No Prayers To St. Jude Needed For Dustin
St. Jude Classic
Dustin Johnson is a worthy antepost favourite for the FedEx St. Jude Classic at 11/2 which he won in 2012.
The tournament that used to be known as the Memphis Open has been going since 1958, and since 2007 it has been the last event before the US Open, a chance for the leading contenders to fine tune their game ahead of the season’s second Major.
Fifteen of the last sixteen winners have been from the United States, and Lee Westwood is the only foreign golfer to win it in the last ten years.
TPC Southwind in Memphis is just over 7200 yards long, and although the fairways are spacious and there are few bunkers to contend with, the course is rated one of the toughest on the PGA Tour. The rough is unforgiving and the greens are small, undulating and fiendishly hard to hit. Accuracy and distance from the tee are vital, and players also have to cope with occasional downpours and high humidity.
In The Bunker
A second at the Masters and a top five finish at Quail Hollow a month later suggested Phil Mickelson was returning to his best, which made his poor effort at Memorial last week all the more disappointing.
He has a decent record in this event, finishing 11th last year and runner-up in 2013 but his winless streak is just a month short of two years and his up and down form suggests that you can’t bank on Phil at the moment.
The Dustin Johnson revival ground to a halt after his sixth at the Masters, but a fortnight off following the Players Championship appears to have done him some good and he has looked in good nick in his last couple of outings, so given his strong record in this tournament, I’m sticking with him in Memphis.
He won at Southwind in 2012 and made the top ten there in 2013, and is a worthy antepost favourite.
A third at the Texas Open was all that Billy Horschel had to show for a disappointing first four months of 2015, but a top fifteen finish at the Players Championship was promising, and he returned from a month off to register a solid eleventh at the Memorial last week. He has got to grips with the course at Southwind in his last couple of visits, finishing tenth in 2013 and sixth last year, and he’s a good bet at 16/1 this week.
After a run of poor results, I tipped Ryan Palmer to improve at the Byron Nelson a couple of weeks ago and although he didn’t manage to land the odds, his top ten finish was a positive sign, so he’s worth giving another chance to this week, at a course where he has a good record. He registered top five finishes at Southwind in 2012 and 2013 and at 16/1 looks a solid bet.