The PGA Tour is in Memphis, Tennessee this week for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Harris English defends the title around TPC Southwind as the top players complete their final preparations for next week’s US Open.

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Lowdown:
The PGA Tour is in Memphis, Tennessee this week for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Harris English defends the title around TPC Southwind as the top players complete their final preparations for next week’s US Open.

This tournament began life as the Memphis Invitational in 1945 and since then has witnessed some notable winners including: Tommy Bolt, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Tom Kite, Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Nick Price.

Last year Harris English birdied two of his last three holes to hold off the challenge of Phil Mickelson and Scott Stallings and to win his first PGA Tour title. All three of those men will start again this week.

The course at Southwind is tight and testing where both fairways and greens are notoriously tricky to find. It consistently ranks as one of the toughest courses visited by the PGA Tour. As such, it makes ideal training ground for the year’s second Major and that’s why so many top players will tee it up at Southwind this week. In 2013 the scoring average was almost a full shot above the par of 70.

The weather forecast for the week looks decidedly unpredictable. It’s looking likely to be hot with the risk of thunderstorms and reasonably strong winds.

Venue: TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
Date: Jun 5-8
Course stats: par 70, 7,239 yards
Purse: $5,800,000 Winner: $1,044,000
Defending Champion: Harris English (-12)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player Watch:
Paul Casey – Showing signs of returning to the sort of form we expect from the Englishman. He finished tied 13th at Memorial despite a disappointing weekend. He was leading after 36 holes and if he can put four good ones together, he could be a factor.

John Senden – The Australian has been enjoying an excellent season. He won the Valspar Championship in March, was tied eighth at Augusta and tied fifth in his last start at Colonial. He has two top-10 finishes in this event.

Thorbjorn Olesen – Something of a long shot but the super-talented Dane showed some game in the Memorial last week to finish in a tie for eighth. He’s a streaky player and that good result could just trigger a purple patch.

Key hole: 16th. At 530 yards it’s an eminently reachable par five. The approach shot must be played uphill to a small, well-bunkered green. Realistically, anything worse than birdie here will feel like a dropped shot.