The PGA Tour is in Memphis this week for the FedEx St. Jude Classic -- the last tournament before the second major championship of the season, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
Since a major renovation at TPC Southwind several years ago, the St. Jude Classic has managed to draw a much stronger field. With tougher course conditions, the crazy-low scores that once ruled in Memphis don't occur nearly as often.
The course may not mimic U.S. Open conditions, but it is a place you have to think your way around.
With that, here are the five players you'll want to watch this week.
5. Phil Mickelson
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: It certainly hasn't been the best of seasons for Mickelson, but -- to this point anyway -- it's already better than it was a year ago. Mickelson's last two starts at TPC Southwind have resulted in a T11 and a T2, respectively. It's a course he's clearly comfortable on. Along with that, everyone in the world knows that Lefty has his sights set on Chambers Bay next week, as he takes a second crack at trying to snag the one major that eludes him. Mickelson would love to have a great week on the course following last week's T65 at Memorial, something to give him some good vibes going into the U.S. Open.
4. Webb Simpson
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the Wells Fargo Championship
Reason to watch: With four top-10 finishes this season, it seems Simpson has done just about everything but notch a win. He enters this week after having tied for second -- his best start of the season -- at the Wells Fargo Championship. In his first Memphis start since 2010 one year ago, Simpson tied for third. I think his first win of the season is coming soon. Why not this week in Memphis?
3. Harris English
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Lost playoff at Farmers Insurance Open
Reason to watch: I think English is searching for a measure of redemption at TPC Southwind this week. As the defending champion of the tournament last year -- his first title defense on the PGA Tour -- English disappointingly missed the cut. Players at this level never want to miss the cut, but especially at a place where they're defending a title. English has been solid this season with three top-10 finishes among his six top-25 finishes, including a playoff loss at Torrey Pines. I'm still waiting for English to bust out as one of the young stars on the PGA Tour as many predicted. This year will be better than last for him in Memphis.
2. Billy Horschel
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Third at the Valero Texas Open
Reason to watch: Lately, it just seems as though the 2013-14 FedExCup Champion has been building toward something big. Following a T13 at the Players Championship, Horschel tied for 11th at the Memorial a week ago. Add that to the fact that he's got top-10 finishes in his last two starts at Memphis and I think that could be the recipe for a special week.
1. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Won the WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: TPC Southwind is a track that Johnson always plays well at... when he plays, which he's done the last three seasons, with a T24 (2014); T10 (2013); and a win (2012). It's also been a season of consistent great golf for Johnson. Half of his 12 starts have yielded top-10 finishes. That's tied for third best on Tour. Listen, Johnson is a favorite every time he tees it up. It's been that way for a few years now and that hasn't changed.
Here's how my five to watch fared last week at the Memorial Tournament:
5. Tiger Woods -- 71
4. Matt Kuchar -- T26
3. Justin Rose -- 2nd
2. Bill Haas -- T18
1. Dustin Johnson -- T13