2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic: Dustin Johnson Withdraws


Dustin Johnson withdraws from FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson was the overwhelming favorite coming into the FedEx St. Jude Classic and in the golf world that is bad news. We see it week in and week out favorites under performing and this week was no exception.

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Johnson sat at 3-over par after nine holes and decided to call it quits, citing an illness. It’s not exactly an ideal time to leave a tournament sick with the U.S. Open next week.

Last year, at the Shell Houston Open, Johnson withdrew after shooting an 80 citing a back injury. The very next week at The Masters he missed the cut. Just something to keep in mind moving forward.

It’s an unfortunate situation and Brooks Koepka knows about bad timing. Koepka is one of the last golfers you’d expect to withdraw from a tournament.

So, that’s why at the Arnold Palmer Invitational it was a shock to see him withdraw, but it was for good reason as his rib was dislocated.

That unfortunate injury hindered his time to get ready for The Masters. Unfortunately, Koepka wasn’t in peak form then, but he seems to be making up for it as he looks pretty healthy now.

Koepka turned in a colorful scorecard birding eight to go along with his two bogeys. That 6-under 64 has held up as he still currently has a share of the lead. Koepka is tied along side Greg Owen and Ryan Palmer as they both shot bogey-free rounds.

Palmer may not like Chambers Bay, but he is playing well enough of late to give himself a shot at competing for the U.S. Open title next week.

Steven Aiker and Scott Brown finished up at 5-under par. Meanwhile, Richard Sterne is 5-under as well thru 13 holes. We’ll be keeping an eye on Sterne to see what he does to finish off his round.

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After paring the first four holes, Ben Crane went on a birdie spree. Crane birded seven of the next nine holes. Crane wouldn’t be able to keep up that pace though as he eventually bogeyed three holes to drop to 4-under for the day.

We could say the same thing about Phil Mickelson as he birded four of his first seven holes, but eventually dropped a couple of shots to finish up at 2-under for the day. As it stands now, that’s good for T-19.

I’d be remiss to not mention Tommy Gainey and Tom Gillis. They sit at 4-under with Crane currently in a tie for 7th. Brian Davis is looking to join that group as he is currently 4-under with two holes to play.

Here are some of the other notable golfers that have finished up:

Stewart Cink, Max Homa, and Matt Every (all 2-under par). Steven Bowditch (winner two weeks ago) Robert Castro  (qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday), Luke Donald, Harris English, and Webb Simpson all currently sit at 1-under.

One of the other big favorites coming in was Billy Horschel. He was a slam dunk pick on paper, but it’s playing out a little differently on the course as Horschel finished up at 1-over.

Currently, that’s outside the top 70, so Horschel is going to have to do a little bit of work tomorrow.

One final notable is Graeme McDowell as he continues to struggle. McDowell finished up at 6-over par and he will have to really go low tomorrow if he wants to make the cut. Very unlikely that happens.

G-Mac is in poor form heading into the U.S. Open, but you never know. I wouldn’t be quick to write him off just yet. This is golf. As we see week to week things change very quickly.

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