Expert Picks: FedEx St. Jude Classic

June 07, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to TPC Southwind this week 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.
Of the players who didn't make the cut for our top picks, which have the best chance as sleepers? To see who our experts picked, click here.
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Expert Picks: FedEx St. Jude Classic
Pick orderPlayer selected
DAVID TOMS. All he has is great history at this event (two wins, six top-5s), momentum coming in (win at Colonial, second at THE PLAYERS) and rest (two weeks off). It's almost too perfect, which makes me nervous.
LEE WESTWOOD. Not only is the Englishman the defending champ at TPC Southwind, but he comes in with plenty of momentum. In his last three stroke-play events, he has two wins and a playoff loss to Luke Donald.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Westwood
BRANDT SNEDEKER. TPC Southwind shares some traits (small greens, lack of par-5s) with Harbour Town, where Sneds won earlier this year. This is also his "home" track ... he was born, raised and still lives year-round just three hours away in Nashville.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Toms
BRIAN GAY. He's missed only one cut all year and is on a mini-roll heading into TPC Southwind, where he won in 2009. This course's toughness sets up well for Gay, who is coming off a solid top-15 at TPC Four Seasons two weeks ago.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Toms
JONATHAN BYRD. He has one win and a few close calls so far this year -- including a T7 last week at Memorial. He ranks 12th in scoring average, and as long as he's not too tired this week, he should shine in this field at TPC Southwind.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Toms
SERGIO GARCIA. Garcia hasn't missed a cut all season and has notched five top-25 finishes. This will be his fifth straight event in the U.S., so he might be a little tired, but he's got momentum in his favor.
If Deason had the top pick ... Toms
ROBERT ALLENBY. Though Robert Karlsson was superb in his debut last year, I went with Allenby's long record of success in Memphis. Before last year's WD, Allenby had five top-20s in his last six starts at TPC Southwind.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Byrd
RETIEF GOOSEN. He hasn't been great this year -- one top-25 in just seven starts on TOUR -- but Goosen tied for 15th in Memphis last year and the course, which puts a premium on accuracy and putting, suits his game well.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Byrd
ZACH JOHNSON. He's finished 12th or better in his last three starts on TOUR this year -- and 12th or better each of the two times he's played at Memphis. Not to mention, Zach spent some time with his coach fine-tuning things last week, so he'll be ready.
If Ross had the top pick ... Toms
SCOTT VERPLANK. Lack of distance doesn't hurt him at all here. I wanted someone that also did well at Harbour Town, and Verplank tied for ninth there. Verplank had a top-10 at TPC Southwind in 2007. My original pick, Tommy Gainey, withdrew late Tuesday.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Byrd
Standings after 23 events
LAST WEEK: Would you look at that: Ryan Smithson's pick of Steve Stricker last week at the Memorial was his second victory of 2011 and brings him closer to Mike McAllister's season-long lead. Helen Ross also moved up when her pick, Matt Kuchar, tied for second.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s FedExCup points
1 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor, PGATOUR.COM
1 6 7 13 2211.21
2 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator, PGATOUR.COM
2 6 8 11 2111.05
3 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
2 6 7 11 1909.82
4 Brian Wacker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 4 7 15 1558.91
5 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents, PGATOUR.COM
1 2 5 10 1333.40
6 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
1 3 7 11 1272.11
7 Anne Szeker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 1 3 14 998.92
8 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator, PGATOUR.COM
0 2 8 11 922.99
9 John Schwarb
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 1 6 10 856.37
10* Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 1 1 2 343.00
*-Joining the panel after 14 events

MAKE YOUR PICKS: Tell us who you think will win this week at TPC Southwind.