VOL. 133 | NO. 113 | Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Dustin Johnson Heads FESJC Field
By Don Wade
The last FedEx St. Jude Classic will not be without star power. In the tournament’s final year under the current format before converting to the World Golf Championships - FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2019, the field will feature World No. 2 Dustin Johnson, No. 9 Brooks Koepka and No. 15 Henrik Stenson (rankings through June 3).
Also returning: two-time defending champion Daniel Berger (No. 41), gallery favorite Phil Mickelson (No. 20) and the always colorful John Daly.
The pros begin their four rounds of play on Thursday, June 7, at TPC Southwind.
Johnson sat atop the world rankings for more than a year and won the FESJC back in 2012. Koepka, a regular in Memphis, broke through to win the 2017 U.S. Open.
Berger is attempting to become the first man to win the FESJC three years in a row. The last player to win back-to-back titles before Berger was David Toms in 2003-2004. In 2005 Toms finished second, one stroke behind winner Justin Leonard.
Mickelson has 43 PGA Tour wins, including five Grand Slam events.
Daly has not played the FESJC since 2014 and made his best showing with a fifth-place finish in 2001.
In all, the field will have more than 150 golfers and eight former FESJC champions.
On Friday, admission is free starting at 5 p.m. and parking is $10 for “Fireworks on the Fairway,” which is slated to begin a little before 9 p.m. While no outside food and drinks will be permitted, it’s fine to brink chairs or blankets.
To enter Wednesday through Sunday, a ticket is required and can be purchased at www.stjudelclassic.com. One-day tickets are $40 and week-long passes are $65 (youth 15-and-under $15). Parking is available in Lot C off Winchester Road for $20 a day or $45 for the week.
Grizzlies Hold another Pre-Draft Workout
While focus rightly falls on the Grizzlies holding the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, the team held another workout on Monday, June 4, for players that either might be an option with the 32nd overall pick at the front of the second round or as potential fits for summer league or the G League Memphis Hustle.
General manager Chris Wallace called 6-3 guard Malik Newman the “centerpiece” of Monday’s workout. Newman, is from Jackson, Mississippi, played a season at Mississippi State and then after sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules, played for Kansas last season. With the Jayhawks, Newman averaged 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while knocking down 85-of-205 attempts from 3-point range for 41.5 percent.
“He showed he can score the ball,” Wallace said after the workout. “Very strong going to the basket. He should be able to extend his collegiate 3-point range out to the NBA (distance) without a great deal of difficulty.”
Samford University 6-5 guard Demetrius Dyson, who is from Covington, Tennessee, also was part of the workout.
“We always like to get local players in here and give them a shot,” Wallace said.
Former Memphis Football Coach Billy J. Murphy on NFF Hall of Fame Ballot
Former Memphis football coach Billy J. “Spook” Murphy is one of six Football Bowl Subdivision coaches on the National Football Foundation’s (NFF) Hall of Fame ballot released Monday, June 4. Murphy, who guided Memphis to a program-best 91 wins, had 11 winning seasons at Memphis and retired as the 15th-winningest coach in the nation. Posting a mark of 91-44-1 over a Memphis career that spanned three decades (1958-71), Murphy is a member of both the Memphis Hall of Fame and Mississippi Hall of Fame.
Former Memphis football coach Billy J. Murphy is one of five Football Bowl Subdivision coaches on the National Football Foundation’s (NFF) Hall of Fame ballot. (University of Memphis Athletics)
To be nominated, a coach must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage. Murphy’s winning mark of .673 is highest among the six coaches on the 2019 ballot.
A World War II veteran, Murphy played at Mississippi State, serving as a team captain. He took over the program at Memphis in 1958 and guided the program to an unblemished 1963 season, earning the Detroit News’ National Coach of the Year award. Murphy was also a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year from 1968-71 and took Memphis to the 1971 Pasadena Bowl, where the Tigers defeated San Jose State, 28-9.
Following his coaching career, Murphy stayed at Memphis and served as the athletic director from 1966-1980. As the AD at Memphis, he headed a pair of construction projects – the Tigers’ Park Avenue Campus facility (which now bears his name) as well as the current Athletic Office Building on the corner of Normal and Southern on the U of M main campus.
Basketball Tigers to Play Texas Tech in December
In a game that will pit two of Tubby Smith’s former teams against one another, the University of Memphis will play Texas Tech Dec. 1 in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Hoophall Miami Invitational at American Airlines Arena.
Memphis, of course, is in its first season under coach Penny Hardaway, the former Tiger All-American and ex-NBA All-Star. Texas Tech advanced to the Elite Eight last season, its deepest NCAA Tournament run in school history.
Other games being played in the Naismith Memorial will include Miami vs. Yale, St. John’s vs. Georgia Tech and North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt. Georgia Tech is led by former Memphis coach Josh Pastner.