After the incredible playoff at the Memorial the PGA Tour moves on this week. Not surprisingly the FedEx St Jude Classic will be light on heavy hitters this week as this event is sandwiched between the Memorial Tournament and the US Open. Many of the top players in the world will use this week to rest and prepare for the US Open in two weeks. That does not mean the FedEx St Jude Classic is without star power. Six of the world’s top 30 are still in the field.
In its 27th year of existence, the TPC Southwind will show off its natural lakes, ponds, and rolling countryside as envisioned by its designer Ron Prichard. 2004 brought additional length and green surface changes that will also be on display this week. The 72-hole record for this event belongs to John Cook in 1996 with a 258. Two players have fired a course record 61 since the tournament moved to TPC Southwind (Jay Delsing 1993 and Bob Estes 2001).
Dates: June 11-14 2015
Course: TPC Southwind
Stats: Par 70, 7,239 yards
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel-4-7 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel-4-7 PM EST
Saturday: Golf Channel -1-2:30 PM EST, CBS – 3-6 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel -1-2:30 PM EST, CBS – 3-6 PM EST
Purse: $6 million total purse, $1.08 million winners share
2015 FedEx St Jude Classic Predictions, Picks at TPC Southwind Hole Breakdown
I am going to highlight four holes that could be a key to success this week at the FedEx St Jude Classic. Three holes are chosen due to their difficulty and one because it has served as a swing hole in past editions and will most likely do so again.
The 162 yard par-3 11th hole tends to conjure up memories of 17 at TPC Sawgrass due to its island green. The pot bunker guarding the front edge will serve as savior and executioner for balls that just missed the water. Making par here is safe and many players will attempt to do just that and move on. Players cannot win the tournament here but they sure can lose it.
The 16th is not being mentioned because of its difficulty but rather its position as a stroke gaining hole for the players. Missing opportunities here can cost players the event. As a par-5 that plays 530 yards it is a hole that most of the field can reach in two. It is uphill with a small well-guarded green but will yield a number of birdies and the occasional eagle this week. On Sunday an Eagle here just might decide it all. Watch out for 16 all week, drama will unfold here.
The 17th hole will provide a challenge all week. As a par-4 playing almost 500 yards, a long tee shot will be required to set up a long approach into a narrow green surrounded by six bunkers. The long approach at 17 will require a carry over a creek which has seen its share of balls over the years. Bogie or worse could be in play on this hole at any time. The mindset of the field here is to just make par and that is the right way to play 17.
The 453 yard par-4 18th will add to the drama at the end of the event. A dog leg left with water as a factor and bunkers in the fairway down the right side into an average sized green is the perfect complement to 17 at the end of a round at TPC Southwind. Anything from birdie to double are all in play at the finishing hole. Don’t be shocked if the FedEx St Jude Classic is decided on the 72nd hole.
2015 FedEx St Jude Classic Predictions, Picks at TPC Southwind Top Picks
A full field will be at the TPC Southwind this week for the event. Who is the most likely to win this week at the 2015 FedEx St Jude Classic? Attempting to pick a winner out of a full field event is a lot like a needle in a haystack. It’s time for the top picks of the 2015 FedEx St Jude Classic Predictions, Picks at TPC Southwind.
|Troy Merritt||This pick is as much about him as it is the realitive lesser overall field. He finished solo 6th at the Valspar Championship and 3rd at the RBC Heritage this season in "lesser field" events. He was the runner-up here last year in his first attempt and this course appears to fit his eye. He is a sleeper this week but should nto be overlooked.|
|Phil Mickelson||He is tuning in for the elusive major title that he has not managed to capture, the US Open. He modified his normal routine a couple of years ago by playing this week which is something he did not normally do. He finished tied for 11th last year and took runner-up honors in 2013. He has two top-5s in his last four starts including a runner-up finish at the Masters.|
|Dustin Johnson||He is tuning up for another run at a major championship this week in Memphis. In his career at the FedEx St Jude Classic he finished in the top-25 last year, tied for 10th in 2013 and won the event in his first start here in 2012. His last two starts are a tie for 13th last week and tie for 8th the week prior. He has already won the WGC Cadillac Championship earlier this year.|