To kick it off, here’s Pro Golf Weekly’s 10-Point Primer.
- The Tradition – The Memphis based event is one of the oldest golf tournaments on the PGA Tour. We have to go back nearly six decades, to 1958, when the first St Jude Classic was played, which was then called the Memphis Open.
- The First Champion – Billy Maxwell, of Texas, won the very first St. Jude Classic – one his seven tournaments victories on the PGA Tour. The winner’s check was worth $20,000.
- The Inflation – In last year’s FedEx St Jude Classic, Argentina’s Fabian Gomez took home the trophy, along with more than $1 million in prize money, about 50 times more of what Maxwell earned in 1958 ($20k).
- The Course – The Memphis-based tournament will be played on the 18-hole TPC Southwind, which measures 7,241 yards in length. It was designed by Ron Prichard in consultation with Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller, and officially opened in 1988.
- The Charity – The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the most popular, and well respected, charities in the country. The hospital was founded by the late Danny Thomas with a mission is to cure children’s cancer. It has been aligned with the PGA Tour since 1970, raising over $30 million for research.
- The Field – With this being the final event before the U.S Open, many of the top players are taking the week off to tune up or rest. The two biggest names are Dustin Johnson (#6 OWGR) and Phil Mickelson (#20). A Top 60 World Ranking does get you invite to Oakmont so keep an eye on defending champ Gomez (#68), Ryan Palmer (#62) and Gary Woodland (#64). All three are looking to punch their U.S Open tickets.
- The FedEx Points – The winner will grab 500 valuable FedEx points.
- The TV Hole – TPC Southwind’s 11th hole, a 165-yard par-3 is compared to the famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass due to its island green.
- The Tournament Record – the 72-hole tournament record is held by John Cook, who shot 26-under par (258) in 1996.
- The Television Schedule – Thursday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET (The Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (The Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
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