THIS week is the last Tour event before the US Open and it shows with only four of the top 20 world-ranking players taking part.
Having said that the four are players who could be in consideration for next week – Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka.
The TPC Southwind which hosts the St Jude's Classic is quite a tight course but doesn’t seem to hamper golfers too much. But with smaller than average greens, which run at around 12 on the stimpmeter, Greens in Regulation are probably the most relevant stat. Although not a long course it doesn’t yield birdies too easily and Par 4 Scoring is another stat to look at.
- Course: TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee: 7244 yards, Par 70.
I am quite apprehensive about selecting Koepka this week as he will be my main main in the US Open at Shinnecock but he looks so good just now I can’t omit him. Coming back from injury he has just got better and better in his three outings (T42-T11-2).
His second place at Fort Worth included two 63s and he just looked so solid that week. He has good form at Southwind with a third and second place from his last four outings there and his scoring average on the Memphis course is an average of 68.56.
I have been a keen follower of the Floridian for a few years, in fact from his time on the Asian and European Tours, and although I'll be on him big time next week he can’t be ignored here.
- GIR: 70.00%. Par 4 Scoring: 3.96.
After three missed cuts Uihlein has suddenly come into form with two fifth-place finishes either side of a T21 at the Byron Nelson where he really didn’t do much wrong.
Uihlein is another I have watched come through Asian and European Tours and I rate him highly. He has the capability to hit a low round as was shown at Wells Fargo when he fired 62 in the third round.
A bogey-free fourth round 66 finished off a good Memorial last week when he was fifth. With a lot of the big guns absent this week it could be Uihlein’s chance to collect his first Tour win.
- GIR: 68.91% (37th). PAR 4 Scoring: 3.99 (18th).
Coming off his sixth top 25 in seven starts and a T13 at the Memorial, Finau is making his tournament debut. He has had a pretty good season with five top sixes, also T10 at the Masters which included a 66 in the final round. There’s a lot to like about Finau just now and this course will suit him.
- GIR: 69.15% (33rd). PAR 4 Scoring: 4.02 (54th).