As the golf world gears up for the US Open, some players head to Memphis for a final PGA Tour event before the second Major of the season. The FedEx St. Jude Classic takes place on the difficult TPC Southwind for the 25th consecutive year and is typically the week right before the US Open. Length off the tee has been a common characteristic of recent winners, and weather is also expected to add some more teeth to Southwind.
Last week, another one of my “other options” won the tournament as Kuchar won the Memorial. Next year, I think I’m creating a team called “other options” which may very well outperform my actual picks. As my entry continues its slump, in our FantasyCPR group Foot-Wedge and Hoochblues split the win with a robust 196. The win has Foot-Wedge atop the Spring Segment scoring by 36 over Team Tiger while Eagle’s Nest continues to cling to the top spot overall with Foot-Wedge and Hoochblues running two and three and both within 75 points.
Here are my picks for this week’s St. Jude as I try to break out of my slump before the US Open: (Hey, if nothing else, my other options are performing well)
Brandt Snedeker: Sneds missed the cut last week at the Memorial where he historically struggles, but gets to play in his home state in Memphis where he’s looking for his seventh top ten of the year. He finished t15 two years ago which was his best finish at this event since a tie for fifth back in 2007.
Phil Mickelson: Phil has been up-and-down this year from dominating in Phoenix to missing the cut at his most recent event at THE PLAYERS. He does have a trio of top three’s this year on tour and represents the ultimate wild card since he’s only played this event twice in the past. I won’t start with him in the lineup in case he stumbles, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him dominate, win, and head into the US Open with a full head of steam. Lefty is always a fascinating player whether you love him or hate him.
Other Options: Charles Howell III, Boo Weekley
John Merrick: Merrick finished runner-up to DJ last year and won earlier this year at the Northern Trust Open. He’s missed six cuts this year, but is comfortable at this course and should finish well again.
Scott Stallings: Stallings played his college golf at Tennessee Tech. He’s all the sudden found his form chasing four straight missed cuts with a pair of T4′s the last two weeks. He’s played the St. Jude the last two years missing the cut last year and finishing t25 two years ago.
Dustin Johnson: Johnson won this event last year as he was just coming back from a back injury. This year again, he’s coming back from a back issue. DJ hasn’t been able to finish a tournament since the Masters, so he’s a risk that I’m ok taking in a shallow B-list.
Freddie Jacobson: Jacobson has made 10 straight cuts which is why I’ll grab him for my last spot to help make sure all my risks don’t come back to bite me. He’s made the cut in nine of ten career appearances here and has a handful of top 20 finishes.
Other Options: Jimmy Walker, Ben Crane, Aaron Baddeley, Steve Marino
John Rollins: Rollins has made 11 of 14 cuts this year and is coming off a t4 at the Colonial. He will be looking for his 10th top-25 of the season and has two top-25′s in his last three trips to the St. Jude.
Russell Henley: Henley made a splash early this season winning the Sony Open in his first PGA start. He’s played well lately too with a pair of t6′s in his last four starts including last week at the Memorial. It’s his first appearance here, but that hasn’t slowed him in the past so I’ll get him on my team this week.
Other Options: Jordan Spieth, Ryan Palmer