Let’s be honest, we’re all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage — unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that’s the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Rory McIlroy stumbles at the worst possible time — After missing consecutive cuts, you’d think Rory McIlroy would’ve been happy to play the weekend and post a top-10 finish.
If only it was that easy. Instead of leaving Memphis with some positives, McIlroy crashed and burned at the most inopportune time. Tied for the lead following a clutch birdie on the 17th hole, the Ulsterman stepped onto the 18th tee tied for the FedEx St. Jude Classic lead … and watched his tee shot land in the middle of the water. He went on to double bogey the hole, ending his chances of winning the week before his U.S. Open title defense.
With the tournament officially in the books, you can look at McIlroy’s four rounds a number of different ways. On one hand he finished the week inside the top-20 in strokes gained and putts per GIR, two categories he struggled mightily in over the last month. There’s no question he’s going to need a hot putter at Olympic Club.
But on the other hand, he blew a golden opportunity to keep the pressure on Dustin Johnson or, heck, even birdie and get to 9-under. We can’t say for sure if McIlroy’s confidence was shaken after Sunday’s loss, but if there was one scenario he didn’t need going into the U.S. Open, it was stumbling on the final hole the week prior.
Davis Love III puts together another solid week — He may not make the Ryder Cup as a playing captain, but Davis Love III is putting together a decent season for a guy who’s juggling two jobs at the moment. After missing the cut at the Players Championship and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Love has now reeled off two consecutive top-20 finishes, including his first top-three at the FedEx St. Jude Classic since the now-defunct Turning Stone Resort Championship in 2008. Next up for Love? The U.S. Open, which will be his third consecutive start. Hopefully he still has a little something left in the tank.
John Daly turns back the clock on Sunday — Oh, we can’t close out Memphis without talking about Mr. Daly. He wasn’t part of the equation down the stretch on Sunday, but Daly managed to do something that was pretty impressive, firing 6-under 64 on an incredibly tough TPC Southwind layout. Not only was it the best round of the day, it also allowed him to post his first top-20 finish of the year. And get this: In 10 starts this year, Daly has two missed cuts. That’s not a typo, friends. I don’t know about you, but I’m digging the 2.0 version of John Daly.
Ryan Palmer really likes top 5 finishes — Ryan Palmer has turned into Matt Kuchar over the last 2 1/2 months, racking up top-5 finishes on a regular basis. His T-3 in Memphis was his third in his last five starts (he has four top-10 finishes in that span, too). He finished the week tied for second in putts per round (26), which is really impressive on Southwind’s tricky greens. If you’re looking for a darkhorse pick for the U.S. Open, you may want to take a look at this guy.
Best of the rest — John Merrick finished in second-place for the first time since the 2009 Bob Hope Classic. … J.B. Holmes went into the weekend at 6-under, but a 72-71 finish ended his tournament chances. … 18-year-old Cody Proveaux, the reigning AJGA Player of the Year, missed the cut at 6-over.