The Tour heads to one of my favorite Tour stops for the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis:
TPC Southwind is widely considered one of the best designs on Tour by the players and embraces a great charity in the St. Jude’s Hospitals. The event and the course do not quite get the recognition of other events and courses as the field is often weaker due to the US Open being on the following week.
But, it’s a fantastic design by Ron Prichard who was known for doing renovations of courses from my favorite architect, Donald Ross.
The course plays to 7,244 yards at a par-70. The final critical hole is the 453 yard par-4 18th hole.
The drive on 18 shows why it’s a hole with such great deviation in scores:
That red dot way up in the fairway is Brooks Koepka.
However, this is really an approach shot course and players that win here tend to be good from longer approach shots and some shorter approach shots due to some of the short par-4’s and par-5’s that may not be reachable with a mediocre drive. There’s always the possibility that a player like a Koepka can drive it well and overpower the course and leave themselves with shorter approaches and take advantage of the field anyway. This course generally favors the top players more, but that’s because the field usually presents itself with weaker players due to the US Open. But in the end, there’s a lot of different types of players that can win at Memphis.
PROJECTED WINNING SCORE: -14
Dustin Johnson +700
Brooks Koepka +900
Henrik Stenson +1,400
Phil Mickelson +1,400
Tony Finau +2,500
Daniel Berger +2,800
3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS
Joaquin Niemann +3,300
Luke List +4,000
Chris Kirk +8,000
Matt Jones +10,000