FedEx St Jude Classic | Thursday 11 June - Sunday 14 June | TPC Southwind
With the US Open just around the corner, no-one can speak about much other than the second Major of the year. We try not get distracted by such things and like to keep an eye on all tournaments, especially when there’s an abundance of value on offer. With a number of the bigger names in the game steering clear of this one as they prepare mentally for Chambers Bay, the door has been opened for some lesser known players who will be champing at the bit to prove themselves. This is easier said than done though as TPC Southwind is a difficult course that will offer a number of challenges and the winner will need to possess a good all around game if he is going to go the distance. With water in play on most holes and a thick rough lining the fairways, mis-hit tee shots and approaches will be punished severely and consistency will be key. As usual, the ability to sink putts will also be important as birdies can be tough to come by. So who will take this one and build a head of steam heading into the US Open?
To Win Outright
Dustin Johnson 6/1
Ryan Palmer 14/1
Billy Horschel 14/1
Webb Simpson 16/1
Phil Mickelson 16/1
Dustin Johnson (6/1 a win, 13/10 a place)
Sure, Dustin Johnson is available at a ridiculous price this week but that’s due to the fact that he’s the in-form player in the field and that he loves this course. He showed in the Memorial that he has what it takes to overpower layouts like this and were it not for a couple of poor shots he could have easily found himself in the Top 5 last week. If he putts here like he did last week he’ll be near the top come Sunday so don’t ignore Johnson just because he’s available at such short odds.
Billy Horschel (14/1 a win, 3/1 a place)
Billy Horschel is definitely one to keep an eye on this week as he arrives at TPC Southwind with the lethal combination of current and course form that always makes a player worth backing. He looked to be hitting the ball well in the Players and carried that form through to the Memorial, and perhaps more importantly, he thrives on this layout. He just missed out on a Top 5 here last year; I’m backing him to go one better this time around.
Jamie Donaldson (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Jamie Donaldson will arrive here not knowing what to expect but he’ll be used to that by now, having only recently started playing on the PGA Tour. Although he’s struggled at times he has fired on more than one occasion and it’s only a matter of time before he puts himself in contention. After seeing how he played in the Players it seems that finish could come sooner rather than later and I’m backing him to play well on a course that should suit his game. Each way on Donaldson seems a good value bet.
Ryan Palmer (14/1 a win, 3/1 a place)
Ryan Palmer looks to have better course form than anyone this week and he’s definitely going to be one to keep an eye on, especially at this price. It’s slightly concerning that he is so erratic but his missed cuts can be ignored given that he has a number of Top 10s under his belt already this season. Add to that his course form, which has seen him finish inside the Top 5 here in his last three starts, and you have a great bet. At this price Palmer can’t be ignored and I’m backing him each way.