- Full preview of the Sanderson Farms Championship with The Golf Insider
This week we head to the “Deep South” of mainland USA, and the state of Mississippi, for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Not a stellar field this week, with most of the big names still resting-up after the US Open. However it still looks a highly competitive affair and one offering several big-value opportunities. Here’s a preview of the action in the “Magnolia State”.
Sanderson Farms Championship
The first time this event was played was in 1968, as a makeweight in the schedule the same week as the US Masters at Augusta (early April). And it filled this role until 1993 when as the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic it became a fully fledged PGA event, this time played alongside the Open Championship. Three more name changes later (Southern Farms, Viking and True South Classic), and several more placements on the schedule, the Sanderson Farms now finds itself towards the end of the year… but at the start of a new season! So we might not see a host of household names this week, but we will find a mixed bag. There’s some emerging talent, seasoned pros and would-be winners… also one of the best sporting trophies around (what looks like a stuffed chicken on a plinth).
This week’s it’s the Jackson Country Club in Mississippi. It’s a 7,421 yard par 72. The club itself is over 100 years old but this course design dates back to 1962 when Dick Wilson planned 27 holes on land newly acquired by the club. The layout was updated in 2008 by John Fought to bring it in line with modern day standards.
264, Scott Stallings (2012)
62, Roberto Castro (2015)
A regular PGA line-up this week with 156 players. Scottie Scheffler is the 10/1 market leader.
The action will be bookended with two poor days on Thursday (60% chance of rain) and Sunday (50% chance), while both Friday and Saturday look much better. What wind there is will be little threat, at less than 10mph, but the temperatures will be unseasonably low – and in tandem with Scotland this week! – struggling to hit the 60 degree mark.
Brian Harman (currently $34 with TopSport)
“Harman arrives in Mississippi relatively fresh, having only played once this past month in the US Open. However he has some good form behind him in the Fedex Cup, where he finished 11th in the Northern Trust and 12th in the BMW Championship. Both those events saw Harman play well, and putt well, and even the Top 40 at Winged Foot was no disgrace. Harman is a two-time PGA Tour winner, and someone who should thrive in this week’s conditions, where all the big names are absent and he can focus on his solid tee-to-green game. I think the price on offer for a number of players this week is hard to justify, and Harman at 33/1 represents a player who ticks a lot of boxes. His 14th place here 12 months ago is another sign that he should go well.”
Henrik Stenson (currently $41 with TopSport)
“Stenson made only his fourth appearance since lockdown at the Corales Puntacana last week and finished a respectable 21st. There aren’t any stats to go on from last week, but from the limited shots of Stenson that we saw, he looked to have his iron play dialled in. Even at the US Open, where he missed the cut, he gained nearly three strokes on the field with his approach play. The Jackson course is one that all types of player can compete on, and a course that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to big-hitters. This is perhaps the reason why Stenson has chosen to play this relatively low-key event, as the Swede almost exclusively hits his 3-wood off the tee, which puts him at a huge disadvantage most weeks – as the modern game is becoming more and more about hitting the ball as far as possible. However you look at it, Stenson is a big fish in a small pond this week, and I’m happy to back this Major Champion at a decent price considering who he’s up against.
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