The Memorial Tournament provided us with a vintage display of what it takes to win that prestigious Championship. Matt Kuchar played accurate and intelligent golf all week, giving us a great outright winner. We said that we needed a victory before the US OPEN and we went out and got exactly that. Adding another 2-0 week in head to head category was a great bonus (along with continuing our amazing season for 2unit plays).
This victory by Kuchar and the poor performance by Tiger, should only add to the circus that will be The United States Open. We do have one more tournament to analyze and another opportunity to get those accounts up before the years second major. Here is a look at the course that will challenge the players this week.
This week the Tour heads to Memphis, Tennessee for the St. Jude Classic. Some players will be using this tournament as preparation for next week’s U.S. Open. I have been hard at work preparing myself for the US Open all season, and will continue to do so right up to next week.
This week however we look to head into the 2nd major of the year on a hot streak. The players will be playing a beautiful course when they tee it up at TPC Southwind. The course will be playing as a Par 70 and at 7255yards in length. Look for players who are accurate and talented putters to be the cream of the crop this week.
TPC Southwind is a difficult track, and you can expect a winning score of around –11 this week. It utilizes well-placed hazards (10 water hazards), and bunkers that will catch the slightly errant shot (94 bunkers). The greens at TPC Southwind have plenty of breaks that only a player with previous course knowledge will be able to read. Look for experience to play a factor this week.
Two holes that may play a very large factor this week are the 17th and 18th. Both holes are Par 4’s and will challenge the players to close out their rounds properly. With both holes being extremely difficult, they could very well decide the tournament on Sunday.
We have a mixed bag of players playing this week. A few big names (Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Brandt Snedeker) are here to get their games into form for next week’s US Open. We also have some older journeymen in the field, as many notables have taken this week off to rest up. Many people debate which philosophy is the proper one, but I feel it is very dependent on the player.
Last year’s champion Dustin Johnson returns to defend his title, along with six other past champions. As I mentioned previously this week, you will also notice plenty of players who are 40 and older teeing it up. Players who have played the St Jude Classic before tend to return year in year out. This is a course that has seen success from veterans as it puts a premium on accuracy.
Steve’s Pick for St. Jude Classic 2013
Below is one of our six members only picks. If you want to receive all picks please sign up at www.GolfBanker.com
Freddie Jacobson 35 TO 1 – We go with the Swedish short game magician as our next selection. We had a very close call earlier this season at The Northern Trust Open with Freddie, a tournament he should have won but surprisingly blew it on the final few holes. He has however enjoyed a very successful 2013 campaign, posting eight Top 25’s in just eleven starts. He comes in on the heels of a T35 at The Crowne Plaza Invitational, but should have finished much better if it were not for his final round 75. Freddie has plenty of experience at the St Jude Classic and has enjoyed some terrific finishes here. Over the past twelves seasons at this event Freddie’s finishes are as follows ( 2003 – T3, 2004 – T5, 2005 – T6, 2006 – CUT, 2007 – T17, 2008 – T42, 2009 – T39, 2010 – T15, 2011 – T32, 2012 – T27). Freddie is not known as the most accurate player, but instead relies on his unbelievable short game for his scoring. Freddie sits 21st on Tour for Strokes gained through Putting, 11th for Total Putting, and 13 for Scrambling. I feel a key for Freddie this week will obviously be to hit plenty of fairways, but also to have a good finish to the tournament. He ranks 3rd on Tour for pre-cut scoring average, and just 85th for final round scoring average.