|St. Jude Classic - June 07, 2010
ST. JUDE CLASSIC
PRESENTED BY SMITH AND NEPHEW
Par: 35-35—70 Yards: 7,239
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $5,600,000 Winner: $1,008,000
2009 Champion: Brian Gay (262, -18)
Gay Aims to Duplicate Dominant
Performance at St. Jude Classic
Brian Gay earned his third PGA TOUR victory in runaway fashion at the 2009 St. Jude Classic. Gay fired rounds of 64-66-66-66 for an 18-under 262 and a five-stroke victory over Bryce Molder and David Toms. The five-shot margin equaled the third-largest in tournament history. Only John Cook in 1996 (seven strokes), Raymond Floyd in 1982 (six strokes) and Toms in 2004 (six strokes) had larger margins.
This is the first season that Smith & Nephew is serving as a presenting sponsor for the long-time Tennessee event held at TPC Southwind. Smith and Nephew is a global medical technology business with its orthopedics division headquartered in Memphis.
This season, Gay has made 12 of 15 cuts and posted two top 10s. His top-performance was a tie for second at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He is 37th in the FedExCup.
St. Jude Classic Notes
During his two wins in 2009, Brian Gay was dominant. Not only did he win by five strokes at the St. Jude Classic, but five weeks earlier he enjoyed a 10-shot victory on Harbour Town Golf Links at the Verizon Heritage. The victory was Gay’s third career top-10 at the St. Jude Classic in 11 career starts. His previous best finishes were a a tie for fifth in 2004 and a fourth-place showing in 2007.
Brian Gay is looking to become the first player to successfully defend at the St. Jude Classic since David Toms in 2004. The only other player to successfully defend in Memphis was Dave Hill in 1969-1970.
Lee Westwood, the fourth-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, is making his first appearance at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew as is Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a tie for 10th last week at the Memorial Tournament.
Brian Gay’s victory last year at the St. Jude Classic was just the fourth wire-to-wire triumph in tournament history. Gay joined Dave Hill (1967), Bob Estes (2001) and Justin Leonard (2005) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
With victories at the 2009 Verizon Heritage and St. Jude Classic, Brian Gay is one of only 11 players with at least two victories since the start of the 2009 season. The others are Tiger Woods (five), Phil Mickelson (four), Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson (three each), Dustin Johnson, Kenny Perry, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Y.E. Yang (two each).
The next tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule after the St. Jude Classic is the U.S. Open. No winner of the event the week prior to the U.S. Open has ever gone on to win the country’s national championship. Only eight players have won the week prior to a major championship and then gone on to win the ensuing major, most recently Tiger Woods at the 2007 PGA Championship (following his win at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational).
Two-time winner David Toms is making his 19th career start at the St. Jude Classic. He has posted seven top-10s in Memphis during his career, tied for sixth-most in tournament history.
Five players have claimed their first PGA TOUR victories at the St. Jude Classic. They are Bob Lunn (1968), Larry Mize (1983), Mike Hulbert (1986), Jodie Mudd (1988) and Dicky Pride (1994).
• With the victory by Justin Rose (England) last week, 10 different players in their 20s have won this year. Four of them — Bill Haas (Greenville, SC/Wake Forest), Derek Lamely (Ft. Myers, FL/Florida Gulf Coast), Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) and Camilo Villegas (Colombia/Florida) — will be in action this week at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew.
• Look out for David Toms (Shreveport, LA/LSU) this week. Toms won the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew in 2003 and 2004, and was the runner-up in 2005 and 2009 among his seven career Top-10s in the tournament.
• If not Toms, you might also expect to see Justin Leonard (Dallas, TX/Texas) near the top at week’s end. Leonard has two victories in Memphis (2005 and 2008) and has five Top-10s at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew.
• The Villegas brothers, Camilo and Manuel, will play together this week for the first time in a PGA TOUR event at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew. Manuel is in the tournament via a sponsor exemption.
• The PGA TOUR welcomes all ages. This week’s field at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew includes 16-year old Jordan Spieth (Dallas) and 50-year old Tom Pernice Jr. (Murietta, CA/UCLA).
• While the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew has been around since 1958, only five players have claimed their first TOUR title in the event and none since Dicky Pride (Orlando, FL/Alabama) in 1994.
• Rickie Fowler (Las Vegas, NV/Oklahoma State) leads all rookies in the FedExCup race as he currently stands 12th. Only one rookie, Brandt Snedeker (Nashville, TN/Vanderbilt), has ever finished higher in the FedExCup standings. Snedeker finished 9th in 2007.
• Nick Price (Zimbabwe) collected his second Champions Tour title of the season last week at the Principal Charity Classic. It’s the first time Price has had a multiple win season anywhere since he took home six crowns in the 1994 PGA TOUR season.
• He hasn’t won yet, but Tommy Armour III (Dallas, TX/New Mexico) has had a great 2010 season. Armour has finished second three times in his eight starts with five Top-10s. He’s currently 7th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings and 7th on the money list.
• The Champions Tour is off for the next two weeks, but returns the week of June 21-27 for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Mark Calcavecchia (Tequesta, FL/Florida) is expected to make his Champions Tour debut in that event.
• Much like the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour has seen several of its younger players emerge victorious this year. Three players under the age of 25 have won this year — Bobby Gates (24, The Woodlands, TX/Texas A&M), Kevin Chappell (23, Fresno, CA/UCLA) and Martin Piller (24, Dallas, TX/Texas A&M).
• The Nationwide Tour is off this week, but returns next week for the Fort Smith Classic. The Knoxville News Sentinel Open was originally scheduled to be played this week, but will now be played the week of Aug. 23-29.
• A total of 32 former or current Nationwide Tour players qualified for the U.S. Open in the Monday qualifiers held around the country. Seven were current members — Jason Gore (Valencia, CA/Pepperdine), Kent Jones (Albuquerque, NM/New Mexico), Hugo Leon (Chile), Craig Barlow (Henderson, NV), Jim Herman (Port St. Lucie, FL/Cincinnati), Blaine Peffley (Lebanon, PA/Maryland) and Daniel Summerhays (Farmington, UT/BYU).