Even though the field at The FedEx St. Jude Classic is not as strong as we saw last week at Muirfield Village, there are some very good players at TPC Southwind this week. Some of those players spent time on the leaderboard at Jack’s Place but didn’t quite get the job done on the weekend. I expect continued good-play from some of those players this week in Memphis.
TPC Southwind ranks third in difficulty for par 70 courses on the PGA Tour, and whoever hoists the trophy on Sunday afternoon will need to shoot four rounds in the 60’s to get the job done.
With that being said, the big hitters who can drive with accuracy will do well at this venue. If players have trouble finding the smallish greens, players who can scramble at a high level have to be the favorites.
With only eight days until the US Open gets underway, it could be a stern test for those looking forward to Pinehurst next week.
I liked what I saw from Billy Horschel last week at Muirfield Village. The former Florida Gator hasn’t done much since his 2013 win at The Zurich Classic but looks to have his game, and golf swing back on track. A 74 on Sunday took him off the leaderboard, and he finished T 15 at Jack’s Place. He Tied for 10th place here last year, and a win in 2014 would set his career back on course for the good things we were expecting from him last year.
Anytime Dustin Johnson tees it up for a tournament, you have to include him on the Fantasy list. He picked up the win here in 2012 and finished with Billy Ho in a tie for 10th place last year. We all know he has the distance to compete in Memphis, it all depends on his short game that come and goes at times. Dustin is ranked fourth in the FedEx Cup standings, has had six top 15 finishes this year, and tied 14 in his last outing at Colonial two weeks ago.
Paul Casey is a man on a mission to get his golf game back in order and had he been able to score on the weekend at the Memorial, might have gotten it done there. Casey will be making his first appearance at TPC Southwind, but has the type of game that could get the job done here. He led at the halfway point at Muirfield Village but scores in the 70’s on the weekend short-circuited his comeback. Paul Casey has six top 20’s in just 10 starts this season, and only needs a win to complete the comeback.
Lee Westwood is another player who is on the come-back trail and needs a win on the PGA Tour to get the job done. Lee won here in 2010 and finished T11 in 2011. He has top tens in three of his five starts including a T 6 at the Players. We all know he can still play with his European Tour win at The Maybank Malaysian Open back in April.
Phil is on a mission to win the US Open this year, and with no top ten’s on the year, this would be a great place for him to establish his game. He finished T 2 here last year, and lost in a three-way playoff to Harris English that included Scott Stallings. If a victory at TPC Southwind comes down to a scramble duel, who better than Phil Mickelson to win that duel. The big question with Phil always centers around his ability to get the ball somewhere close to the fairway, and then there’s his personal problems that hasn’t seemed to interfere with his golf game.