The PGA Tour heads to Memphis this week for the annual St. Jude Classic, where several big names will make the stop as they prepare for next week's U.S. Open. Major championship preparation varies from player to player, with some choosing to take a week or two off before one of the game's biggest events, while others prefer to get some tournament reps in just before the major. It's obviously not ideal for an event to be slotted on the Tour calendar a week before or after a major, but even if guys are just showing up to prep, the opportunity can still land your venue some big names.
Phil Mickelson, perhaps the second-most popular player in the world behind Tiger Woods, will tee it at TPC Southwind this week. Mickelson's approach is constantly changing, as he opted to sit out last week at Memorial, an event he usually plays, but opted in for the St. Jude. He had his routine affected for The Masters when the calendar called for the Tour stop in San Antonio -- as opposed to Houston -- to immediately precede Augusta. Mickelson complained about the adjusted schedule, as the layout at the Houston Open provides a test that could let him work on things that might approximate certain conditions at Augusta. This week, he'll try to get that work in before he heads to Merion in pursuit of the white whale of his career -- the U.S. Open.
Mickelson carries the lowest pre-tournament odds, matched by Brandt Snedeker at 14/1. The defending FedExCup Champion is hoping he can find a little more success with this week's title sponsor and get ready for the tight conditions next week in Ardmore. Along with Phil and Snederker, here are some of the favorites in the field with better than 100/1 odds:
|Charles Howell III||33/1|
|Brendon De Jonge||50/1|