The buzz is starting to build over next week's U.S Open Championship, but the PGA TOUR still has business to attend to this week in Memphis, Tennessee, where a world-class field has assembled for the 60th playing of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Many of the best players in the world have come to TPC Southwind for final tune-ups under tournament pressure on the tight, par-70, 7,244-yard layout. The course is playing firm and fast and Thursday's action reflects the friendly scoring conditions.
Four players held a share of the overnight lead at 6-under-par, including Titleist golf ball loyalists Stewart Cink (Pro V1x) and Sebastian Munoz (Pro V1).
After Round One, Cink noted that birdies are here for the taking at Southwind. However, big numbers are also lurking for players who try to attack the course too aggressively.
"The key to my round today was the key to anyone's round who plays well here and that is you've got to keep the ball in front of you," Cink said. "Meaning, you don't have to hit every fairway, but you can't really be off too much."
Getting into the victory hunt this weekend at the St. Jude Classic may be just the competitive fuel needed for players make a run at the national championship next week.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this week in Memphis!
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TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS
A total of 112 players in the field are trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, nearly seven times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist was also the top choice among players in the hybrids category (26) as well as the irons category with 48 sets in play.
Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (221) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 67 putters in play.
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- The FedEx St. Jude Classic celebrates its 60th playing in 2017, the inaugural playing dating back to 1958 with Billy Maxwell winning at Colonial Country Club. The event moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.
- This year marks the 11th consecutive playing of the event the week before the U.S. Open. No player has ever won a PGA TOUR event and then gone on to win the U.S. Open the following week. The best U.S. Open finish by the prior week’s champion is a T16 by Titleist golf ball loyalist Lee Westwood (Pro V1x) in 2010.
- Since 1934, just 11 players have won the week before winning a major championship.
- Since the event’s inception in 1958, only three players have been able to successfully defend their title, Dave Hill (1969-70), Lee Trevino (1971-72) and Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist David Toms (2003-04). Toms is the only player to successfully defend since the event moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.
- The last two times on the PGA TOUR a winner failed to record a birdie in the final round occurred at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, most recently by Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Ben Crane in 2014.
- Today will mark 40 years since Al Geiberger shot the first sub-60 score recorded on the PGA TOUR. Geiberger recorded a 59 on Friday, June 10, 1977 (R2) at Colonial Country Club (South). There are now eight different players who have recorded a sub-60 round on TOUR, with two of those coming this season, including the 59 that Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas (Pro V1x) shot in Round 1 at the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii.
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The best thing about the FedEx St. Jude Classic? The children who benefit.
Only seven other players have broken 60 on the PGA TOUR since Al Geiberger first accomplished the feat at the 1977 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Memphis, a hotbed for great barbecue is a favorite TOUR stop for first round co-leader, barbecue aficionado and Titleist golf ball loyalist Stewart Cink.
Who knew? The King loves himself some golf.
A great miss from Titleist Brand Ambassador Ian Poulter (Pro V1x).
Memory Lane with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
A beautiful sunset at TPC Southwind.
Twenty years ago this week, the first Vokey Design wedge was played on TOUR at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. To commemorate this special anniversary, Voke is releasing a special limited edition replica of that first 456.14 sand wedge.
For more information, visit the 456.14 product page on Vokey Wedge Works.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this weekend!