Fantasy PGA Preview: St Jude Classic

With the second official major just around the corner, I am here with Draftkings prices to give you some inside information on who I like this week.

The Memorial Tournament recap

They always say golf is a gentleman’s game. Unfortunately, nobility bit me in the arse last week. Yes, I am talking about Justin Rose and his self assessed one stroke penalty for a double hit. Video evidence was inconclusive but he still went ahead and docked himself the one stroke. Of course, this lead to him missing the cut by one stroke. Sure he didn’t look good on either Thursday or Friday but all a PGA player needs sometimes is one round to charge up the leaderboard.

I started off with the unfortunate pick first because all the others were not bad plays at all. Stewart Cink (49th) continued his trend of just making the cut and hanging around. Jason Day (37th) played solid but a little underachieving for his price. Jordan Spieth and Bo Van Pelt both tied for 19th. Van Pelt was a great play. Finally we get to the best pick of them all. Event winner Hideki Matsuyama. He kept me afloat in most leagues. What is funny is that I wrote ‘his current form was trending in the right direction.’ The last person I said that about was Martin Kaymer before THE PLAYERS. Something there maybe? Also I mentioned Annika Sorenstam was being honoured at The Memorial, and not a single Swedish player missed the cut.

So yet again another first time winner on Tour. Ensuring we will see plenty of Hideki for at least the next two years. A lot of “experts” are saying how this is bad for golf, that we need the favourites to win. I say that is not true. The more we see first time winners win, the more we will see them in years to come.

St Jude Classic

Last stop before the US Open. This week the tour heads to Memphis, Tennessee for the The St. Jude Classic, played on the TPC Southwind course. This course features 94 sand bunkers and an island green (11th) similar to the 17th at Sawgrass.

The course runs 7,239 yards and plays to a Par 70. It will have fast greens, narrow fairways and long rough. Usually it serves well as a US Open warm-up course, but Pinehurst, the location of next week’s Open, does not have rough, so there you go.

The weather might be an issue this year. With 80% and 90% chance of rain Thursday and Friday. Not to mention thunderstorms on three of the four days. It might be a very start-stop-start tournament.

So far there have been a few withdrawals:

Matt Kuchar
Kevin Na
Seung-yul Noh
Justin Hicks
Victor Dubuisson

Golfers

Ryan Palmer usa flag 50x35 $9,800
So what isn’t to like about Palmer this week? If you look at the players above him on the price chart they all have some question marks hanging over them. Obviously none bigger that Phil Mickelson, but still performance-wise they have been a little spotty of late. Palmer is coming off a top 5 finish at the Crowne and has had back-to-back top 5 finishes at the St. Jude Classic the last two years. Pretty solid anchor right there; in fact, out of his 5 trips to the St Jude he has either earned a top 10 (3 times) or missed the cut altogether (twice). I am more leaning towards a top 10.
Zach Johnson usa flag 50x35 $9,600
The St Jude Classic is not a tournament that draws a lot of the top talent on the PGA Tour. Out of the top names that are in the field I like Zach Johnson the best. Why? He really needs to bounce back from his poor outing at one of his favourite tournaments, The Crowne Plaza. He finished 73rd there in what would have shocked most owners of Zach considering his success there. With the US Open next week, look for Zach to play his way into form for the US Open.
Billy Horschel usa flag 50x35 $8,900
If 2013 was Billy Horschels’ coming out party, 2014 he must have taken the party back inside. He was the model of consistency last year but this year not so much. His low point must have been missing the cut at the Zurich. The same tournament he won the year before. Since that MC he has gone 26th at THE PLAYERS and then last week 15th at The Memorial. If he can pull another solid finish together this week, he just might be my dark horse for a good finish at the US Open.

Value Plays

Shawn Stefani usa flag 50x35 $7,700
Since earning status on Tour for the rest of the season he has gone 4 of 5 in making the cut. His only slip up was at THE PLAYERS. This is not nearly the same level of talent as THE PLAYERS had. According to the official golf world rankings the strength of this field is equivalent to that of the Byron Nelson, which happens to be the last event Shawn played in, earning an 11th place finish. Also to make things better, Shawn finished 7th here last season.
Kevin Kisner usa flag 50x35 $7,000
Kisner has been one of those players flying under the radar. He has made 6 of his last 7 cuts this season. His only missed cut in that stretch came at The Crowne Plaza. He picked up a top 10 at the Wells Fargo four events ago and his history here at the St Jude has been solid. Out of all the players in this field with more than one start at this tourney, he is ranked 4th best in average finishing position.
Kevin Kisner just qualified for his first US Open Monday, he and his wife are inducing labour of their first kid this coming Monday. Then he is playing the US Open the following Thursday. Can’t in good faith recommend this as a good play.

Sleeper

Padraig Harrington $6,700
It has been a long time since I have written about Harrington. He is a total gut play for me. His recent form has been wildly inconsistent. Yet his history at this course has been 5 cuts made out of the last 7 straight starts. His last two starts here have earned him a finish of 13th or better. His last start on US soil was a 22nd at the Byron but then finished 61st at the European Tour’s flagship event the BMW Championship. If you don’t need that extra $300 then Kisner would make a solid sleeper but sometimes you just need that little bit extra. Harrington would be my guy.

So there you have it guys my picks for this weeks St Jude Classic.

Good luck to all.

Cheers!

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

Comments

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    Charley Hoffman has WD as well

  • Pinklevine

    Thanks for the write up and info. Hoffman and Na were gonna get some good run by me but I guess not :)…

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    So abit more info….Kevin Kisner just qualified for the US Open Monday, he and his wife are inducing labour of their first kid this coming Monday. Then he is playing the US Open the following Thursday.

    I am going to say that makes me VERY nervous for the St jude, if something gives it will be this tournament.

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