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PGA: FedEx St. Jude Classic Preview


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By Everardo Keeme via TheSandTrap.com
Tim Herron and David Toms could easily be favorites at this weeks tournament but one's hot and one's not, read on to find out more.

fedex_stjude_logo.gifMemorial weekend next year will be a little different on the PGA Tour, especially in Memphis, Tennessee. The tournament moving to June 4-10 which is the week before the U.S. Open which will hopefully attract even more of the top players in the game looking to fine tune their games. Stanford Private Wealth Management will now assume the role of title sponsor increasing the purse to $6 million making it one of the largest on the tour. Next year should also be a good celebration as it will mark the 50th anniversary of the tournament.



We'll get to 2007 soon enough so let's get to this years tournament.

Last Year
David Toms fell just two strokes short of defending his title and one stroke short of a playoff with Justin Leonard. With his win last year Justin secured his first wire to wire win, his second of 2005 and the 10th in his PGA Tour career. Justin barely squeaked it out though starting the day with an eight stroke lead over Heath Slocum and finished with a 3 over par 73. No player has ever squandered an eight shot lead on the PGA Tour before but a win is a win and that's all that counts in the record books. His final round gaff had the backing of three solid rounds before it though shooting 18 birdies with only one bogey. Toms on the other hand showed just as much panache shooting a 63 in the final round to even get himself into contention.



The Course
The TPC at Southwind had recently undergone renovation in 2004 redesigning the course and a swanky new clubhouse. The 7,244 yard par-70 course itself is beautiful with many elevation changes, water and doglegs all requiring players with accuracy and guts. The 11th hole is a fun one, mimicking the famous 17th at the TPC Sawgrass. It is a small island green reachable with a sort iron and has a small pot bunker guarding the front of the green. Starting with the 15th hole the final finishing holes are all good driving holes with narrow fairways and greens. Good placement is a must to finish well in this tournament, just ask Justin Leonard.



Who's Hot
Who would have guessed that the hottest name on tour right now would be Tim "Lumpy" Herron? His win last week was his fourth on the PGA Tour and ended a 204 event win drought. Going into Memphis, Tim has never missed a cut here and has seven top-25 finishes here. Not much else to say with a streak like that going, good luck Tim.



Here's another name from past, remember the 2000 champion? Give you one hint, he went to college and played on his college team? Oh how quickly we forget, Notah Begay is in the field this week as an alternate but should still make it into the field receiving the final sponsor's exemption. Not that I'd place him as an early on favorite but it's a fun name from the past.



Who's Not
Sadly I have to place David Toms in this category, finishing tied for 30th at last weeks Colonial and tied for 47th in New Orleans. David Toms has really enjoyed his last four years here winning the event back to back in 2003 and 2004, finishing second last year and fourth in 2002. Justin had a great start in 2006 winning the Sony Open and several top finishes but has practically fallen off the tour after missing the cut at The Players Championship, Masters and Shell Houston Open. I've said it before and I still hope that David will pull himself out of this funk and finish the great start he got off to this year.



TV and Radio Times
This year's purse is $5.2 million with $936,000 going to the winner. The FedEx St. Jude Classic will be held at the TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN. from May 22 - May 26, 2006 and can be seen on USA and CBS plus heard on XM Radio on at the following times:



Thu, 5/25 4pm-6pm ET USAFri, 5/26 4pm-6pm ET USASat, 5/27 3pm-6pm ET CBSSun, 5/28 3pm-6pm ET CBS

Thu, 5/25 12pm-8pm ET XM 146Fri, 5/26 12pm-8pm ET XM 146Sat, 5/27 12pm-8pm ET XM 146Sun, 5/28 12pm-8pm ET XM 146


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