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PGA Picks: St. Jude Classic

A losok at this week’s PGA Tournament with projections and DraftKings pick

PGA: The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide - First Round Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tour moves to Tennessee this week with the St. Jude Classic at at TPC Southwind. In this article, I’ll walk through how I made my favorite picks for this week’s tournament and put together a sample DraftKings lineup.

Previous Winners

Every winner since 2013 will be in the field this week and that includes the back-to-back defending champion, Daniel Berger. The table also gives the average number of strokes per round for each champion.

Berger figures to be a chalky play this week, but I also really like Ben Crane this week. He’s coming off of six made cuts in a row and his last time out at the Fort Worth Invitational he finished 8th overall. My model also likes Crane this week enough to put him in a few lineups at only $7,400. Fabian Gomez and Harris English are afterthoughts for me this week despite their success at Southwind.

Model Results

A few notes about the projection results:

  • Only players with enough qualified rounds will show up in the projections. In other words, if they are on PGA.com’s stats leaderboards then I will consider them for the projection. Brooks Koepka is a notable omission here.
  • The stats to the right of the projection are the key stats used to build the projection.
  • Results from every round at TPC Southwind since 2013 are fed into the model to build a projected round average for each player.

Projections

Rank Player DK Salary '18 Proj Par 4 Par 5 SG:OTT SG:APR SG:ARG SG:PUTT
Rank Player DK Salary '18 Proj Par 4 Par 5 SG:OTT SG:APR SG:ARG SG:PUTT
1 Dustin Johnson $11,700 68.57 2 1 1 23 11 13
2 Phil Mickelson $10,600 68.75 3 4 64 35 5 1
3 Henrik Stenson $10,400 69.09 1 14 7 94 3 18
4 Luke List $8,300 69.12 10 4 3 3 26 81
5 Adam Scott $9,600 69.33 31 65 12 14 4 107
6 Byeong Hun An $9,200 69.41 14 4 4 35 7 65
7 Tony Finau $9,300 69.45 19 2 15 10 8 49
8 Chris Kirk $8,000 69.64 14 35 43 11 9 60
9 Chez Reavie $7,600 69.67 3 88 20 73 10 51
10 Johnson Wagner $7,500 69.67 19 57 77 7 88 3
11 Kiradech Aphibarnrat $8,400 69.75 19 11 22 31 91 4
12 Daniel Berger $10,000 69.79 19 21 32 43 15 26
13 Kevin Chappell $7,800 69.8 5 21 5 75 12 62
14 J.B. Holmes $8,000 69.9 41 65 14 18 51 79
15 Aaron Baddeley $6,900 69.91 19 74 94 1 49 66
16 Austin Cook $7,200 69.92 41 25 30 17 76 20
17 Ollie Schniederjans $7,700 69.95 31 46 90 5 30 35
18 Keegan Bradley $9,000 69.96 19 25 19 40 2 114
19 Zac Blair $6,700 70.03 62 71 103 2 44 31
20 Ben Crane $7,400 70.1 5 78 89 22 54 15
21 J.T. Poston $7,000 70.11 31 88 17 21 83 72
22 Billy Horschel $9,700 70.14 62 11 13 103 59 14
23 Scott Piercy $7,400 70.16 5 25 34 42 1 106
24 Brandt Snedeker $7,600 70.17 10 74 53 12 73 29
25 Andrew Putnam $7,700 70.17 19 57 77 26 21 46
26 Brian Gay $7,500 70.21 14 29 81 3 61 22
27 William McGirt $7,100 70.26 48 65 75 49 32 24
28 Dominic Bozzelli $6,800 70.32 48 112 61 33 84 33
29 John Huh $6,900 70.33 19 57 51 74 34 21
30 Grayson Murray $7,400 70.36 41 109 18 38 74 88
31 Peter Malnati $6,500 70.37 19 100 105 15 96 5
32 Patrick Rodgers $7,900 70.38 62 38 60 27 101 8
33 Sam Saunders $6,800 70.39 76 14 23 67 55 47
34 James Hahn $7,100 70.39 31 25 41 39 16 73
35 Nate Lashley $6,800 70.4 48 52 39 30 45 70
36 Charl Schwartzel $9,400 70.5 48 88 52 53 52 53
37 Russell Knox $8,700 70.5 10 29 31 13 22 100
38 Vaughn Taylor $7,100 70.5 31 14 46 48 33 38
39 Talor Gooch $6,900 70.51 48 78 67 29 53 61
40 Corey Conners $7,600 70.56 48 38 16 84 27 85
