Experts' Picks: St. Jude Classic

June, 8, 2011
06/08/11
9:52
AM ET

Each week of the PGA Tour season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories below: Birdie Buster, Horse for the Course, Super Sleeper and Winner.

This week's tournament: The FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn.

Want another opinion? Check out ESPN.com's FOREcaster page.


ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig

Birdie Buster: Lee Westwood
The No. 2-ranked player in the world and defending champion comes into the tournament off a playoff loss to Luke Donald at Europe's biggest tournament, which was preceded by two victories in stroke-play events in Asia.

Horse for the Course: David Toms
After two weeks off, the Colonial winner returns to a place where he has had six top-5 finishes, including two wins.

Super Sleeper: Brian Gay
A winner of this tournament two years ago, Gay has missed just one cut all year. And he has karma on his side, as he is part of a program that has him donating $100 to the St. Jude Hospital for every birdie he makes this week. His management company is matching the pledge.

Winner: Sergio Garcia
He has struggled on the weekends this year, but he has made all five cuts in PGA Tour events and showed something Monday when he played a U.S. Open qualifier, got into a playoff and earned his way into next week's U.S. Open. That should be a confidence boost.


ESPN.com senior golf editor Kevin Maguire

Birdie Buster: Brian Gay
In six of his past eight rounds at TPC Southwind, Gay shot 67 or better, including a stretch of 64-66-66-66 in his victory in 2010.

Horse for the Course: Robert Allenby
In eight starts at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the Aussie owns three top-10s and missed only one cut. His career scoring average each of the last three days is 1-2 strokes under par on this challenging par-70 track, so if he can get off to a fast start in the opening round…

Super Sleeper: Todd Hamilton
The 2004 British Open champion survived a grueling 36-hole qualifier Monday in Dallas for next week's U.S. Open and got into the St. Jude Classic when no fewer than a dozen players pulled out for various reasons. OK, so he has missed three of four cuts this year and has never played the weekend in Memphis. That's why it's a sleeper pick, right?

Winner: David Toms
Coming off a win at Colonial and a second place the week before at the Players Championship, Toms is in a good place right now with his golf game. That will help, but so does his recent record at TPC Southwind: Seven top-10s, including back-to-back wins in 2003-04, in his past nine appearances in Memphis.

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