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FedEx St. Jude Classic Fantasy Preview

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By now I think we know the theme of the 2013 PGA Tour Season, Delays. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but at least 30% of 100% of 65% of the tournaments this year have had some sort of weather delay or round suspension. Last week was no exception. Round two was delayed twice and ultimately led to suspending play overnight. It’s no surprise that there is more rain in the forecast this week in Memphis where the players will tee off at TPC Southwind. It’s only a 30% chance of precipitation but don’t be surprised if there are more rain delays this weekend.

Weather aside, lets take a look at the week ahead on the PGA Tour. Being a week before the U.S. Open, its no surprise that this tournament generally has a weak field and is won by relatively weak golfers. There really aren’t many trends when it comes to statistics at this course. The average Driving Distance Rank by the past 8 winners is 111th but has also been won by Dustin Johnson and Harrison Frazar the previous two years. Both golfers were inside the Top 20 in Driving Distance. Greens in Regulation isn’t important at all. In fact, none of the past 8 winners have finished the season inside the Top 50 GIR. This is perfect for someone that can scramble their way to par after par like Freddie Jacobson. One stat that is generally a pretty good indicator of success here is Par 4 Scoring Average. That means you should look for golfers that don’t rely on hitting Greens in Regulation, have a great Par 4 Scoring Average and also have a good Scrambling Percentage. Let’s take a look who some of these contenders may be:

Group A

Charles Howell III: CHIII has been killing it lately. He has three Top 25′s in his last four tournaments. He’s played too well this year to end the season without a win. This week is as good as any, considering the weak field.

Brandt Snedeker: Sneds has lost motivation/momentum ever since his injury became public knowledge. He hits a lot of Greens in Regulation but he doesn’t rely on GIR’s because he’s also ranked 15th in Scrambling Percentage this year. Based on the numbers alone, Snedeker should be the favorite, but my gut and previous winner history at this course tells me he won’t bring home the hardware this week.

Group B

Freddie Jacobson: Freddie fits the profile of course winners at TPC Southwind, and he is also in phenomenal form this year. I will be using Freddie in both of my One-and-Done leagues, and I suggest you do the same if you still haven’t used him.

Bob Estes: Estes returned from illness last week and finished 42nd at the Memorial. It was his 9th made cut in 11 attempts this year. He has finished Top 35 in six of the last eight St Jude Classics. He also won it way back in 2001. Worth a look.

Cameron Tringale: Mr. T has a lot of favorable attributes that fit this course & tournament very well. He is 22nd in Par 4 scoring, 12th in Scrambling and 14th in Bogey Avoidance. In the end, he didn’t have enough course history for me to pick him over the next golfer…

Ben Crane: This Golf Boy has been dormant for a while but slowly showing signs of a revival. He’s finished 12th and 14th here two of the last three tries at Southwind. This weak field may give him the confidence he needs to contend again.

Group C

Matt Jones: Jones has been quietly putting together a great 2013 Season. He has five Top 25 finishes in 15 attempts. Thats 33% in case you don’t do math. He doesn’t rely on Greens in Regulation which is good for this course and he is Top 10 in Scrambling, also very necessary at TPC Southwind.

Camilo Villegas: CV is an anomaly at this course. He can’t scramble to save his life, but he still has managed four Top 25 finishes in the last seven years. If you want a horse for the course, Villegas is a solid pick.

Jeff Overton: Speaking of horses for the course. Jeff Overton hasn’t finished worse than 38th in five tries here. Look for Overton to right the ship after a disappointing DQ followed by a missed cut.


Expert Keeper Why the Pick? YTD
The 19th Hole Brandt Snedeker I’ll look past the MC at Muirfield and expect to see Sneds round back to early season form. Avg Finish: 41st
Future of Fantasy Freddie Jacobson The Swedish Houdini is going to scramble his to victory…or at least a Top 25. Avg Finish: 33rd
Jake Gaer Tim Clark Harrison Frazar, Bob Estes, Jeff Maggert, Woody Austin, Brian Gay. Tim Clarks fits in perfectly with most of the journeyman winners this tournament produces. Avg Finish: 25th


Expert Sleeper Why the Pick? YTD
The 19th Hole Casey Wittenberg Local boy who has yet to the break top 50 here in seven tries and is nearly 2-to-1 in miss vs. made cuts this year…but he has a lot of practice here that will benefit him if he gets his confidence up. Best finish this year is T8 at THE PLAYERS…not too shabby. Avg Finish: 57th
Future of Fantasy Charles Howell III Top 10 in all three of the important stats this week (Par 4 Scoring, Scrambling and Bogey Avoidance). Chalk him up for a Top 25. Avg Finish: 54th
Jake Gaer John Merrick He’s played here five times and improved every time. There is only one way to improve on last years 2nd place finish. Avg Finish: 40th

Top 15 for the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic

1. Freddie Jacobson
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Charles Howell III
5. Jimmy Walker
6. Jeff Overton
7. Bob Estes
8. Camilo Villegas
9. Russell Henley
10. John Rollins
11. Tim Clark
12. Ryan Palmer
13. Robert Karlsson
14. Cameron Tringale
15. Brendon De Jonge


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Fantasy Golf Tour: This website offers a unique fantasy golf experience, and huge cash payouts. The way these contests work is you pick 16 golfers per week. Golfers will be broken down into four tiers based on skill-level and/or world golf rank. You must pick four golfers from each group, and then manage your golfers round-by-round. I recommend trying out their free contests before leaping into the $25 cash entry contest. You can earn vouchers while playing the freerolls which can be redeemed for golf equipment and other cool prizes.


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