Fantasy Insider: FedEx St. Jude Classic

June 07, 2011
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

This is already the penultimate week of Yahoo!'s Spring Segment. Once the FedEx St. Jude Classic is in the books, 60 percent of the regular season will be complete, but with three majors, a World Golf Championship and four events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup remaining, you should be reserving at least half of your 10 starts for the fantasy studs if at all possible.

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Fortunately for gamers, this week's event is a week off for the game's elite. And with many having withdrawn (see "Notable WDs" below), it's smart to stick with the chalk in Memphis and put yourself in position to strike accordingly for the final event of the segment next week.

Power Rankings Plus

11. Charles Howell III ... Top 25s in four of his last seven starts, including the last two. Ranks 46th on TOUR in greens in regulation and 16th in bogey avoidance.

12. Spencer Levin ... Tidy fit on paper -- 36th in greens hit, 10th in bogey avoidance -- and he's proven that he owns a short-term memory. Both of his last two top 15s occurred after missed cuts. (He missed the cut at Muirfield Village last week.) He has three top 10s and five other top 25s already this year.

13. Chris Couch ... Ignore his 0-for-3 record here. He's made the cut in all 10 of his starts this season, and while his best finish in his last three is a mere T50 at THE PLAYERS, his surgical game fits TPC Southwind like a glove. He's 10th on TOUR in the all-around and 30th in bogey avoidance.

14. Chez Reavie ... While forgettable, his T63 at the Memorial clinched conditional status for the remainder of the year. Furthermore, he doesn't have to think of his medical extension again. He may have proved that that's a good thing after co-medaling at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus on Monday, an effort that included a 63 in his second round. He's a first-timer at TPC Southwind, but ranks 21st on TOUR in greens hit and posted a top five just three weeks ago at Colonial.

15. Ben Curtis ... First appearance at TPC Southwind since 2003. Coming off a T13 at the Memorial, where he closed in 69-67, with birdies on seven of his final 13 holes. Ranked T6 in greens hit for the week.

Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)

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  • Group A ... Jonathan Byrd (3); Brian Gay (4); Lee Westwood (5)

    Group B ... David Toms (2); John Senden (7); Ryuji Imada (8); Spencer Levin (12); Ben Curtis (15)

    Group C ... Zach Johnson (1); Sergio Garcia (6); John Rollins (9); Brandt Snedeker (10); Charles Howell III (11); Chris Couch (13); Chez Reavie (14)

    Dark Horse (Yahoo! Group)

    Retief Goosen (B) ... In the midst of an invisible season -- his lone top 25 occurred in his first start (Northern Trust Open in February) -- but he'll resurface at some point. Given his cachet, it makes all the sense in the world that it will occur this week as he preps for the season's second major. Finished T15 here last year as well, closing with a bogey-free 68.

    Robert Allenby (B) ... It wasn't that long ago that he would have been an automatic for the Power Rankings here, but his best finish in his last six starts is a T40, and he's missed his last two cuts. (His five MCs match the most in one season since 2007.) Still a stout 17th on TOUR in greens hit, however, and has posted five top 20s in eight starts at this event.

    Kevin Stadler (C) ... Top 25s in his last two starts, including a last-minute entry into the Memorial when Nick Watney withdrew. Ranks 42nd on TOUR in greens in regulation. Lone payday in four starts here is a T12 in 2009.

    Woody Austin (C) ... Limited to seven starts due to conditional status, the 2007 champion here has top 15s in his last two appearances as well. Hasn't missed the cut in his last six. A crafty flier this week.

