A decent field will tee off in Memphis for the St Jude Classic as players look to hone their game ahead of next week's US Open. Golf tipster David August has four selections at prices from 20-1 to 80-1.
WHERE: TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee.
NOTES ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: The 2012 St Jude champion Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson head the line-up and are among six entries from the top-30 in the world rankings. Only five non-Americans have won this tournament with the most recent being Lee Westwood in 2010, while no player has won the pre-US Open event and followed up by capturing that major title.
COURSE CHARACTERISTICS: The signature hole of the 7,239yd par-70 layout is the par-3 11th which, with its small island green, is similar to the 17th at Sawgrass (PLAYERS Championship). The track ranked as the second hardest among the non-major par-70s used on the schedule in 2014. The Bermuda grass greens are smaller than average, while water comes into play at 10 holes and there are nine dog-legs to negotiate.
THE MAIN MEN
DUSTIN JOHNSON (6-1): Was returning from back injury when capturing the 2012 edition of the St Jude Classic and has finished 10th and 24th in two subsequent starts. In decent enough form to go close again.
BILLY HORSCHEL (18-1): Has to be one for the short-list with consecutive top-10s in the last two stagings of this event and three successive top-20s recently, one of which was an 11th on Sunday.
PHIL MICKELSON (18-1): Runner-up twice and 11th in 2014 is a pretty decent return from three outings at Southwind since 2002. Needs to bounce back from poor effort last week.
WEBB SIMPSON (18-1): A third in the 2014 renewal of the St Jude Classic along with a second at Quail Hollow last time out makes him one to be definitely interested in.
RYAN PALMER (20-1): Posted three top-10s in the St Jude with the best being a third in 2012. Returned to form when tying for 10th in the Byron Nelson last time out and is worth a punt at 20-1.
HARRIS ENGLISH (25-1): Came home two shots in front of the field in 2013 but missed the cut 12 months later as defending champion. Rock-solid tied 18th on Sunday at Muirfield Village.
BROOKS KOEPKA (30-1): Started and ended with rounds of 67 to sneak into the top-20 on debut 12 months ago. Good recent 16th in the Byron Nelson.
LUKE DONALD (40-1): Will be boosted by successfully qualifying for next week's US Open at The Bears Club in Florida on Monday and a solid top-20 in the Irish Open.
JAMIE DONALDSON (40-1): Could make an impact on his St Jude debut as his recent form includes an eighth (PLAYERS) and two top-20s.
RUSSELL KNOX (50-1): Six starts on from a missed cut in the Texas Open have produced four top-25s including ones in the PLAYERS and Memorial tournaments.
GRAEME McDOWELL (50-1): Not bettered a debut seventh in two subsequent starts in the St Jude Classic, although a 24th was respectable. Strong form when ninth in Dubai earlier this year.
GEORGE McNEILL (50-1): With a fifth (Crowne Plaza Invitational) and four top-20s in seven recent tournament appearances, I reckon he will improve on a dismal record in this event and is worth a wager at 50-1.
SHAWN STEFANI (50-1): Led with a day to go on his debut in 2013 only to card a 76 and slip back to seventh. That's still a decent effort as is a recent ninth in the Wells Fargo Championship.
JASON BOHN (66-1): Two of three top-25s have come in each of the last two seasons. Going to ignore a disappointing week in Ohio and hope he can return to his previous form (second/fourth) and prove a profitable each-way wager.
JERRY KELLY (66-1): Course and distance form is nothing special, but a 10th and three top-25s in five recent outings is decent enough.
CAMERON TRINGALE (): Just a solitary top-10 (eighth in 2011) so far but he's only played four times at Southwind. Claims on a second in the Zurich Classic.
BRENDON de JONGE (70-1): Tournament form is nothing special, however, he's playing well enough of late to merit consideration.
CHESSON HADLEY (80-1): Carded three rounds in the 60s on his way to a solid debut 13th last year. An eighth and three top-25s figure in five recent starts.
BRIAN HARMAN (80-1): Finally worked out how to play Southwind when sixth 12 months ago and as four recent outings include a couple of top-10s, I think he's overpriced at 80-1.
COLT KNOST (150-1): A 15th place finish is sandwiched between two missed cuts at Southwind. Prior to last week's disappointing effort in Ohio he'd post successive tied 10ths in Texas.
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