Dan Roebuck’s St. Jude Classic preview: Stallings can edge depleted field
The FedEx St. Jude Classic is the PGA Tour offering this week, but standing seven days ahead of the US Open on the calendar has dissuaded many of the best golfers in America to tee up at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson vie for favouritism at 14/1, 14/1 and 16/1 respectively, but there are doubts about all three. Lefty has played only twice at the Tennessee layout with a best effort of 59th, Snedeker missed the cut in Ohio last week while Johnson – the defending champion – also failed to make the weekend at Memorial and is still perhaps troubled by a nagging back injury.
Scott Stallings will be a popular selection but he is difficult not to tip at 33/1. A fortnight ago, he was a 250/1 shot to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Fourth place in Texas persuaded the odds compilers to cut him to 125/1 for the Memorial Tournament. Again he finished fourth, and this time the market makers have really taken notice, offering a much shorter price about him winning this week.
It’s not just his form that marks him down as a player to follow, though, it’s also the fact that he lives in nearby Knoxville and went to college in Tennessee.
Ross Fisher (66/1) and Brendon Todd (100/1) complete the staking plan. The Englishman was eighth in Sweden on Sunday and finished 10th on his most recent start in the States, where in the Wells Fargo Championship he ranked second in greens in regulation. Accurate iron play could be key again, as could the ability to perform in wet conditions.
Rain is forecast in Memphis and that will be good news for Todd, who won the weather-shortened Stadion Classic on the Web.com Tour last month and was an impressive 12th on debut at Southwind four years ago.
My three to follow – Stallings, Fisher and Todd.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.