41 Shawn Stefani $7,500 70.58 76 38 79 34 38 48
42 Harris English $8,100 70.59 48 21 97 24 68 16
43 Lucas Glover $7,600 70.59 41 21 10 44 70 77
44 Adam Schenk $6,900 70.62 62 78 35 61 93 32
45 Scott Stallings $6,800 70.64 48 38 69 50 31 50
46 Tom Hoge $7,300 70.64 41 29 54 52 13 74
47 Patton Kizzire $7,000 70.65 14 14 80 85 18 19
48 Shane Lowry $7,600 70.66 48 109 33 69 35 102
49 Ben Martin $7,000 70.66 19 78 76 62 43 36
50 Brandon Harkins $6,900 70.68 48 11 28 88 39 43
51 Nicholas Lindheim $6,800 70.69 14 88 87 51 94 7
52 Michael Thompson $7,300 70.7 31 78 82 68 90 10
53 Brian Stuard $6,700 70.74 19 86 70 47 62 44
54 Tyrone Van Aswegen $7,100 70.79 62 57 99 20 49 55
55 Kevin Tway $7,800 70.79 62 9 24 71 37 76
56 Joel Dahmen $7,100 70.81 5 86 29 58 57 78
57 Peter Uihlein $8,500 70.84 5 9 38 32 58 56
58 Hunter Mahan $6,800 70.84 10 78 8 115 98 12
59 Trey Mullinax $7,500 70.86 48 29 9 82 106 27
60 Matt Jones $6,900 70.89 31 46 21 8 82 108
61 Brett Stegmaier $6,900 70.9 95 29 91 87 36 23
62 Troy Merritt $7,400 70.98 31 52 42 105 42 37
63 Abraham Ancer $6,900 71 31 65 44 80 40 75
64 Seamus Power $7,200 71 62 46 48 91 107 6
65 Robert Garrigus $6,700 71.02 62 106 55 83 14 109
66 Bronson Burgoon $7,300 71.03 62 14 27 110 24 63
67 Retief Goosen $6,900 71.11 87 78 95 59 17 95
68 Danny Lee $7,300 71.14 95 100 88 71 80 57
69 Stephan Jaeger $6,600 71.15 87 29 74 46 72 54
70 Tom Lovelady $6,900 71.15 41 38 6 113 81 59
71 Denny McCarthy $6,900 71.17 62 65 85 79 103 11
72 Jonathan Byrd $6,500 71.17 62 46 102 6 67 81
73 Conrad Shindler $6,800 71.22 76 38 40 92 70 64
74 Wesley Bryan $7,100 71.23 62 95 116 15 29 17
75 Mackenzie Hughes $6,600 71.24 62 106 64 95 41 89
76 Rob Oppenheim $6,500 71.25 87 57 108 19 19 90
77 Kelly Kraft $7,100 71.27 87 78 98 107 48 25
78 Sam Ryder $7,400 71.27 19 95 36 108 28 98
79 Robert Streb $7,200 71.29 103 93 106 25 86 69
80 Keith Mitchell $7,300 71.31 41 14 2 60 105 105
81 Stewart Cink $6,800 71.32 31 35 45 109 6 104
82 Chad Campbell $7,000 71.32 76 106 47 41 75 110
83 Ryan Blaum $6,800 71.33 76 57 37 56 87 93
84 J.J. Henry $6,700 71.34 95 100 49 101 24 111
85 Martin Flores $7,000 71.42 87 74 71 66 46 101
86 Tyler Duncan $6,800 71.42 76 57 25 105 23 112
87 Greg Chalmers $6,700 71.43 110 95 107 77 114 2
88 Richy Werenski $7,000 71.45 48 65 56 45 97 67
89 Nick Taylor $6,800 71.49 87 52 50 53 78 94
90 Scott Brown $7,000 71.53 48 100 86 37 102 68
91 David Lingmerth $6,900 71.53 62 71 57 99 95 38
92 Ricky Barnes $6,600 71.57 103 14 111 9 66 28
93 Ethan Tracy $7,000 71.59 76 100 59 89 108 45
94 Derek Fathauer $7,000 71.61 103 95 110 65 85 30
95 Jonathan Randolph $6,700 71.64 103 88 83 96 99 52
96 Brice Garnett $6,700 71.65 76 38 26 97 69 99
97 Ryan Palmer $8,200 71.67 48 3 11 100 56 103
98 Padraig Harrington $7,200 71.69 110 113 99 57 109 58
99 Cody Gribble $6,800 71.71 98 109 92 70 111 42
100 Fabian Gomez $7,200 71.73 87 52 62 86 79 83
101 David Hearn $6,500 71.76 100 57 72 101 47 96
102 Cameron Tringale $6,500 71.77 103 52 112 64 20 40
103 Blayne Barber $6,700 71.79 76 74 73 104 65 84
104 Cameron Percy $7,200 71.95 76 4 68 28 63 113
105 Lanto Griffin $7,200 72.08 87 8 63 93 60 91
106 Sung Kang $7,100 72.1 112 93 104 81 77 97
107 Martin Piller $7,000 72.15 100 46 84 78 112 41
108 Steve Wheatcroft $6,700 72.21 98 71 66 111 92 80
109 Matt Atkins $6,600 72.24 76 100 58 55 113 86
110 Matt Every $6,600 72.44 100 46 96 114 64 87
111 Daniel Summerhays $7,100 72.62 103 35 109 76 115 9
112 Michael Kim $6,500 72.91 112 38 113 62 104 34
113 Kyle Thompson $6,700 72.92 103 113 101 90 89 116
114 Andrew Yun $6,500 73.04 115 116 93 116 100 115
115 D.A. Points $6,600 73.45 114 115 115 98 110 71
116 Smylie Kaufman $6,600 74.91 116 95 114 112 116 92

