

Finished T-7th in 2013, playing solid of late.

Patrick Rodgers

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

He did the deed and got his tour card barley, look for him to show off his game now that he is a PGA Tour member.

Comments

  1. Jeffery L says:

    who’s the pick?

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