Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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FedEx St. Jude: Power Ranking

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


The final tournament before the season’s second major takes place this week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Daniel Berger returns to TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN to defend his title.

 

There are several converging factors that are in play when trying to peg a successful lineup for this week’s tournament. The spot on the schedule is the main culprit. Many of the top players in the world are skipping this week as the tune up for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills next week, but a few remain in the field. Also, the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifiers took place on Monday, meaning several of those lucky enough to earn a spot in next week’s major have withdrawn to rest and prepare. For those that played the Memorial and Colonial, this week’s tournament is a logical skip in the schedule.

 

TPC Southwind is a par-70 layout of 7,244 yards. It features a pair of rather short par 5s, a quartet of par 3s and a dozen par 4s. Over the long run, this course has produced winners of all shapes and sizes. We have bombers and plodders. Ball-strikers and putters. Youngsters and veterans. Lately, it’s been the bombers that have risen to the top. Daniel Berger is a perfect example of that, as was Dustin Johnson when he won and Brooks Koepka as he’s contended.

 

In a field absent many top players, one solid strategy is to back the class of the field. There will be several examples of that in the below power ranking. Also mixed in are several course horses and a few trendy players.

 

Here we go!

 

1.  Brooks Koepka – The trend in this event is absolutely undeniable. He’s gone T19-T3-T2. All he’s lacking is the win. It goes without saying that’s the only reason he’s here this week. With his length and class matching up with his course history, he’s a green-light special.

 

2.  Rickie Fowler – Played great last week at Jack’s place and is in excellent form. It’s a bit curious that he’s playing this week, with the U.S. Open looming. He’s only played here once (2014), and tied for 13th in that venture.

 

3.  Phil Mickelson – Lefty is solid at TPC Southwind, going T2-T11-T3-T2 in his last four visits. His intent to skip the U.S. Open is well documented, as is his history of peaking the week before majors. Putting him in the lineup is a good call in virtually any fantasy format. It’s also as good of a spot as any to get back in the winner’s circle.

 

4.  Billy Horschel – Recent win to go with solid course history are a potent combination. Horschel has top 10s in his last three visits to Memphis and qualifies as being the conversation for the class of the field.

 

5.  Adam Scott – Seven is his lucky number in this event, as his only visit came in 2007 and he tied for seventh. Last time I checked this is 2017, so yet another seven. Superstitions aside, he fits the mold of a long player who has never struggled with ball-striking and offers elite pedigree. Perhaps the only real question is why he’s added this back to his schedule. Perhaps he feels playing the week before a major is a good plan.

 


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Ryan O’Sullivan joined Rotoworld in 2012. The Clemson grad blogs as The Golf Aficionado and can be found on Twitter @ryangolfblogger.
Email :Ryan O'Sullivan



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