Tournament: FedEx St. Jude Classic, June 8-11
Course: TPC Southwind, 7,244 yards, par 70 (just outside Memphis, TN)
Defending Champion: Daniel Berger. The fomer FSU Seminole snagged the lead after a 2nd round 64, then shot solid golf the last two days holding off charges by long hitting Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, an Steve Stricker. It was Berger’s first PGA Tour victory.
Fun Fact: The tournament is the brainchild of former TV star Danny Thomas, and all for benefitting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Also, no winner of the tournament immediately preceeding the US Open has gone on to win the Open. So if you’re looking for who to place in your US Open fantasy draft, don’t pick this week’s winner.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Four): Harris English, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Hudson Swafford
Only two of the five former ‘Dawgs made the cut last week, but those two stayed in contention. Kevin Kisner continued his strong play, while Bubba Watson played something close to form as they both tied for 6th place and $281,000+ each.
Now we turn our attention to muggy Memphis, on the banks of the Mississippi. This is the final tune-up before the US Open, so players either skip this week in order to work on their games at home, or play this week in hopes of sharpening up their game under competition pressure. Either way, there are plenty of good players in the field (Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler) and it is played on a much tougher TPC Southwind course (much tougher in recent years).
Harris English made this his first PGA Tour victory in 2013, only 2 years removed from UGA at the time. He returns here as a past champion, and having made it through the local US Open qualifier - so he’s in the field next week as well.
Russell Henley returns to competition, having played off and on since his win at Houston immediately before the Masters.
Chris Kirk has had mixed results, which is a departure from his normally steady play. Kirk has 4 Tour titles and yuge amounts of earnings, but missing 6 cuts in his last 10 entries just isn’t right.
Hudson Swafford was previously the active Tour leader in consecutive cuts made, but after capturing his first Tour win in January, he promptly missed 3 cuts. He straightened it back out in the Spring, including two top 10s, but is coming off 3 missed cuts in a row.
No one wants to see more Keith Shelton Paisley Urban at a hockey game, and no one cares about KD vs. LBJ as the planet’s best basketball player, so grab your remote and turn it on over to golf and root on some Bulldogs.
And as always...
*For those of you who track such things, UGA is the three-time defending champion of college progam alumni earning prize money on the PGA Tour. After a slow start, Georgia is now back atop the rankings, all of $20k ahead of 2nd place Arizona State and $3.8M ahead of 3rd place Oklahoma State.