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FedEx St. Jude Classic

TPC Southwind

Memphis, Tennessee

TPC Southwind

Yards: 7,239 as per the scorecard

Par: 70 (35-35)

Greens: Bermudagrass; 5,240 square feet on average

Stimpmeter: 11.5-12’

Rough: Bermudagrass at 2.5”

Bunkers: 94

Water Hazards: 10

Course Architect: Ron Pritchard (1987); PGA TOUR Design Services (2004)

Purse: $5,700,000

Winner’s Share: $1,026,000

FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner

Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson fired a 66 on Sunday to chase down and pass a trio of 54-hole leaders for the victory.

Dates: June 6-9

Notes: The FedEx St. Jude Classic (FESJC) moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.

History Lessons

Only Dicky Pride (1994), Lee Westwood (2010) and Dustin Johnson (2012) have won the FESJC in their maiden voyages since it moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.

Johnson joined Notah Begay (2000) as the only players to win this event in their 20s. Sounds like a week for grizzled veterans!

Americans have won 13 of the last 14 (Westwood, 2011) titles in Memphis. Sounds like a week for grizzled, American veterans. Cough, Phil, cough…

Which leads us to this “good news, bad news” stat: Only eight players in history have won a major coming off a win the week before. Are you ready for this list?

Byron Nelson (1945 Chicago Open; PGA)

Ben Hogan (1946 Winnipeg Open; PGA)

Sam Snead (Greater Greensboro Open; Masters)

Art Wall (1959 Azalea Open; Masters)

Lee Trevino (1971 Canadian Open; The Open Championship)

Sandy Lyle (1988 GGO; Masters)

Phil Mickelson (2006 Bell South Classic; Masters)

Tiger Woods (2007 WGC-Bridgestone; PGA)

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, that one name keeps popping up, BUT notice nobody on that list has followed a TOUR victory with a win at the US Open. That’s a trend, people!

There are seven former champions in the field this week:

Dicky Pride (1994)

Bob Estes (2001)

David Toms (2003-2004)

Jeff Maggert (2006)

Justin Leonard (2005, 2008)

Brian Gay (2009)

Dustin Johnson (2012)

This will be the 56th edition of the FESJC. Only six players have made this event their first win on TOUR. The last two to accomplish this were Dicky Pride and Harrison Frazar (2011). By the way, has anyone heard from or seen Harrison Frazar in the last six months? Me, neither…

Only six players have won this event in their maiden voyage around the course. Westwood and Johnson were added to this list with their victories so that makes two of the last three winners to do so. #trendnotatrend. This would suggest that premium players would be the exception, not the rule, around TPC Southwind.

In 2013 11 of the 21 full-field, stroke-play events this season the 54-hole leader (or co-leader) have gone on to victory. Matt Kuchar has found both ends of the spectrum as he could not hold his lead at Colonial but he backed up his 54-hole lead with a victory last week at the Memorial.

There have been 23 tournaments this season. The Stars and Stripes have won 19.

There have also been nine first-time winners this season.

There have also been just two multiple winners, Woods (four times) and Kuchar (WGC-Match Play; Memorial).

The winners on TOUR have been Johnson, D (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods FOUR times (37), Mickelson (42), Snedeker (32), Merrick (30) Kuchar TWICE (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30), Scott (32), G-Mac (33), Horschel (26), Ernst (22),Bae (26) and Weekley (39).  The young folks (30 and younger) now have nine victories; the 30-somethings have racked up a dozen victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) have their two wins. Ken Duke, 44, was T17 this week to fly the flag for the over-40 crew.


Rank and File

Only eight of the top 50 OWGR are in the field this week.


Of Course

As the golfing world looks ahead to the US Open the TOUR has its final tune-up this week at the TPC Southwind in Memphis. Opening for business in 1989, Southwind went through a major overhaul in 2004 when the TOUR came in and performed renovations. They took out the Bentgrass greens and replaced them with Champion Bermudagrass that is sturdy enough to handle the hot, humid summers along the Mississippi River. I won’t take much, if any, of the history before 2004 into account this week because of the differences in putting surface. After three weeks of Bentgrass greens in Texas and Ohio, Bermudagrass “likers” will be investigated more heavily this week.

TPC Southwind over the recent years has been a ball-strikers paradise as the course renovation tightened up the fairways and also tilted them in new directions. The greens, which are just about average in square footage, have plenty of tilt and undulation so this should be an excellent warm-up before those who are qualified head to Merion next week.

