Weather forecast for Thursday: As you'd expect for Memphis in August, it's going to be a hot one. It's already mid-80s by 10am and temperatures could peak around 95 in the afternoon. Winds are very light, picking up ever so slightly for the pm wave. Perhaps the morning is slightly more pleasant so I'll pick two early starters.
Make Wise move
Aaron Wise is a first-time visitor to TPC Southwind and he makes his debut ranked 28th in the FedEx Cup standings.
That shows just what an excellent campaign it's been for the American and there's no reason why it can't continue here.
Wise comes in off a tied 13th in last week's Wyndham Championship and that included an opening 65 which put him fifth after 18 holes.
It was no surprise to see him go low and a check of the PGA Tour's Early R1 Scoring Average shows him ranked 4th.
That's relevant as he's been given a first-round tee-time of 08.21.
Wise also started with a 65 at the Mexico Open while he was seventh after day one of the US Open.
The Memorial runner-up is 50/1 to be first-round leader in this field of 125 and that's worth a bet given that he has a good record of starting strongly in elite fields (also second after R1 of the 2021 US PGA).
Smalley can shine
Alex Smalley cruised into the Playoffs in 63rd after a strong finish to the regular season.
The 25-year-old was tied 16th at the John Deere Classic, tied 10th at the Scottish Open and tied 13th alongside Wise in last week's Wyndham Championship.
In terms of fast starts, he's 13th in Round 1 Early Scoring Average and that chimes with his tee-time of 07.37.
Getting to the specifics, in two of his last three starts, Smalley was fifth after 18 holes of the Wyndham and seventh on the Thursday leaderboard at the Scottish Open.
That was thanks to a 65 in the former and a 67 in the latter.
A strong tee-to-green game suggests he can have a big debut and it's encouraging that he had his best putting stats since May (nine tournaments) at the Wyndham.
Back Smalley at 100/1.
Wyndham Clark is another debutant but he's played well in both his Korn Ferry starts in Tennessee finishing third and 11th (both in 2018).
He's played lots of good golf in recent months, finishing tied seventh in the Canadian Open, tied 16th at the Scottish Open and tied eighth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on his latest start.
One of the game's biggest hitters, Clark was first-round leader at the Canadian Open after a 63 and he signed off at the Rocket Mortgage with a 65.
His recent SG: Tee To Green numbers have really gone up a notch and he's 25th this season for SG: Putting.
To complete his case, Clark is 3rd in the Round 1 Late Scoring Average charts.
That makes him an attractive afternoon starter pick - he tees off at 12.11 - at 100/1.