Power Rankings: FedEx St. Jude Classic

By Jay CoffinJune 4, 2013, 7:08 pm

The U.S. Open is next week, so the Fedex St. Jude Classic is the final tune-up before the year’s second major championship. Many of the Tour’s biggest names are taking a rest, but there are still plenty of player’s to choose from.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Dustin Johnson returns as defending champion and Brandt Snedeker is the highest ranked player in Memphis. Here are 10 players to watch this week:

1. Brandt Snedeker: This is an easy one. He’s the best player in the field and he should top the list. Don’t let the missed cut at the Memorial fool you. Still has six top-10s this year and is on a short list of favorites for next week at Merion.

2. Boo Weekley: Good ole Boo has had mixed results here in Memphis but the same cannot be said for results this year. No, it’s not likely he’ll follow up a victory at Colonial with a victory here, but he’s playing well enough to contend.

3. Phil Mickelson: Lefty was miffed that the Texas Open didn’t prepare him properly for the Masters, so here’s his chance to show that he needs to play the week before a major to play well at the major. Phil is like a box of chocolates …

4. Charles Howell III: He’s too good of a player, and playing too well this year, not to win an event. Tied for third here two years ago and is miffed that he hasn’t qualified for the U.S. Open. He’s on a mission.

5. Ryan Palmer: Like Howell, not too pleased that he’s not in the U.S. Open. Palmer comes to play each week on Tour and is more consistent than you realize. Look up his record this year.

6. D.A. Points: May not be a name that jumps to mind here – frankly, he hasn’t played here much – but Points is one of the eight best players in the field and a season that got off to a rough start is taking shape quite nicely.

7. Robert Karlsson: The Swede lost in a playoff here twice (2010, 2011) and, after struggling with the driver yips last summer, is seemingly more in control of his game. He qualified for the U.S. Open Monday and is riding high.

8. Dustin Johnson: The defending champion has to be on this list somewhere right? DJ’s year began with such promise but injuries have kept him from doing much of anything since the Masters. Poor showing last week at the Memorial ended with the weekend off.

9. Luke Guthrie: The 23-year-old claimed the final U.S. Open qualifying spot in Columbus (a stacked field) and he has so much talent that a victory is not far away. Tied for 19th here last year on one of only four PGA Tour starts.

10. Tim Clark: With five finishes in the top-11 this year, Clark quietly is having a decent season. He tied for seventh place two weeks ago at the Colonial and has made the cut here each of the last four years.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.