Here’s how TPC Southwind has ranked annually in difficulty on TOUR since its renovation in 2004:

2005 9th

2006 2nd

2007 6th

2008 4th

2009 20th

2010 11th

2011 9th

2012 10th

This test will incorporate seasonal winds that will blow plus plenty of water hazards to avoid. Think The Honda Classic in June! Stretched over 7,200 yards both long hitters and accurate players have succeeded around here but over the last three years Lee Westwood, Harrison Frazar and Dustin Johnson, the last three winners, aren’t guys who are shy about getting it down the fairway. Robert Garrigus was also a 72-hole co-leader a couple of years ago. Conversely, David Toms, Justin Leonard, Jeff Maggert, Woody Austin and Brian Gay, all winners from 2004-2009 aren’t winning any long-drive contests. Notice there’s only one young buck in that group? Me too.

Experience will be a factor this week along with guys who are premium ball-strikers and short game specialists. There are only two par fives to make up any ground so I’ll be looking for guys who can score on par fours. This tournament has seen a winner at 276 (four-under) and 262 (18-under) and everything else in between. Also, since 2007, this week serves the final chance for players to play themselves into the US Open. No pressure if you’re not already qualified!

Top 10, Plus One

Brandt Snedeker: He leads the TOUR in top 10 finishes with six and par four performance at 22-under. He’s 15th in scrambling and 18th in strokes gained putting. Those numbers aren’t bad considering he’s 10th in driving accuracy and 11th in GIR. The Tennessee native played this event five straight years before missing last season with the rib injury he suffered at the Memorial. After his 72-80 there this season, I can be he’ll be happy to be back in Tennessee. As with most premium players, you can take last week and throw it out the window. Form is temporary; class is permanent.

Ryan Palmer: He’s 25th in ball-striking and 36th in total putting and that has resulted in a very steady beginning to 2013. He’s now made eight weekends from nine and his last three opening rounds have been 62, 65 and 67. He also makes plenty of birdies on par threes and par fours and that will be helpful this week. Palmer has only made two cuts in five starts yet both have resulted in top 10s (T3, 2012; T10 in 2006).

Scott Stallings: Hot golf is hot golf and only Matt Kuchar is hotter than Stallings at the moment. Stallings backed his T4 at Colonial with T4 at Memorial so there’s no doubt he’s in form as he heads to Memphis. His numbers across the board are very steady but it’s his form this week that interests me the most. Keep it simple, stupid.

John Rollins: In 11 weekends in 2013, Rollins has hit the top 25 in nine of them and that’s quite steady in 15 events. Even though he MC last year, he was T25 in 2011 and T15 in 2010 so his history here is not a deterrent. He’s 12th in ball-striking, 20th in the all-around and 17th in par four performance.

Tim Clark: He racked up four rounds in the 60s at Colonial his last time out to finish T7 so that tells me that the South African is on song with his current set up, anchored putter be damned. He’s made four straight weekends since they changed the surface in 2004 and he has no problems hitting fairways and finding the hole with that putter. He’s 20th on TOUR in par four performance and is also 18th in scrambling.

Phil Mickelson: I like the fact that he’s adjusting his schedule because he’s not getting the results he thought he would before majors. If there’s one thing we know about Mickelson is that he RARELY, if ever stands pat. Two drivers in the bag. Phrankenwood. Belly putter. Vegan. Padres. Tax complaints. Five Guys. Vacations. Those are just off the top of my head. He’s not boring, that’s for sure, and that’s why folks love him. It’s too bad that he can’t score “entertainment” points in most fantasy leagues. He knows that nobody has won the week before the U.S. Open and then has gone on to win it. Mickelson likes a challenge. Fantasy gamers like consistency! GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Freddie Jacobson: Here’s what the Swede has done in relation to events and cuts made the last three season and counting: 21 of 25 2011; 15 of 17 2012; 10 of 11 2013. The Junkman has been in fine form and his short game is first class. He’s fifth in par four performance, 11th in putting and 13th in scrambling. He’s also made nine of 10 cuts lifetime in Memphis which is not surprising see those numbers above.

Russell Henley: The youngster from Georgia won in his first event on TOUR as a professional and has backed that up with two other top 10s including last week’s T6 at Memorial. He’s fifth in the all-around ranking and absolutely eats up par fours. It doesn’t hurt that he’s 12th in total putting. He looks like Brandt Snedeker “lite” and he’s playing like it as well.

