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FedEx St. Jude Classic + Picks
by Matt Fargo - 06/04/2014
The final tuneup before the U.S. Open takes place this week as the PGA Tour heads to Memphis and the TPC at Southwind for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. This stop has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour schedule for years and although it has gone through some tough times in trying to gain sponsors, FedEx jumped in recently and is here through 2016. This is where the first ever 59 was carded as Al Geiberger achieved the feat back in 1959 at the then named Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.
TPC at Southwind was opened in March 1988 and has played host to the St. Jude Classic since 1989. The course has 10 water hazards making accuracy in the fairway and greens in regulation extremely important. Six years ago, Southwind played the toughest of all non-majors on the schedule but it was a lot easier in 2009 as it ranked 20th out of 51 courses in difficulty. The last four years though, it returned to difficult status and last year was the third hardest par 70 of non-majors.
Because of the U.S. Open being played next week, a lot of players are taking the week off and it is a watered-down field this week. The field includes only four players ranked in the top ten of the FedEx Cup Standings and no top ten player in the OWGR is playing after Matt Kuchar withdrew on Tuesday. Notables include Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson. With the field being light, it makes for a very wide open tournament as proven by some of the recent past champions.
Ryan Palmer (+1,900) is coming off a T5 at the Crown Plaza Invitational in his last start which was his fifth top ten of the season. He has missed only two cuts this year and he should once again be in the hunt here following a solo fourth last year and a T3 in 2012. He is ranked fourth in the all around.
John Senden (+3,000) is worth a strong look this week. He has one win already this year at the Valspar and he additionally has two top eights since then including a T5 at the Colonial in his last start. He has not played here the last two years but has two top tens in his career and coupled with his recent form, he is dangerous.
David Toms (+4,500) has excellent value and it is not solely based on his success at Southwind. He has won twice here while also coming in second two times and while he finished T56 last year, he was coming off four missed cut in his previous five starts. This year, he has made five straight cuts coming in including a T5 at Colonial.
Billy Horschel (+5,000) is getting longshot odds as he has kind of fallen out of the radar. He is coming off a T15 last week at the Memorial which was his best finish since a T6 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. After a missed cut and a T72 in his first two starts here, he went on to a T10 finish last year.
David Hearn (+6,000) will be another longshot take this week and he is coming with favorable trends. The Canadian has made five straight cuts including a T6 at the Players which was his third top ten of the season. He finished T18 here last year which was his fourth consecutive made cut at TPC Southwind.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the FedEx St. Jude Classic (all for One Unit)
Ryan Palmer (+1,900)
John Senden (+3,000)
David Toms (+4,500)
Billy Horschel (+5,000)
David Hearn (+6,000)
2014 Record to date after 20 events: -47 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am +22 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC - Accenture Match Play +23 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Valspar Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -7 Units
Zurich Classic -5 Units
Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units