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      Power Rankings: FedEx St. Jude Classic

    • Dustin Johnson has six top-15 finishes this season. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Dustin Johnson has six top-15 finishes this season. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    The 26th edition of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind is the first to be contested with the knowledge that tournament director Phil Cannon has stage IV lung cancer that has metastasized into other organs. But he won't allow it to get in the way of a good time in Memphis. "I'm the healthiest sick guy in town," he told the Memphis Daily News for a preview that ran on Friday, May 30. "I still don't believe I've got cancer."

    It's that spirit that has helped lift this tournament into a comfort zone immediately preceding the U.S. Open every year since 2007. Tournament organizers don't intentionally set up the track to be challenging for those headed to the major, but they just can't help themselves.

    With a scoring average of 70.760 in 2013, the 7,239-yard TPC Southwind ranked as the third-hardest par 70 of the season for a non-major, and that's a four-year low. The fairways and the 5,420-square foot greens are among the hardest to find of all courses. Last year, the Ron Prichard design that was renovated in 2004 placed seventh and second, respectively, in accuracy off the tee and GIR. However, its scrambling clip was 61.21 percent (32nd on the PGA TOUR) and it surrendered a one-putt percentage of 43.93 (41st). The pair par 5s -- Nos. 3 and 16 -- are scorable (4.64; T27). All of those facts support properly timed aggression.

    The elements could add to the challenge throughout the tournament. Juicy ingredients will aid in the reasonable risk for rain and boomers every day. Temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s are expected. Moderate winds at worst may provide some physical comfort, but could help inflate scoring.

    Power Rankings: FedEx St. Jude Classic

    Rank

    Player

    Comment

    1 Dustin Johnson Dustin Johnson

    The 2012 champ followed with a T10 last year. Six top 15s this season, including a T14 at Colonial two weeks ago. Second in the all-around.

    The 2012 champ followed with a T10 last year. Six top 15s this season, including a T14 at Colonial two weeks ago. Second in the all-around.

    2 John Senden John Senden

    It's been five years since he logged the second of his top 10s here, but he hasn't relented since winning in March. T5 at Colonial.

    It's been five years since he logged the second of his top 10s here, but he hasn't relented since winning in March. T5 at Colonial.

    3 Ryan Palmer Ryan Palmer

    Tied for third at TPC Southwind in 2012, and then validated with a solo fourth last year. Tied for fifth in his last start at Colonial.

    Tied for third at TPC Southwind in 2012, and then validated with a solo fourth last year. Tied for fifth in his last start at Colonial.

    4 Lee Westwood Lee Westwood

    Won in debut at TPC Southwind in 2010 and placed T11 the following year. Top 10s in three of last five starts, including T6 at THE PLAYERS.

    Won in debut at TPC Southwind in 2010 and placed T11 the following year. Top 10s in three of last five starts, including T6 at THE PLAYERS.

    5 Matt Kuchar Matt Kuchar

    First appearance since 2007. Recovered from opening 74 at Memorial to place T15. Nine top 10s this season. (Note: Kuchar withdrew Tuesday).  

    First appearance since 2007. Recovered from opening 74 at Memorial to place T15. Nine top 10s this season. (Note: Kuchar withdrew Tuesday).  

    6 Paul Casey Paul Casey

    Making his debut at TPC Southwind. Fresh off a T13 at the Memorial where he led at the midpoint. Six top 20s in just 10 starts this season.

    Making his debut at TPC Southwind. Fresh off a T13 at the Memorial where he led at the midpoint. Six top 20s in just 10 starts this season.

    7 David Toms David Toms

    The two-time champ and twice runner-up is the all-time earnings leaders at the tournament. Shared fifth place at Colonial in his last start.

    The two-time champ and twice runner-up is the all-time earnings leaders at the tournament. Shared fifth place at Colonial in his last start.

    8 David Hearn David Hearn

    Steady as he goes. Five consecutive cuts made, including a T6 at THE PLAYERS. Also 4-for-4 at TPC Southwind with a T18 last year.

    Steady as he goes. Five consecutive cuts made, including a T6 at THE PLAYERS. Also 4-for-4 at TPC Southwind with a T18 last year.

    9 Harris English Harris English

    The defending champion arrived for his debut in better form than his current, but he's still eighth in FedExCup points with six top 10s.

    The defending champion arrived for his debut in better form than his current, but he's still eighth in FedExCup points with six top 10s.

    10 Zach Johnson Zach Johnson

    Four top 10s and another three top 20s in 2013-14. Ranks fifth in fairways hit, 36th in GIR and 22nd in adjusted scoring.

    Four top 10s and another three top 20s in 2013-14. Ranks fifth in fairways hit, 36th in GIR and 22nd in adjusted scoring.

    11 Billy Horschel Billy Horschel

    Starting to turn it over with a T15 at Muirfield Village where he led the field in greens hit. Tied for 10th last year at TPC Southwind.

    Starting to turn it over with a T15 at Muirfield Village where he led the field in greens hit. Tied for 10th last year at TPC Southwind.

    12 Scott Stallings Scott Stallings

    The Knoxville resident and Tennessee Tech product tied for second last year. T25 in 2011. Proven that absence of recent form is irrelevant.

    The Knoxville resident and Tennessee Tech product tied for second last year. T25 in 2011. Proven that absence of recent form is irrelevant.

    13 Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson

    Co-runner-up at last year's St. Jude, but has yet to crack a top 10 in 2013, instead settling for six top 20s. T13 in par-4 scoring.

    Co-runner-up at last year's St. Jude, but has yet to crack a top 10 in 2013, instead settling for six top 20s. T13 in par-4 scoring.

    14 Robert Allenby Robert Allenby

    No matter his form over last three years, he's played well at TPC Southwind. Eight top 20s in 11 appearances. Only top 10 of 2013 was here.

    No matter his form over last three years, he's played well at TPC Southwind. Eight top 20s in 11 appearances. Only top 10 of 2013 was here.

    15 Camilo Villegas Camilo Villegas

    Three top 10s in the last four editions. Overall, he's 7-for-8 with five top 25s. Opened T37 at Memorial with two red numbers.

    Three top 10s in the last four editions. Overall, he's 7-for-8 with five top 25s. Opened T37 at Memorial with two red numbers.

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