With the U.S. Open starting on June 14, several golfers are looking to establish momentum at the St. Jude Classic. The tournament begins on June 7 and has a fairly decent field. Many of the big names are taking the week off, but there are still some stars that fans will enjoy at this event. Rory McIlroy is the biggest name in the mix but he is hardly alone. He is just one golfer with a lot to play for at this tournament.
Here is a look at some of the golfers to watch at the St. Jude Classic:
The world's second ranked golfer has had a month that he would love to forget. McIlroy has missed the cut in three straight starts, marking a low point for his career. As the defending U.S. Open champion, this is McIlroy's last shot to gain confidence before defending his title. Based on how he has played lately, he needs to come up big at the St. Jude Classic. Anything less than a strong finish in the final round will be considered a disappointment.
Johnson returned to the Memorial Tournament after missing nearly three months due to injuries. He finished in the top 20, which is pretty respectable when you consider how long he was out. Now he needs to take the next step. If he can forge a top-10 finish at the St. Jude Classic, Johnson should have plenty of reason to be confident entering the U.S. Open.
Johnson has a decent run going lately. He won the Crowne Plaza Invitational in his last start and finished in a tie for second at the Players Championship in the start before that. Overall, he has finished no worse than second in three of his last four starts. Few golfers in the field should be more confident than Johnson right now. If he gets another strong finish. he will be among the favorites at the U.S. Open.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion has been quiet on the PGA Tour so far in 2012. He finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March but hasn't reached the top 10 since. After missing the cut at the Players Championship, McDowell needs a strong showing here, if he wants to be taken seriously at the U.S. Open.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.
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