St. Jude Classic preview: Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson lead light field

Written By Alec Brzezinski
Johnson-Dustin-USNews-Getty-FTR
(Getty Images)

After a thrilling final round at the Memorial Tournament, the PGA Tour heads to Memphis, Tenn., for the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.

The field is a bit tame, but Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, two of the game's most entertaining players, are in it along with 2013 winner Harris English.

The course is a quaint 7,239-yard par-70 nestled among the landscape's natural lakes, streams and ponds on a former dairy farm. What the tournament lacks in star power, the course makes up for it in beauty and excitement.

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Last year, Fabian Gomez became the fifth Argentine to win a PGA Tour event when he posted a 4-under 66 on the final day to pull away from Englishman Greg Owen.

Here are this week's top golfers:

Dustin Johnson (world ranking: 6) — Fresh off a disappointing solo third at Jack Nicklaus' tournament, Johnson enters this week as the overwhelming favorite. Johnson is still searching for his first win of the season, but he does have three top four finishes in his last five starts. Expect more of the same this week. Fantasy advice: First of all, good luck this week. Second, Johnson is a must-play even though he might be 100 percent owned.

Brooks Koepka (17) — The second-best player in the field lost in a playoff at the AT&T Byron Nelson last month — his last start — and finished tied for third in Memphis last year. The course sets up nicely for his power-fade, and he has become a better putter than for which he's given credit. This could be a big momentum-building week for Koepka before the U.S. Open. Fantasy advice: He is a good alternative to Johnson if you are cutting costs; he's a similar player with better success on this course.

Harris English (50) — English was outdueled by Jordan Spieth in Texas two weeks ago, but the second-place finish was just his third top 10 of the season. The former Georgia star is far too talented for those kinds of droughts. Fantasy advice: He can be tough to trust, but we expect him to continue his good play this week.

Phil Mickelson (20) — It has been an odd year for Mickelson. The aging superstar has four top five finishes, but also has missed three of his last five cuts. Putting and driving accuracy have been an issue for him at times. Lefty has finished T-3, T-11 and T-2 in his last three starts in Memphis, so clearly he likes the venue. Fantasy advice: Like Johnson, Mickelson is a must-start. Everyone else is thinking the same thing, though.

MORE: Lefty discusses insider-trading controversy

Gary Woodland (64) — Woodland has been very solid in recent months, capped by a T-4 last week. With five straight top 28 finishes, Woodland should be primed for a big week. Fantasy advice: He's a sneaky play if the price is right. He seems like a pretty safe play this week.

Others to watch:

Daniel Berger, Luke Donald, Russell Henley, Charles Howell III,

Sleepers:

Aaron Baddeley, Bud Cauley, Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson

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