Josh Teater: He’s been another cut making machine on TOUR as he’s hit 11 of the last 12 weekends PLUS he’s been the medalist for The Open AND The US Open qualifiers he played in recently. He’s not only hot but he’s 24th on TOUR in ball-striking so it’s not smoke and mirrors. WD Tuesday morning.

Charles Howell III: Speaking of cut making machines, Charley Three Sticks has banged out 13 of 16 and has hit top 10 in five of those weekends. He’s finished T30 or better in 10 of 13 of those. Since his first outing here in 2004, he’s four of six with two top 10s including T3 in 2011. Yes, please.

Dustin Johnson: The defending champion returns to the scene of his only victory in 2012 in similar circumstances as last year. Johnson missed most of March, April and all of May before “warming up” with T19 at Memorial before winning here. This year, Johnson tweaked his back at THE PLAYERS and made his return at the Memorial yet MC. He’s on THIS list because he had a week to knock the rust off his game and he he’s had success with pinging GIR on smallish greens throughout his career.

Don’t Overlook

These guys just missed out

Robert Karlsson: I’m not leaving a guy off who has been in two playoffs here in the last three years! Sure, he lost both of them but he was in position late on Sunday so his frame of mind should be excellent this week. His only finish of note this season was T4 at Quail Hollow, his home course, so I’m connecting the dots. His solid short game will make or break him this week.

Jeff Overton: He was in a run of very solid form before he was DQ during the third round at Colonial after rounds of 67-69. His MC last week doesn’t wash that form down the drain and his past history around Memphis enhances his value. In five starts, he’s bagged two top 10s, T13, T35 and T38.

Jimmy Walker: His streak is now up to 24 consecutive weekends and DYNOMITE absolutely kills par fours as he’s second on TOUR in par four performance at 20-under! It’s hard to look away from all of that even though his best finish here is T22 in four tries but the 2013 version of Walker has been excellent.

Brendon de Jonge: Death, taxes and de Jonge! If there’s an event and he’s eligible, he’s teeing it up and that’s the case again this week. He’s 14 of 18 and has racked up eight top 25s this season. He’s eighth in ball-striking and 30th in scrambling and you know he likes to grind.

Billy Horschel: His iron play let him down last week as he was T58 GIR but he was ninth in accuracy off the tee and sixth in putts per GIR so it’s not like he was awful! Oh, and he made 20 birdies which was good enough for T2. Sometimes you have to peel back the layer of the onion to see what’s inside. Horschel is 11th in ball-striking and 10th in par four performance. He’s top 10 in many categories…

John Merrick: He’s improved every year he’s teed it up in Memphis as he began MC, T73, T53, T11 and second last year. His ball-striking was on full display at Riviera for his first win of the season earlier this year and he should be excited to see the tight fairways and smallish greens here at TPC Southwind which have been good to him as well. He only has one top 25 in his last nine after his victory but he should have good vibes around here this week.

Roberto Castro: His 17 starts this season is giving de Jonge a run for his money in the ironman standings that don’t exist. He’s played the weekend in his last five tournaments because of his ball-striking and tidiness around the greens. In his first time around TPC Southwind last year he found 68-66 Friday-Saturday but had bookends of 73-72 to knock him to T27.

Ken Duke: Better get on board as the Duke experience is teetering in the right direction! He’s the king of playing in patches and he’s in a good one right now with finishes of T31 at Colonial and T16 last week at Memorial. Those results came on the heels of three straight trunk shutters earlier in May. Duke’s T7 finish here last year doesn’t hurt his argument this week earlier. He’ll hit most of the fairways and as usual, his flat stick will determine how high he finishes.

Brian Davis: He’s made eight of his last nine weekends and was solo second here back in 2007 so there are worse options to have in a deep, weekly draft. His lack of length off the tee is made up for by splitting most fairways and that will give him a chance around here.

Off the Beaten Path

Either “horse-for-course”, guys off the radar or both

David Toms: Since the Masters he’s posted T47, MC and MC so I couldn’t move him up this week even though he’s crushed this place in the past. He won on the “old” course in 2003, backed that up with a win on the “new” course in 2004 and added a second, T10, third, T37 and T2 before T29, MC and MC the last three years. Horse for Memphis.

