St Jude Classic | Thursday 06 June - Sunday 09 June | TPC Southwind
The St Jude Classic tees off in Memphis, Tennessee this week and will be hosted at the infamous TPC Southwind. This par 70 course stands at 7,244 yards and provides golfers with numerous challenges. The par 3 14th is regarded as one of the most difficult holes on the Tour but is forgiving elsewhere, so scores can get low. The field is lacking some of the bigger names in the game and most noticeable is the absence of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. I hate to say I told you so, but it would have been foolish to back Tiger at the price he was on offer at last week. Clearly he’s off licking his wounds this week and this means that Lefty finds himself as favourite in a fairly weak field. The question is whether or not this rating is justified? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Brandt Snedeker 14/1
Dustin Johnson 18/1
Ryan Palmer 22/1
Billy Horschel 28/1
Robert Karlsson (33/1 a win, 8/1 a place)
Robert Karlsson has yet to win on the PGA Tour but has come incredibly close on at least two occasions. Guess what? Those two occassions were right here, in 2010 and 2011. Both times he made it into a playoff, only to be narrowly edged out. If he has made it that far in the past I see no reason why he can’t give it another go this time around. He’s in form at the moment, having managed a T4 at the Wells Fargo and hopefully he carries some of that form into this. Each way looks the way to go here.
John Merrick (55/1 a win, 14/1 a place)
It’s always a risk backing the lesser known players but when a player like Merrick is on offer at 55/1, in a field like this you can’t help but think that the 14/1 a place is a great bet. He won earlier in the year in the Northern Trust Open and loves this tournament, having been narrowly edged out by Dustin Johnson here last year. 55/1 a win is worth a small bet but the places look great to me.
Ryan Palmer (22/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
I’m sticking with players who’ve played well here in the past few years and the next one to catch my eye is Ryan Palmer. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play and it’s been a pleasure seeing him in action lately. He’s hitting the ball clean and getting results. His T5 at the Players and T14 at Colonial were both well deserved, and on top of this great current form he was 3rd here last year. This is definitely another player with a big chance. Get on.
TOP BET: Dustin Johnson (18/1 a win, 9/2 a place)
With a lot of the top names in the game sitting this one out, I reckon the time is right for Johnson to strike. If you look at his current form and the fact that he won here last year, I find it pretty surprising that he’s not the favourite. If I were a bookie I certainly would not want to be laying this bet, so as a punter I’ll be taking advantage. Hopefully Johnson will justify my confidence in him to take his second win of the season. 18/1 looks like a lot of value to me, get on while you can.