The 31st event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Tennessee for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. A field of 156 will tackle TPC Southwind, where low scores are expected in droves.
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1. Dustin Johnson: Johnson enters this week as a clear-cut favorite, with six top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season including a win in Miami. He has three top-20 finishes in his last four starts, notably a T-13 finish last week at the Memorial, and his three trips to Memphis include a win in 2012 and no result outside the top 25.
2. Ryan Palmer: Palmer is among the Tour's best when it comes to making birdies in bunches, and scores tend to go low each year in Memphis. Palmer finished T-10 in Dallas in his most recent start, currently sits fifth on Tour in scoring average and contended at this event in both 2012 (T-3) and 2013 (fourth).
3. Billy Horschel: Horschel quietly left Memorial with a T-11 finish, his third straight top-20 result. He appears to be comfortable at TPC Southwind, with top-10 finishes each of the last two years, and as his run to the FedEx Cup showed last season, he is prone to hot streaks that can stretch for weeks.
4. Phil Mickelson: Lefty has shown a recent knack for peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open, chasing his T-2 finish in 2013 at this event with a T-11 result last year. While he only has two top-10 finishes this season and struggled at Muirfield Village, Mickelson is looking to knock the rust off in advance of the U.S. Open and seems to enjoy the steamy challenge of TPC Southwind.
5. Brooks Koepka: Koepka won earlier this year in Phoenix, another ballpark with plenty of room and one that required going low. He finished T-19 last year in his Memphis debut, carding bookend rounds of 67, and he is seventh this season in the all-around ranking and 12th in scoring average.
6. Harris English: English notched his maiden win here in 2013, and he returns in need of another big result to earn one of the last spots in the field for the U.S. Open. English has six top-25 finishes this season, including a trio of top-10 results, and he finished T-18 last week at the Memorial with four straight rounds of par or better.
7. Webb Simpson: Simpson is teeing it up for the first time since a runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he finished T-3 at this event last year in his first appearance since 2010. His lone missed cut this season came back in February and he has cracked the top 25 in exactly half of his 12 starts.
8. Charles Howell III: Howell finished T-31 last week at the Memorial, highlighted by a second-round 66, and his record at this event includes three top-30 finishes over the last four years. Howell is 20th on Tour in GIR percentage and should create plenty of birdie opportunities this week,
9. Camilo Villegas: Villegas has struggled this year but always seems to find his form in Memphis. He has four top-11 finishes over the last five years at TPC Southwind, highlighted by a T-3 finish in 2011, and he did get back into the winner's circle last year in Greensboro.
10. Luke Donald: Donald is making his first appearance at this event, buoyed by his result Monday in U.S. Open qualifying. While he has been on a downward slide over the last year and a half, the Englishman may have found an extra bit of confidence and appears to possess the game of a player who can capitalize on TPC Southwind.