Brian Gay: He’s six of nine since the move to Bermudagrass and that includes his 2009 title when he scorched TPC Southwind for 262. Five of his six finishes are T16 or better so I think we can safely conclude he’s a fan. Be careful as he WD his last start and T35 is his best finish in last dozen starts.

Justin Leonard: The good news is he won this in 2004 and 2008. The bad news is that this is an ODD-numbered year. He’s missed the last three weekends in Memphis but is 13 for 16 this season. He’s definitely worth a shot in deep weekly games.

Stephen Ames: In 12 events this season his best finish is T20 on the opening week at the Sony. He was five-under at the HPBNC his last time out before a 71-75 weekend knocked him back. His last five tournaments here have been quite interesting as he’s finished MC, T8, T15, MC and T13.

Camilo Villegas: Only three of his last 12 round are over par so that tells me he’s getting closer to finding something out here. Plus, Ned has been on him the last few weeks on-and-off so I know I’m not the only one catching this. In six weekends in Memphis, Villegas has been T18 or better in five of them. He MC last year 74-69.

Jeff Maggert: He’s 6th in driving accuracy and 18th in GIR but I’ll save his putting numbers for another day. The 2006 champ ran out 66-68 last year before a 73-72 killed off his chances. He was T2 at THE PLAYERS and 68-73 at HPBNC in his last two. Not trrbl.

Bob Estes: In nine events since the course change in 2004, Estes has made the cut in eight of them. His worst Sunday showing was T34 last year. He has three top 10s in that span including second in 2004 and T8 in 2010.

Take It Deep

Long shots.

Martin Flores: Fired T43 and T14 on the Texas swing and was T13 after a 69-65 weekend here last year.

Bud Cauley: His best two week stretch of the season have been his last two outings, T14 Colonial and T34 last week. He’s played well in the part of the world before at True South and The Viking in Mississippi.

Chad Campbell: He’s the PERFECT long shot for this week as his best finish this season is T41. He’s played nine of 12 rounds in the last three FESJC at par or better.

Henrik Norlander: He’s played the weekend in seven straight events and that’s what you’re looking for if you’re digging this deep.

Casey Wittenberg: Memphis-born and bred but has missed 11 of 17 cuts this year.

Pack Lightly

These folks have struggled on this track or in general recently. Each week, one player from this list seems to hit the top 10. Figure that out, right!!?!? Last week, Bill Haas, who had never finished better than T30 at the Memorial racked up T4. OF COURSE HE DID.

Ian Poulter: He fits the bill as a guy who should play well here but his recent results don’t exactly have me scurrying to put his name on my team sheet.

Kevin Stadler: With T73 being his best start in his last four, I’ll sit on the sidelines this week.

Paul Goydos: Via his Twitter account, he’s been playing but in the first tournament back, I’ll give him a chance to get back into the swing of things.

Rookie of the Week Last Week

I keep an eye on the youngin’s each week to see who is making the most noise.

Sony: Russell Henley WIN

Humana: David Lingmerth P2

Farmers: Brad Fritsch T9

WMPO: James Hahn T16

AT&T: James Hahn T3

NTO: Luke Guthrie T21

WGC-Match Play: Russell Henley 2nd round

Honda: Luke Guthrie 3rd

WGC-Cadillac: Russell Henley T28

Puerto Rico: Jordan Spieth 2nd

Tampa Bay: Jordan Spieth T7; Shawn Stefani T7; Ben Kohles T7

Arnold Palmer: Ben Kohles T14

Shell Houston Open: Robert Streb T22

Valero Texas Open: Ben Kohles T37

Masters: Russell Henley MC

RBC Heritage: Russell Henley T6

Zurich Classic: D. H. Lee T8

Wells Fargo Championship: Derek Ernst WIN

THE PLAYERS: David Lingmerth. Great back-to-back weeks for the rookies on TOUR!

