Walkin in Memphis


For the first time the FedEx St. Jude Classic isn't the only game in town. The NBA draft is Wednesday night and this place is buzzing.
The former Vancouver Grizzlies, now Memphis Grizzlies, will make their first draft choice with new General Manager Jerry West. The Grizz select fouth in the draft - it looks like Kansas forward Drew Gooden will be the choice. That's the front page sports story in the local paper. Golf fans here in the Mid South, as they call it, will have to wait a day for top billing.
Of course the tournament always gets top billing on The Golf Channel. Check that! The U.S. Senior Open will be No. 1 this week on Golf Central. It's the best event the Tom Nettles Tour has, so it should be. That does not, however, mean you won't see plenty of the doings going on here in Memphis.
The field has been hurt this year by the schedule. The Buick Classic, U.S. Open and Canon Greater Harftord Open was a three-week stretch for most players, so consequently the FedEx lost out on some of the game's best players. Only two of the top 10 in the world are entered, David Toms and Nick Price.
Nick has won here twice, in 1993 and 1998. Bob Estes is back to defend his title. A year ago the Texan broke the course record in the first round with a 61 on his way to his first PGA Tour title in seven years.
Looking for someone to pick? Try some of the locals. Loren Roberts lives nearby. So does David Gossett. Both were in contention three weeks ago at Westchester. And then there's the wild-card pick of John Daly.
Last year Big John was on the first page of the leaderboard, just one shot back of the lead heading to the final round, before a Sunday 73 dropped him down to a tie for fifth. He's always a crowd favorite wherever he goes, but this week the locals get really jacked up to see the long-hitting Daly tee it up.
We're looking forward to a good week in Memphis. The weather usually is brutally hot and humid, but it's only supposed to be in the upper 80s all week. Thank you Mr. Weatherman. You can pick up that downhill three-footer up for that forecast!