Expert Picks: 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic


This week marks the 31st event of the 2014-15PGA Tour season, as 156 players tee it up at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Dustin JohnsonRarely has a bad week, and he rolls into Memphis with back-to-back top-15s. Throw in his history here (win in 2012, two other top-25s), and you can start him here with confidence.

Group 2: Webb SimpsonHis transition to the conventional putter is still a work in progress, but his long game has never been better. Tied for third here a year ago, and he was runner-up in his last start, in Charlotte.

Group 3: Will WilcoxNot getting many starts, but when he does he makes it count. In his last six events, he has four top-25s. Only one appearance here, but it was a top-20 a year ago.

Group 4: John MerrickNot a lot to choose from here, but at least he offers some upside. Runner-up in 2012 followed a T-11 finish in '11, and he's fresh off a T-16 (his second-best finish of the season) at the Nelson.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: The big hitter won in Memphis just three years ago. Given his overall form, it's hard not to pick him.

Group 2: Webb Simpson: Liked that T-3 finish at Memphis last year, and his T-2 in his last start at Wells Fargo.

Group 3: Scott Pinckney: Pinckney's playing for the first time in Memphis, but going with a hot hand here. Pinckney is coming off a T-2 at the Byron Nelson in his last start.

Group 4: Heath SlocumYes, he's struggling now, but Memphis has good memories to help right the ship. He has four finishes of T-12 or better there the last decade. 

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: The former St. Jude Classic champion has played consistent golf the last two weeks, with a tie for 13th last week at the Memorial and eighth at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Group 2: Luke DonaldAlthough it's the Englishman's first start at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, he seems to have turned a corner with his game and qualifying on Monday for the U.S. Open is a good sign.

Group 3: Retief GoosenAnother veteran who played his way into the U.S. Open on Monday, and the South African has missed just one cut in six starts in Memphis.

Group 4: Lucas GloverHis work with swing coach John Tillery is starting to lead to more confidence and better results.