PGA TOUR: Sanderson Farms Championship Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Damien Kayat previews the Sanderson Farms Championship taking place in Mississippi from the 25th to the 28th of October. 

Sanderson Farms Championship
Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi
25th-28th October

The Sanderson Farms Championship was initially staged at the Hattiesburg Country Club 50 years ago in 1968.  Since then it has undergone several face lifts before 2014, when it settled on the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi.  This event has really been the crème de la crème of opposite events, playing second fiddle to the Ryder Cup, Masters and Open Championship among others.  This week it will serve as understudy to the WGC HSBC Champions event in Shanghai. 

This club was formed over 100 years ago, though the course being utilised this week was unveiled in 1962.  It is a Dick Wilson design that is a composite of two nine holes course: Dogwood and Azalea.  The course underwent significant changes under the stewardship of Donald Ross-influenced John Fought.  This is a classical Bermuda layout with greens that vary in size.  The tricky runoff areas around the greens will test the short-game of the players to the limit.  It’s no surprise that putting statistics have proved quite decisive in recent years. 

Clearly this was never going to attract the greatest field with the WGC event in China.  This does however present some of the fringe players on the tour with the opportunity to gain some ground in the absence of the big boys.  Alumni of the Tour use events such as these to cut their teeth and navigate the significant bump in quality between the two tours.  Sungjae Im is one such player and has looked excellent since making the transition.  He leads the markets in an event that is bound to dish up some significant surprises.   

Past Winners

  • 2017: Ryan Armour (-19)
  • 2016: Cody Gribble (-20)
  • 2015: Peter Malnati (-18)
  • 2014: Nick Taylor (-16)
  • 2013: Woody Austin (-20)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 

  • Sungjae Im (18/1)
  • Ryan Armour (20/1)
  • Patrick Rodgers (20/1)
  • Dylan Fritteli (28/1)
  • Kevin Streelman (28/1)

Value Bets

Cameron Davis- To Win (33/1), To Place (7/1)

Aussie Cameron Davis is a man who should persevere should conditions get windy this week.  He won the 2017 Aussie Open in extremely windy conditions while he shot a 4 under 68 in the final round at Silverado in similarly treacherous winds.  He also finished inside the top 40 at Carnoustie, shooting 1 under in the final round.  Davies finished 17th in his last visit to Mississippi in April and he generally loves playing in the south.  He won his first title in Nashville whilst he picked up a 4th in Knoxville.  He finished the season brilliantly, finishing 3rd in the season ending Tour Championship.  He tied for 4th at Safeway and should revel in this field. 

Anders Albertson- To Win (66/1), To Place (14/1)

Another alumni, 25 year-old Anders Albertson is a former Georgia Tech star and is great friends with Ollie Schniederjins.  His stats on last year’s Tour reflect his applicability for this challenge.  Schniederjins was 1st in scoring average, 5th in putting average and 1st in birdie average.  He has the capacity to shoot low on receptive courses.  He shot closing rounds of 64-63 at July’s Lincoln Long Championship.  He also shot a 63 in last month’s DAP Championship.  He also stormed into 2nd place at the Boise Open with a remarkable final round of 62. 

Roberto Castro- To Win (125/1), To Place (25/1)
Roberto Castro represents a more far flung prediction.  The Texan-born, Georgian resident is a player who absolutely loves this part of the world.  He shot a 62 in the first round of the 2015 edition on his way to finishing 4th.  He led the field that week from tee-to-green.  Castro regained his tour card on the Tour with some telling stats.  He finished in 16th for birdie average, which will be a key stat this week: the last four renewals of this edition were won by the player with the most birdies.  Although without a win in over 200 starts, Castro has a penchant for old classical courses and could represent great value in the place markets. 

The Man to Beat- Aaron Baddeley- To Win (28/1), To Place (6/1)
Yet another Aussie, Baddeley has oft been touted as one of the most deadly players in the game with the short blade.  And this week’s venue seems to be the perfect venue for him to flaunt his expertise.  Baddeley has perhaps never quite got the rest of his game to the levels of his putting.  He was battling last season until a bolt form the blue in the US Open saw him finish in a tie for 25th.  He would suffer four missed cuts after that prior to a mini revival towards the end of the year.  He enjoyed four consecutive top 25 finishes, including a full filed PGA Tour event in the Wyndham Championship.  Baddelay’s form seems to be trending positively and he could be a factor in this poor field. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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