FedEx St Jude last before US Open

The PGA Tour heads south to Memphis for this week's FedEx St Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind, the home of the event over the past 24 years and while many of the game's elite are fine tuning their game for next week's US Open away from the spotlight of tournament golf there are several who could be considered chances at Olympic Golf Club who will tee it up this week.

Twelve months ago Harrison Frazar defeated Robert Karlsson in a playoff, Karlsson having also been beaten in a playoff in 2010 by Lee Westwood. Karlsson has struggled for much of this season so a repeat of his previous efforts seems unlikely although he clearly enjoys the event and the layout.

The player who stands out in terms of current form is Zach Johnson who has recorded a win and two runner-up finishes in recent starts. Johnson has certainly played this tournament well enough in his three starts for that form to continue. He has made all three cuts for a best of 5th in 2006.

Rory McIlory will be under much scrutiny this week as he tries to get his game somewhere near the level it needs to be to try and defend his US Open title next week. His decision to play this week was based on his recent missed cuts and that alone is a concern for his chances. He is the game's number two player and on that basis alone he has to be considered but it will be quite a turnaround if he can contend this week after his last three efforts at the TPC Sawgrass,Wentworth and Muirfield Village.

Dustin Johnson did well last week in his first tournament for a couple of months due to injury and as the second highest ranked player in the field he deserves consideration. It is the first time in this event for Johnson but he needs tournament play prior to next week and given his effort in Ohio then he might just improve further.

Robert Garrigus finished runner-up in 2010 and has done well enough in recent starts for him to be a consideration. He was runner-up at the Transitions and had other good finishes at Quail Hollow, the Heritage and in Dallas.

Frederik Jacobson might not have set the world on fire this year but he has made a lot of cuts and with a good solid record in this over the last nine years (eight of nine cuts) then he could do well.

Spencer Levin will be a player of interest after his near miss last week. If he looks at that experience through a glass half full then he could do even better this week against the weaker field he will face. A last round of 64 in this event last year tells the story of a player who does not mind the golf course. Levin missed out at US Open qualifying on Monday.

After a good tournament at the Players Championship David Toms had a horror at the Memorial but he has often played this event well (two wins and a runner-up finish). He appears well placed to improve considerably.

The Australians in the field are Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Nathan Green, Mathew Goggin, Robert Allenby, Nick O'Hern, Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling and Gavin Coles.

None are in particularly good form at present although Pampling, providing he does play, will be encouraged by qualifying for the US Open on Monday and Nick O'Hern showed glimpses of good form late in the tournament last week in Ohio.

New Zealander Danny Lee is also in the field.

Footnote - Peter Lonard will also now play the event after gaining a last minute start while en route to Mexico for the Nationwide Tour event there.

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