We have reached the final PGA Tour stop before the US Open.
The FedEx St Jude Classic will take place at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.
Plenty of big names are taking the opportunity to rest before the US Open. Other players are taking the week off because they got through US Open sectional qualifying this week.
Four of the world’s top 20 are in attendance, meaning it is not an elite field.
Events like this provide an opportunity for those of us who want to take a deeper dive and find an edge because it will be there.
Daniel Berger ($8,000) is the two-time defending champion. Nobody has won a PGA Tour event three straight years since Steve Stricker’s domination of the John Deere Classic from 2009-2011.
TPC Southwind will host this event for the 30th time. The course is a par-70 with only two par fives, spread across 7,244 yards.
The greens are Bermuda grass and are small, making them tough to hit. The greens will run true and won’t be overly quick.
Water is a theme of this course. The drink is in play on 11 holes and more than 5000 balls have met a watery grave during the existence of this event.
Course horses tend to show up here, a great narrative for you course history buffs.
Last week: The Memorial Tournament was a mixed bag. The column pegged nine players and seven made the cut.
Six finished inside the top 30 but nobody broke in to the top five.
My line-ups looked great heading in to the weekend but Adam Hadwin’s MDF ahead of the final round hurt a bit.
Roster construction is tricky this week.
There’s been a host of withdrawals based on who qualified for the US Open.
The lower end of the player pool is exceptionally weak so if you find someone you like in the $5K range, don’t be afraid to play them.
I will prioritise approach, bogey avoidance and putting for my rosters. This is a second-shot golf course so iron play will be crucial.
The winning score hovers around -12 so you don’t need players that can go really low. Bogey avoidance will also be useful because there’s not a lot of scoring holes if you drop shots.
$8K & $9K Range
Brooks Koepka ($8,900) – Last year’s US Open champion is in hot form and brings nice course history.
Koepka isn’t an elite iron player but his putting is lights out and his driver is a weapon.
He has finished second and third here in the past three years and has made three straight cuts following his return from a wrist injury.
The American is one of the few world-class players in this field.
Henrik Stenson ($8,300) – If you don’t want to pay up for Koepka or Dustin Johnson ($9,400) then Stenson is your guy.
The Iceman continues to put up solid finishes and was T13 last week with another steady performance.
He has been prone to the odd withdrawal in the past and a major is looming next week, which is a mild concern.
But his price allows you to roster an elite player at a discount.
If you roster two players in the top tier then the $7K range may go overlooked.
Tony Finau ($7,400) – The big-hitter from Utah has crushed it tee-to-green this season and ranks 18th on Tour.
He’s 15th in scoring average and has threatened to register his second PGA Tour victory with five top-10 finishes.
Finau can find his way to the top of a field like this one.
This is the range where the $20 GPP may be won and lost
Peter Uihlein ($6,800) – The well-travelled American has been on a tear recently.
He has two top-fives in his past three events, bookending a T21 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The 28-year-old has gained strokes on the field in his past three events, something I wanted to see.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($6,700) – Thailand’s John Daly tees it up on a sponsor’s invite this week.
He needs a collection of FedEx Cup points to secure a Tour card for next season so he won’t be short on motivation.
Aphibarnrat’s consistency is admirable and he has made the cut in 24 of his past 25 events worldwide.
He was under 10% owned in the $20 GPP last week but I pick he will have more fans here.
Luke List ($6,600) – The long-hitting List always pops up in statistical projections.
He makes a lot of cuts and can return his value at this price. List finished 18th at this event last year.
The 33-year-old is third in strokes gained: tee-to-green on Tour this season.
Kevin Chappell ($6,200) – You’re going to have to get past his woeful recent form if you want to get aboard the Chappell train.
He’s missed four of his past five cuts but his ball-striking should place him nicely for this event.
He was fourth here last season and crushes his irons. Chappell won’t be popular so could make a nice pivot play in this range.
Ben Crane ($5,900) – Crane is a course horse who has flashed some form of late.
The PGA Tour veteran has made five cuts on the bounce and has, remarkably, gained strokes putting on the field in his past 14 events.
Crane won’t rack up the Moneyball points for you but if you get a cut-maker at this price then it’s good by me.
Joel Dahmen ($5,700) – Dahmen might not slide under the radar but I like him at this price.
He hits irons nicely and has finished inside the top 20 in his past three events.
Dahmen also claimed a share of 18th place here last year.
Piece of Chalk: Everybody will probably be all over Luke List ($6,600) but I will go down with the ship. He has to win an event sometime soon.
Scrub-A-Dub: Don’t over look Joel Dahmen at $5,700.