Expert Picks: FedEx St. Jude Classic

June 05, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to TPC Southwind for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
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SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at TPC Southwind?
Expert picks: FedEx St. Jude Classic
Pick orderPlayer selected
GRAEME McDOWELL. Really wanted to take Robert Karlsson, runner-up here last two years. But he's just not in form right now. So I'll take McDowell, who's only previous start at TPC Southwind came in 2009 when he finished T-7. Plus, June has been kind to G-Mac (see 2010 U.S. Open).
RORY McILROY. I picked him last week at The Memorial and he burned me with a missed cut. I'm willing to forgive and forget if he bounces back this week, which I fully expect he will before beginning his U.S. Open title defense next week.
If Balionis had the top pick ... McIlroy
ZACH JOHNSON. There may be players with higher world rankings in the field but no one is playing better than Johnson right now. He won at Colonial in his last outing and he was second in two of his three starts prior to the victory, including at THE PLAYERS.
If Ross had the top pick ... Z. Johnson
ROBERT KARLSSON. Runner-up at TPC Southwind the last two years. Isn't playing his best right now, but he wasn't playing that great entering here in 2010, either, when he lost to Lee Westwood in a playoff. Still makes a ton of birdies.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... McIlroy
JEFF OVERTON. Hasn't played well of late with three missed cuts in his last four starts but tied for 10th two years ago. Also ranks 29th on TOUR in birdie average.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Overton
SPENCER LEVIN. The last time Levin blew the lead on Sunday he bounced back the next week and finished in the top 10. In other words, he has a short memory. He's also 20th on the TOUR in strokes gained-putting, and he tied for 15th last year in Memphis.
If Wacker had the top pick ... McIlroy
DAVID TOMS. Toms is quietly having an impressive season with a pair of top 10s and five top 25s. And he obviously enjoys walking in Memphis since he's the all-time leading money winner at St. Jude with two wins (2003, 2004) and seven top 10s in 20 events.
If Cooney had the top pick ... Z. Johnson
DUSTIN JOHNSON. Following a 10-week layoff, you have to consider last week's T-19 at The Memorial a success. He's looking for more reps after the inactivity and could overpower TPC Southwind in his first appearance there.
If Swantek had the top pick ... McIlroy
DAVIS LOVE III. I thought about two-time FedEx St. Jude champ Justin Leonard, but he hasn't done much this season. So I'm going with a different veteran, Davis Love III, who tied for 16th at Memorial then qualified for the U.S. Open.
If Deason had the top pick ... McIlroy
CAMILO VILLEGAS. Not having the most stellar of years, but that hasn't seemed to matter at this stop in the past (T3 last year, T8 the year before, no missed cuts), so here's hoping that remains true this year.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Z. Johnson
RYAN PALMER.You guys are nuts for leaving him on the board. Plays tough courses as well as anyone. Has shot par or better in eight of last nine rounds, and has top-10s in three of his last four starts. Camilo Villegas and Jeff Overton? Really?
If Smithson had the top pick ... Z. Johnson
Standings after 22 events
LAST WEEK: Ryan Smithson increased his lead by picking Tiger Woods (with the fourth pick, no less) at the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, where Woods won for the 73rd time this season. It was the fourth win of the year for Smithson, and second in three weeks.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
4 8 9 14 2 2951.75
2 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
2 3 6 12 2 2029.74
3 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 6 10 13 6 1922.25
4 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
2 4 5 9 3 1709.09
5 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 4 4 12 3 1505.70
6 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 3 5 9 3 1461.85
7 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 3 5 10 3 1387.41
8 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 3 8 10 5 1292.90
9 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 2 8 14 0 1180.83
10 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 2 3 11 3 860.15
11 *Bill Cooney
Site Producer
1 1 1 1 1 529.50
*First event in Week 19 at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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