HPBNC: Morgan Hoffmann T5

Colonial: Jordan Spieth, yep, him again, T7

Memorial: Russell Henley T6

One-and-Done

SEASON TOTAL: $2,663,890

HTOC: Steve Stricker (2nd; $665,000)

Sony: Charles Howell III (T3; $324,800)

Humana: Tim Clark (MC)

Farmers: Rickie Fowler (T6; $204,350)

WMPO: Jason Dufner (MC)

AT&T Pebble: Hunter Mahan (T16; $94,250)

Northern Trust: Bill Haas (T3; $343,200)

WGC-Match Play: Charl Schwartzel (T33; $46,000)

Honda: Lee Westwood (T9; $156,000)

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Matt Kuchar (T35; $68,500)

Tampa Bay: Jim Furyk (T7; $148,892)

Bay Hill: Sergio Garcia (WD after three rounds)

Shell Houston: Jimmy Walker (T50; $14,838)

Valero: Cameron Tringale (MC)

Masters: Phil Mickelson (T54; $18,320)

RBC Heritage: Luke Donald (T3; $336,400)

Zurich Classic: Bubba Watson (T15; $102,500)

Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson (T32; $37,073)

THE PLAYERS: Nick Watney (MC)

HPBNC: Jason Day (T27; $46,565)

Colonial: Kevin Streelman (MC)

Memorial: K.J. Choi (T21; $58,202)

FESJC: Ryan Palmer

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Challenge

FESJC

(I play as “Glass” for ALL fantasy games)

Mike Glasscott (Rank: 2,684; $13,395,358)

Group 1: Brandt Snedeker

Group 2: Charles Howell III

Group 3: Roberto Castro

Group 4: Henrik Norlander

Ryan O’Sullivan (Rank: 8,610; $11,368,170)

Group 1: Russell Henley

Group 2: Scott Stallings

Group 3: Robert Karlsson

Group 4: Robert Allenby


Ned Brown (Rank: 2,551; $13,461,214) “Pure Spin”

Group 1: Brandt Snedeker

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Robert Karlsson

Group 4: D.J. Trahan

Rob Bolton (Rank: 10,069; $10,996,133)

Group 1: Brandt Snedeker

Group 2: Charles Howell III

Group 3: Robert Karlsson

Group 4: Henrik Norlander

Wegman’s LPGA Championship

Glass

Group 1: Suzanne Pettersen

Group 2: Paula Creamer

Group 3: Lindsey Wright

Group 4: Amy Yang

Ryan

Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Mika Miyazato

Group 3: Sandra Gal

Group 4: Ryann O'Toole

Ned

Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Paula Creamer

Group 3: Azahara Munoz

Group 4: Amy Yang

Rob

Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Paula Creamer

Group 3: Michelle Wie

Group 4: Mina Harigae

Ned said, “…

GROUP A

Brandt Snedeker-- He had a bad week at The Memorial, but coming into the event he was playing well with a T6 at the Masters and a T8 at THE PLAYERS. His record the St. Jude of five made cuts in six career starts is solid.

Charles Howell III-- The guy has been a top 25 machine this year and he has two top 10s at the St. Jude in six career starts including a T3 two years ago.

SUPER SUBS

Tim Clark, Boo Weekley, Phil Mickelson


GROUP B

Scott Stallings-- He has broken out of a slump in a big way with back-to-back T4 finishes. Stallings history record at on TPC at Southwind is pretty limited, so he is all about playing the hot hand.

Fredrik Jacobson-- Jacobson is another player that is a top 25 machine and he has a solid record at the St. Jude of nine made cuts in ten career starts.

Peter Hanson-- I think this week's Group B is on the weak side this week. The is his first time at the St. Jude, but he is the number 23 player in the world and he is worth rolling the dice with.

Dustin Johnson-- Usually, Dustin Johnson is not a risky pick, but he was forced out of THE PLAYERS due to a back injury and he returned to action last week missing the cut. I'm assuming that he knocked the rust off his game last week and will somewhat return to the form he had before his back acted up.

SUPER SUBS

 Jimmy Walker, Cameron Tringale, Bob Estes, John Merrick


GROUP C

Russell Henley-- Henley opened the season with a win at the Sony and he has been hot recently with a T6 at the Heritage and T6 last week at The Memorial.

Ryan Palmer-- He has been playing well of late with a T5 at THE PLAYERS and a T14 at Colonial. His history at the St. Jude is interesting with a pair of top 10s (T10 in '06, T3 last year) and three missed cuts.

SUPER SUBS

D.A. Points, Robert Karlsson, Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter

Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf.  He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years.  Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. Ned also provides us with his GolfChannel.com Fantasy Challenge selections as well!

“Pure Spin”

Points last week: 178

Points this year: 3,671

Overall Ranking: (118th; 99th percentile)

Coming Wednesday

And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat WEDNESDAY at NOON ET. We will be breaking down the field at the FESJC and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter. Follow Rob (http://twitter.com/RobBoltonGolf) and Glass (http://twitter.com/GlassWGCL) on Twitter.

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