    Yahoo! lineup
    Group A: Brian Gay
    Group B: Spencer Levin, David Toms
    Group C: Zach Johnson
    Group A: Lee Westwood
    Group B: Ryuji Imada, John Senden
    Group C: Sergio Garcia
    Yahoo! Stats
    SEASON: 3,190 points (12,468th) ... SPRING: 1,294 points (48,593rd)
    ONE-AND-DONE: Zach Johnson
    2011 earnings: $2,536,048.17
    DUFFER: Matt McQuillan
    2011 earnings: $765,555.00

    Shaun Micheel (B) ... Coming off his first top 25 of the year despite a closing 75 at Muirfield Village. The Memphis resident plays out of TPC Southwind. It served as the host of his first three PGA TOUR starts, way back in 1989, '90 and '91. He's missed the cut in nine of 16 appearances, but has also posted three top 20s, including a career-best T4 last year. If nothing else, a fun investment this week.

    Sunghoon Kang (C) ... He hasn't made a cut in his last five starts on the PGA TOUR, but lost in a playoff in the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Nationwide Tour three weeks ago and co-medaled at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Tunica, Miss., on Monday.

    Danger (Yahoo! Group)

    Robert Garrigus (C) ... Displayed pure command of his game in what was a magical week here for 71 holes a year ago. He overcame and met the potential that fantasy gamers have always seen with a win later at Disney. I slotted him in this group only because I'd like to see him do it again before assuming that it was merely one of those weeks when everything clicked. His recent results have been all over the place, but he enters having made seven consecutive cuts. Also 32nd on TOUR in greens in regulation.

    Ben Crane (B) ... He's been nursing a sore ankle, which may or may not be the reason he hasn't been a factor in recent starts. His splits are front-weighted by a strong start to 2011, and with a pair of top 15s in his last two appearances here, it's the kind of venue at which he returns to our consciousness, but don't lead with him.

    Camilo Villegas (B) ... Hard to believe it, even despite his early back injury, but in 14 starts this year, his T30 at the Memorial is his best finish. Four of his five results at TPC Southwind are better than that, including last year's T8, but the Colombian hasn't given gamers any reason to invest in any format.

    Heath Slocum (A) ... With top 25s in five of his eight appearances here, including his last four, he's a classic trap this week. That's because he's missed the cut in nine stroke-play events that have had a cut this year, including his last three. He hasn't posted a top 60 in his last six starts, and ranks in the bottom four on TOUR in strokes gained-putting. He's sixth in greens in regulation, but gamers prefer the opposite inverse relationship; that is, a low rank in GIR and high rank in putting. Brandt Snedeker has been the poster boy for this template for years.

    Medic! (Yahoo! Group)

    Geoff Ogilvy (A) ... First start since withdrawing from THE PLAYERS due to a shoulder injury. Also 0-for-4 at TPC Southwind, where he's broken par just once in eight rounds. This includes six loops when the track played as a par 71 (through 2005).

    Padraig Harrington (A) ... First start since missing the cut at THE PLAYERS due to a leg injury. It prevented him from competing in the BMW PGA Championship.

    Graham DeLaet (B) ... Finished T36 at the Melwood Prince George's County Open on the Nationwide Tour last week in his return to action from knee surgery on Jan. 3. A first-timer at TPC Southwind, and not automatic duffer league material. In fact, keep a close eye and don't hesitate to pounce if he's available in your format.

    D.J. Trahan (B) ... Ready to go again following his withdrawal from the Memorial due to an infamous illness that also bounced fellow roommates-of-the-week, Nick Watney and Bill Lunde.

    Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)

    J.B. Holmes (C) ... Late entry last Friday withdrew on Tuesday.

    Webb Simpson (B) ... Survived 6-for-3 playoff at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus on Monday.

    Vijay Singh (B) ... Announced on Sunday that he'd be taking at least two weeks off to rest.

    Gary Woodland (C) ... Taking the week off to rest and prepare for Congressional next week.

    D.A. Points (B) ... Qualified for the U.S. Open at the sectional qualifier in Columbus on Monday.

    Ricky Barnes (A) ... Played only one round of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus on Monday.

    Tommy Gainey (C) ... Hadn't had a week off since the Masters.

    Rob Bolton is the freelance fantasy columnist for PGATOUR.COM. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the PGA TOUR.