Course History

Here’s a look at how players have faired at this course in the past. I’ve also included their ranking in the projection model above in order to easily spot players with a strong course history and favorable projection this year.

Picks

$10k+

Brooks Koepka ($11,100)
A week before the US Open, I’m hesitant to invest heavily in any of the $10k+ players in this field. If I’m rolling the dice on one of them, it is Brooks Koepka who has not played as much golf as the others recently. I always fear for the late withdraw, or the withdraw after a first few poor holes in tournaments right before a major.

High-Tier

Adam Scott ($9,600)
A 10th place finish here last year, and coming in with great form - I’m plugging in Adam Scott and hoping the putter gets hot.

Tony Finau ($9,300)
We don’t have any course history here with Finau, but he grades out 7th overall in the model and plays up so well in DK scoring. I lean slightly with Finau over Byeong Hun An due to the difference in Strokes Gained: Approach and how much that stat has meant to past winners.

Mid-Tier

Luke List ($8,300)
Has made the cut both times he’s played here and grades out really well in our model. Another player where if the putter gets hot, it will carry him to a T5.

Kevin Chappell ($7,800)
His recent form is terrible, but the model still loves him and he has a great course history in Memphis. He’s finished 4th in 2017 and 22nd in 2015 at his only two appearances in this tournament. At this price, I’ll take a flier on Chappel and hope his recent play keeps others off of him.

Chez Reavie ($7,600)
Reavie is admittedly still a byproduct of his hot start to the 2018 season, as his 9th place in our model can be attributed to more to his February/March results. But Reavie has great success at this tournament with a 4th, 12th, and 22nd finish to his name.

Ben Crane ($7,400)
Former champion who is projected to finish well, Ben Crane is one of my favorite plays this week.

Cheap

Austin Cook ($7,200)
He hasn’t played this tournament in a few years, but Cook has a 13th and 22nd place finish in 2014 and 2015. He has missed his last two cuts at the Memorial and Forth Worth Invitationals, but I’m leaning on the course history with Cook.

Zac Blair ($6,700)
Has made the cut in each of this last three appearances in the St. Jude Classic and the model gives him a Top 20 finish this week. He’s only played once in the past two months in DraftKings tournaments, which was a 42nd finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

DraftKings Lineup

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