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Sunday, June 7, 2015

FedEx St. Jude Classic - Preview

The next stop on the PGA TOUR is the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, and here is a preview to get you off and running. Of note, this is the final primer before the U.S. Open, and quite a few of the players will expend some energy at 36-hole U.S. Open qualifiers on Monday.

TPC Southward is a 7,239 yard par-70 layout with two par 5s, four par 3s and 12 par 4s. It has served as the host venue since 1989, so all course history is fair game. It did switch from a par 71 to a par 70 in 2005, which is our normal jumping off point for looking back at past winners and runners-up anyway. With that, let's take a peek.

  • 2005: Winner - Justin Leonard (14-under 266) over David Toms (267)
  • 2006: Winner - Jeff Maggert (271) over Tom Pernice Jr. (274)
  • 2007: Winner - Woody Austin (267) over Brian Davis (272)
  • 2008: Winner - Justin Leonard (276) over Robert Allenby and Trevor Immelman (playoff)
  • 2009: Winner - Brian Gay (262) over David Toms and Bryce Molder (267)
  • 2010: Winner - Lee Westwood (270) over Robert Garrigus and Robert Karlsson (playoff)
  • 2011: Winner - Harrison Frazar (267) over Robert Karlsson (playoff)
  • 2012: Winner - Dustin Johnson (271) over John Merrick (272)
  • 2013: Winner - Harris English (268) over Phil Mickelson and Scott Stallings (270)
  • 2014: Winner - Ben Crane (270) over Troy Merritt (271)
To be honest, this list is kind of a nightmare. There are bombers and short hitters. Ball-strikers and great putters. Accurate players and those that spray it. From a statistical standpoint, the game plan is to keep it simple. Par 4 scoring average is obvious, and because there are only two par 5s, that also elevates par 3 scoring average. Strokes gained: tee-to-green is becoming a catch all because it essentially identifies which ball-strikers are also decent putters. Thought being, you can't gain strokes tee-to-green if you don't actually gain strokes at all. 

More important this week is looking at current form and course history. Sprinkle in some class as well. 

We will return later this week with a power ranking and a one-and-done pick.

Until then, happy research!

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