From 'Atwal' to 'Zzzzzz', here's your A-to-Z guide to the week in golf

Rory McIlroy headlines a strong field in Memphis.
Robert Beck/SI

Your A-to-Z guide to the week in golf, with special emphasis on the sporting event we've been waiting for, the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew at TPC Southwind in Memphis:

A stands for Arjun Atwal, whose career flat-lined after he was involved in a fatal 2007 car accident, but who comes into the St. Jude on a high after qualifying for next week's U.S. Open.

B stands for breakthrough, which is what the PGA Tour's most notorious nearly-men Justin Rose and Tim Clark enjoyed at the Memorial and the Players Championship, respectively. Might we see a W by Robert Allenby or Charles Howell III in Memphis?

C stands for Colombia, home of the brothers Villegas, Camilo and Manuel, both in the field at the St. Jude Classic.

D stands for D'oh! Red-hot Tim Petrovic tries to atone for a poor finish at Muirfield, where he began the final round three behind leader Rickie Fowler but shot 74 to tie for fifth place.

E is for Englishmen, who are enjoying a big 2010. Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among those who will try to play their way into peak form at Southwind.

F is for Memphis-based FedEx, the St. Jude's title sponsor for 22 years. Perhaps not coincidentally, the tournament resisted giving an exemption to fourth-ranked Westwood, who wears a UPS logo on his golf shirts, until the media pointed out the apparent bias against the UPS man in late April.

G stands for Gay, Brian, defending champion this week.

H stands for Harrington, Padraig, who ascended to third in the World Ranking in 2008, but has dropped to 14th. He missed the cut at last year's St. Jude.

I is for Ireland, Harrington's home.

J is for James Driscoll, who went 79-65 to miss out at a U.S. Open sectional in Hobe Sound, Fla., on Monday. He's one of many non-qualifiers who could ease their Open disappointment with a win in Memphis, but maybe the only one coming off a 65.

K stands for Ken Kennerly, agent for Allenby, who was T4 at TPC Southwind last year. Kennerly predicted in the current issue of Golf Magazine, "Tryon could still make it. He might be a late-bloomer." Ty Tryon, 26 and nine years removed from his one and only year on the PGA Tour, shot 64-74 Monday to get through sectional U.S. Open qualifying in Maryland. Nice call, Ken!

L stands for lion, the logo for John Daly apparel. Daly, a Memphis guy who is in this week's St. Jude field, is coming off three good rounds and one not so good one at the Colonial, where he made a check for the fifth time in 10 starts in 2010.

M stands for Micheel, Shaun, who has largely disappeared since winning the 2003 PGA Championship. The Memphis native was a shoe-in for a sponsor's exemption this week.

N stands for new breed. Rose was the 10th player in his 20s to win on Tour in 2010, a trend that is becoming hard to ignore.

O stands for onslaught. The total margin of victory from Gay's two '09 wins was a whopping 15 strokes — 10 at Hilton Head and five at the St. Jude.

P stands for putting. Gay was last in driving distance but took only 100 putts to lead the field in Memphis.

Q stands for Q-rating. Three of the top 10 players in the world and eight of the top 20 add sizzle to the St. Jude.

R stands for Rory McIlroy, 21, who tied for 10th at the '09 U.S. Open and who will get plenty of face-time on the CBS broadcast of the St. Jude this weekend.

S stands for Spieth, Jordan, the 16-year-old amateur who beguiled audiences at the Byron Nelson, where he tied for 16th place. His sponsor's exemption at the St. Jude now looks like the best call since Kennerly's aforementioned Tryon prediction.

T stands for Toms, David, who ought to rename his first-born Memphis. Toms won the 2003 and '04 St. Judes, and finished second to Justin Leonard in '05 and to Gay in '09.

U stands for U.S. Open, which will dominate conversation no matter what happens in Tennessee.

V stands for Vijay Singh, who will work on his game elsewhere while Jeev Milkha Singh, no relation, goes for his first victory in the U.S. at TPC Southwind.

W stands for Weekley, Boo. He's enjoying something of a resurgence this season, with top-10s at Colonial and New Orleans, and finished T4 at the 2008 St. Jude.

X stands for XX chromosome, which is our reminder that the LPGA plays this week, too.

Y stands for Yani Tseng, who will be among the headliners at the State Farm Classic at Panther Creek C.C. in Springfield, Ill. Also in the field: No. 1-ranked Jiyai Shin, '09 champion In-Kyung Kim, Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie.

Z stands for Zzzzzz, which is our reminder that the European tour also plays this week, at the star-deprived Estoril Open de Portugal, which moves from April to June. The Champions and Nationwide tours are dark.

 

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