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Nic Ladds 9th Jun 2009 - 7:19

Toms on song for Tennessee glee

10/1 Phil Mickelson is William Hill's outright market leader as a classy field gathers for the St. Jude Classic in Elvis territory.

The San Diego man (2/1 for a top 5 finish) has been out of the Tour loop for a fortnight after his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer but if Lefty can hit the heights of this year's two wins in Los Angeles (Northern Trust Open) and Miami (WGC) he will surely go close.

I would not put anyone off taking the 10s even though he missed the cut on his last appearance in Tennessee in 2001. He's quite simply good enough to win anywhere.

Cynics might argue that a week before the US Open at Bethpage Park the supremely talented left hander will be fine tuning his game rather than focusing on victory, but I don't buy any of that claptrap.

In 2006 he famously won the Bell South the week before winning the Masters.

14/1 Justin Leonard, who also claimed this Memphis event in 2005, defends his title at TPC Southwind that has a reputation of rewarding neat and tidy players.

David Toms 14/1 (twice), Jeff Maggert 125/1, Woody Austin 33/1, Len Mattiace and Bob Estes 50/1 - all accurate and crisp iron players when in the groove - have triumphed here since 2001.

The field also includes Henrik Stenson 18/1, who won the recent Players Championship, Camilo Villegas 22/1, Sergio Garcia 16/1, Padraig Harrington 22/1 and wild thing John Daly 100/1.

Of that group keep a close eye on Garcia and Harrington who tied for 4th here last term and only one shot out of the eventual play-off. Indeed, the omens for the Spaniard and the Irishman are good, their fine efforts in Memphis in 2008 came in the week before the US Open that was of course won by Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines.

Interestingly Southwind's fairways are zoysia grass rather than the more prevalent Bermuda or bentgrass which encourages the ball to sit up more. As a result players tend to sweep the ball, taking less of a divot.

I simply can't ignore the claims of 14/1 David Toms this week given his outstanding record at Southwind. He's also been playing some great stuff in recent months.

The Louisiana native has already banked $1.5 million this season with his best efforts being 2nd at the Sony in Hawaii, 4th at Phoenix, 6th in Cancun, 5th in New Orleans and 9th at the Players Championship.

He should be there or thereabouts come payday - Sunday.

50/1 Matt Kuchar (10/1 top 5 finish), who finished 5th at Memorial last week, has the tools to do well at Southwind. He finished 5th here in 2002, and regularly comes home in the top 30 on a course he is clearly comfortable with.

Have some of that 50/1.

40/1 Brian Gay (8/1 top 5 finish) is another that has shown an aptitude for the par 70, 7,244 yard track. He's already won the Heritage this year in South Carolina. His best efforts were 4th in 2007 and 5th in 2004 so there can be no doubts about his ability to handle Southwind.

But what really stands out about this ace putter is that he really seems to perform well on shorter lay outs. His win at the Heritage came on one of the PGA Tour's shorter courses and so did his Cancun victory in 2007.

A key hole for golf punters using our superb in-running betlive service is the 16th par 5 that measures 530 yards.

It's an uphill par 5 that is reachable in two and if your man is to prosper this week he'll need to make hay there.

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