The PGA Tour is in Memphis, Tennessee this week for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Dustin Johnson defends the title around the 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, Dustin Johnson birdied two of his last three holes to beat John Merrick by a single stroke. Johnson will be back to defend his title, but is struggling for form after suffering back problems.
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 should provide the ideal training ground for the year’s second Major, even if the course isn’t particularly similar in style to Merion.
It’s set to be a hot week in Memphis with temperatures up towards 90 during the event. Rain is also probable and that might mean thunderstorms.
Venue: TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
Date: Jun 6-9
Course stats: par 70, 7,244 yards
Purse: $5,700,000 Winner: $1,008,000
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-9)
Thursday 6 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 7 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 8 – Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Sunday 9 – Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Scott Stallings – He’s been tied fourth in his last two starts and has made the top-25 in this event before. He could be the man to step it up this week.
Russell Henley – Another man who played well last week, with a tied sixth. He’s had an excellent season and is definitely capable of winning this event, even though it is his first start in the tournament.
George Coetzee – The talented South African has been threatening to win on both sides of the Atlantic for too long. He’ll win sooner or later, and it could well be sooner.
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.
European Tour – Lyoness Open preview