Tournament: FedEx St. Jude Classic
Dates: June 07-10, 2012
Course: TPC Southwind Memphis, TN
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com
A week after Tiger found his roar again and a week before our National Championship is a bit of an unfortunate spot on the schedule but the FedEx St. Jude Classic is happy to host the PGA Tour this week and a good field is in Memphis for a great week of golf.Sure, most are still talking Tiger and a lot of quality players are already prepping at Olympic Club for next weeks U.S. Open, but the St. Jude Classic and TPC Southwind are great hosts and put on a real test for those that make this stop.Rory McIlroy highlights the field and definitely needs a good showing after a couple of trunk slams in the past weeks.The online betting sites like him as a 9 to1 favorite, just ahead of guys like Dustin Johnson and former St. Judes champ David Toms.All are looking to get on track and add a trophy to their cases.
The TPC Southwind isnt quite the test that the U.S. Open will provide but this 7,244 yard, par-70 course is a tough cookie that ranked as the 9thhardest course in the 2011 rotation.A mid 200s renovation saw Bermuda greens and roughs added to increase the difficulty already associated with negotiating nearly 100 bunkers and 10 water hazards.The course is now a grinders favorite with solid wedge play and strong scrambling necessary to save par when the fairways and greens are missed.Players like Brian Gay, Woody Austin and Justin Leonard have fared well here and that means the winner will likely have to hit it straight, scramble like crazy and putt in the clutch.The younger, brasher players on Tour will find out that Southwind is not a layout that you can simply take head on and succeed but the journeymen on Tour know by now that a four day mental test is waiting for them.
Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight a few players that we think can win it all.We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win the event and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any quality offshore bookmaker.Here are our picks to win the 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Short Favorite: Zach Johnson (9 to 1 odds to win)
When you think steady players that can win on tough tracks, Zach is right there in the first names mentioned.Johnson hasnt missed a cut in 13 starts this year with a win at Colonial and earns his favorite status with a stat sheet made for Southwind.Zach is top-15 in fairways and both his putting average and total putting stat are in the top-25 entering the event.His wedge play and overall scrambling are among the Tours elite and he manages the 6thbest scoring average despite a game thats short on power.
Middle of the Road: Brandt Snedeker (22 to 1 odds to win)
Snedekder is on the road to a great season with only one missed cut in his twelve starts and a win at the Farmers already in the bank.Hes proven he can handle Southwind with a T15 last year and he should be able to improve on that this week.Brandt enters the week 15thin strokes gained-putting and ranks in the top-15 in scrambling as well.Good putting and scrambling is a must this week and without the extra par-5s to lean on, look for Brandts second best par-3 performance to get him a bit more of an edge than usual.
Longshot: D.A. Points (66 to 1 odds to win)
Points is a warrior on Tour who is making his 16thstart of the year and hes been close already with a playoff second at the Wells Fargo against a very strong field.D.A. isnt going to wow you on the stat sheet but nothing is really negative either.Oddly, Points is exactly 47thin fairways, greens and scoring average but that barely says anything about how good he can be at times.D.A. is a prototypical grinder with a solid short and scrambling game and his weekend scoring improves so if he can get it to Saturday in good shape, he can make a run.It is a longshot pick but it wouldnt be a miracle to see him win.
Head to Head Matches* pick to win based on total score after all four rounds.Check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.U.S. Open betting is also currently open at most sites.
Martin Laird (-115) v. Ryan Palmer (-115) (our pick to win: Palmer)
Whoever put these two together couldnt have picked two more similar players.Both are long, pretty wild off the tee but hit greens pretty well considering theyre coming from the spinach a lot.The key here is that Palmer is the better putter, which you like on Bermuda, and he also turns a better scoring average despite making fewer birdies per round.That is good anywhere but is especially good at Southwind.Honestly, this one might push with both missing the cut but look for Palmer to be there on Saturday more often at this event.
David Toms (-115) v. Graeme McDowell (-115) (our pick to win: Toms)
Sometimes you have to ignore the stats and this is one week to do so.McDowell is putting better and making more birdies than Toms this year but Southwind is Toms happy place with multiple wins and even more top-10s.The putter hasnt been working for David this year but hes going to a place where he obviously knows how to get it in the hole and isnt that the whole point of the game?