FedEx St.Jude Classic - Fantasy Picks - Presented by DraftKings
This week the PGA Tour is off to TPC Southwinds in Memphis, Tennessee for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. As the final event prior to the seasons second major championship, the U.S. Open, this week plays a vital role, that should surley keep viewers engaged throughout the coming days. Although a fantastic stand alone event, sitting in the foreshadows of the U.S. Open, it certainly adds additional elements of tension, emotion and excitment.
For some, like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson this week may include some last minute tweaking and fine tuning as they sharpen their game in anticipation for next weeks U.S. Open. For others, a good performance this week will be required if they have any hopes of playing the next weeks major. With U.S. Open spots available to the top 60 in the world rankings, players such as Luke Donald and Steve Bowditch will be looking to throw down outstanding performances in order to become late additions to the field. With tensions high, from differing perspectives, this could also leave the door open for any number of golfers to raise to the occasion.
Last year, Ben Crane opened the tournament with a sizzling round of 63, giving him a lead he was able to ride right through to the finish. The win for him couldn't have been timelier, as his first PGA Tour title in over two years. Riding the adrenaline of past memories, I'm sure Crane, as well as several of the other past champions in the field, will be looking for history to repeat itself this year.
With all that being said, lets take a look at some of the top players to keep an eye on this week.
Dustin Johnson - Past winner of this event (2012), is 4th on this year’s money list. Ranks first in driving distance at 317 yards and 9th in strokes gained tee-to-green.
Phil Mickelson - Played well last couple years at St. Jude finishing T11 & T2. Always motivated to fine tune game week before a major, especially the US Open which is the only major he has yet to win. Played well at Shell Houston Open the week before this year’s Masters. Two weekend rounds in the 70’s prevented him from cracking the top-10, but serves to show that Phil always extra motivated to play well the week before a major.
Billy Horschel - Finished T6 & T10 in last two years at this event, and enters this week having finished T13 & T11 in his last two events played (The Players & The Memorial). Ranks 7th on Tour in ball striking.
Webb Simpson - Coming off a nice break, having not played since he finished T2 at Wells Fargo back in mid-May. Look for his game to be in shape heading into this week. T3 at this event last year.
Paul Casey - May have been a bit burned out. Struggled in his last two events (The Players & Crowne Plaza). Had been playing stellar golf from mid-February to the start of May, finishing outside of the top-10 only once during that time. Another player whom I think time off will serve them well this week.
George McNeill - In last seven events, has only finished outside the top-20 twice. Followed up T5 at Colonial with a T13 last week at the Memorial.
Shawn Stefani - Finished T7 at this event two years ago, despite a final round 76. In last eight events, has only finished outside the top-30 twice.
Harris English - Won this event in 2013. His 70.12 scoring average ranks him 10th on Tour.
Brooks Koepka - Having a good season which has included a win back in February (Waste Management Phoenix Open). Establishing himself as a true competitor having only missed one cut this season. Last weekend, final round 78 bumped him back to T52. Look for him to bounce back nicely this week.
Camilo Villegas - Last week at Colonial was the first time he made a cut since the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March. With that said, he loves this golf course. Since 2010, he has finished in the top-10 three times, and last year was just outside, finishing T11.
Scott Pinckney - Three top-10’s since the beginning of March, most recently two weeks ago at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
David Toms - Two-time winner of this event. Is all-time leading money winner at St. Jude Classic, and is making 24th appearance.
Bryson DeChambeau - The young SMU junior just won the NCAA individual title. He plays with clubs that are all 7-iron length, and is playing with the confidence needed to compete in his first PGA start. On Monday, made it through sectional qualifying for this year’s US Open.
I get excited every week for this next part, my DraftKings fantasy picks! I continue to enjoy the DraftKings platform, which forces participants to employ and execute an intentional drafting strategy. The salary cap system also somewhat levels the playing field. Regardles of whether you are a casual golf fan, or someone like myself who is constantly studying player performance, it alows everyone to compete, have fun and hopefully land yourself in the winners circle.
Let’s take a look at my teams for this week.
Dustin Johnson - $13,000
Camilo Villegas - $7,600
Brendon de Jonge - $7,600
Martin Laird - $7,500
Charles Howell III - $6,800
Martin Flores - $6,700
Brooks Koepka - $10,400
Jerry Kelly - $8,800
George McNeill - $8,700
Shawn Stefani - $8,200
Aaron Baddeley - $5,900
Fabian Gomez - $5,800
My strategy this week was simple….get out of my own way! I’ve been examining every angle the last few weeks when drafting my teams, and my efforts have been to no avail. For this week, I’m looking at names which I would not be surprised to see doing well. Even if their stats tell me that they aren’t the best choice, I’m going with what could happen rather than what should happen. One thing I have learned through golf, is that there are no sure things, and so I believe that the teams I draft should reflect that.
About the Author This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here. About DraftKings DraftKings is a leading provider of online fantasy sports. Our core product is a 1-day Fantasy Sports Contest, where users compete against each other to win cash prizes. The game works similarly to how season-long contests on ESPN or Yahoo operate, with the key difference being that instead of season-long commitments, our users only need to commit to playing for a single day at a time. Free and entry-fee-based games are available. Featuring daily fantasy sports contests and same-day settlement, DraftKings makes playing fantasy sports simpler and faster for both seasoned and casual players.
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