William Hill are attacking this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship with their market-leading leading 8 places each-way at 1/5 odds. Since the resumption of the PGA Tour in June, William Hill have offered 8 places each-way at 1/5 odds across all full-field tournaments, in-tandem with extremely strong odds. If you haven’t got a William Hill Sportsbook account, then stop missing-out, as you can grab their latest boosted new customer offer below:
Course Guide: Despite extending the Country Club of Jackson course by 57 yards in 2018, the course doesn’t hold too many fears for PGA Tour pros. At 7,461 yards for a Par 72, length is pretty standard for these modern times, especially as it’s set on a flat property with fairways that are relatively wide by modern standards. Trees are a feature on most holes but they’re relatively sparse and the course features plenty of straight holes.
Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi: Designer: Wilson, 1962, Fought redesign, 2008; Course Type: Resort; Par: 72; Length: 7,461 yards; Holes with Water In-Play: 5; Fairways: 419 Bermudagrass; Rough: Bermudagrass with Zoysiagrass, 2″; Greens: 6,200 sq.ft average Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermudagrass; Stimpmeter: 12ft. Scoring Average 2014: 71.47 (-0.53), Difficulty Rank 27 of 52 courses. 2015: 70.47 (-1.53), Difficulty Rank 46 of 50 courses. 2016: 71.06 (-0.94), Difficulty Rank of 34 of 50 courses. 2017: 71.83 (-0.17), Difficulty Rank of 21 of 51 courses. 2018: 71.25 (-0.75), Difficulty Rank 26 of 49 courses. 2019: 70.90 (-1.10), Difficulty Rank 26 of 41 courses.
Widths Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for the CC of Jackson and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:
- CC of Jackson: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:29; 325:28; 350:25.
- Winged Foot: 19-23 yards wide.
- Silverado: 250 yards from the tee: 27 yards wide; 275:26; 300:24; 325:25; 350:24.
- East Lake: 250 yards from the tee: 28 yards wide; 275:26; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
- Olympia Fields: 250 yards from the tee: 28 yards wide; 275:26; 300:25; 325:26; 350:26.
- TPC Boston: 250 yards from the tee: 37 yards wide; 275:35; 300:34; 325:27; 350:33.
- Sedgefield: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:26 325:23; 350:22.
- TPC Harding Park: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:28 325:27; 350:26.
- TPC Southwind: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:29; 300:29; 325:31; 350:26.
- TPC Twin Cities: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:38; 300:31; 325:30; 350:36.
- Muirfield Village: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:24; 350:29.
Course Overview: The course is a mixture of 2 sets of 9 holes, namely Azalea and Dogwood. John Fought, who re-modelled the course in 2008, is an admirer of Donald Ross’s work and as such it’s interesting to note that green complexes on the whole are raised and have run-off areas similar to many a Ross design.
Greens are pretty average in size – 6,200 sq.ft. average – and feature Ultradwarf Champion Bermudagrass, the likes of which were found at previous tournament host course Annandale, but also feature at Trinity Forest (2018 + 2019 HP Byron Nelson), TPC Southwind, RTJ Trail (Grand National – Barbasol Championship 2015 – 2017), Sedgefield (since 2012) and Quail Hollow (since the 2017 PGA Championship).
Visually the course looks quite tight and with Nick Taylor, Peter Malnati, Cody Gribble, Ryan Armour and Sebastian Munoz all ending up at least mid-division for driving accuracy when winning here, a level of respect off the tee seemed a pre-requisite. However the severe “bomb and gouge” tactics of Cameron Champ worked fantastically well in 2018 as he posted a CC of Jackson record winning score of -21/267 to beat Corey Conners by 4 shots.
The Country Club of Jackson does present a level of challenge and interestingly we’ve seen a mix of relatively fast, soft and cold, windy conditions across the past 6 renewals held here. 27th out of 52 courses in terms of difficulty in 2014 was followed by 46th out of 50 courses (soft), 34th out of 50 courses (humid with watered greens), 21st out of 51 courses (cold and windy), 26th out of 49 courses, where conditions were cold and windy for the first 2 days, then hot and humid over the weekend! And 2019 saw Jackson come in at 26th most difficult of 41 courses, with fast fairways, flyer rough and watered greens. Ultimately though winning scores of -20/268, -19/269, -21/267 and -18/270 over the past 4 years highlight a tournament where low scoring and top-notch Champion Bermudagrass putting are the order of the day.
The key to contending here seems to be to unlock a relatively difficult set of par-5s – 8th most difficult for Birdie or Better Conversion in 2018 – whilst scoring well on a set of par-4s that are far easier in comparison. Taylor, Malnati, Gribble, Armour and Champ all topped the field for birdies made on their way to victories here, whilst Munoz 12 months ago was in the top 10 for birdies but only leaked 3 bogeys.
CC of Jackson Winners: 2019: Sebastian Munoz (-18); 2018: Cameron Champ (-21); 2017: Ryan Armour (-19); 2016: Cody Gribble (-20); 2015: Peter Malnati (-18); 2014: Nick Taylor (-16).
Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.
Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are Will Zalatoris, Sam Burns, Kelly Kraft, Pat Perez, Brian Harman, Brian Stuard, Scottie Scheffler, Chesson Hadley, Charley Hoffman and Jhonattan Vegas.
Recent Player Skill Rankings: These rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the PGA Championship and English Championship, which includes PGA Tour and European Tour events. Rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:
- Driving Accuracy: 1) Bronson Burgoon; 2) Vaughn Taylor; 3) Corey Conners; 4) Ryan Armour / Brian Stuard; 6) Davis Riley; 7) Sungjae Im; 8) Scottie Scheffler; 9) Henrik Stenson; 10) Denny McCarthy; 11) Wesley Bryan; 12) Chris Baker; 13) Kyle Stanley; 14) Jim Herman / Kramer Hickok; 16) Ted Potter Jnr; 17) Dylan Frittelli; 18) Emiliano Grillo; 19) Russell Knox / Chez Reavie; 21) Austin Cook / Brian Harman / David Hearn; 24) Henrik Norlander / Doc Redman.
- Greens in Regulation: 1) Vaughn Taylor; 2) Scottie Scheffler; 3) Mark Anderson; 4) Sam Burns / Martin Laird; 6) Chris Kirk; 7) J.B. Holmes; 8) Chris Baker / Emiliano Grillo; 10) Bo Hoag; 11) Cameron Davis / Will Zalatoris; 13) Davis Riley / Talor Gooch; 15) Sahith Theegala / Jhonattan Vegas / Camilo Villegas; 18) Corey Conners / Luke List; 20) Dylan Frittelli.
- Scrambling: 1) Will Zalatoris; 2) Sahith Theegala; 3) David Hearn; 4) Tim Wilkinson; 5) Brian Harman; 6) Anirban Lahiri / Hank Lebioda; 8) Zach Johnson; 9) Kevin Chappell / Sungjae Im / Rob Oppenheim; 12) Brian Stuard; 13) Matthias Schwab; 14) Wyndham Clark / Sebastian Cappelen; 16) Jonathan Byrd / Michael Gligic / J.J. Spaun / Kyle Stanley; 20) Byeong Hun An / Mark Anderson.
- Putting Average (Putts per GIR): 1) Cameron Percy / Scottie Scheffler; 3) Grayson Murray; 4) Sahith Theegala; 5) Hudson Swafford; 6) Peter Malnati; 7) J.B. Holmes / Sean O’Hair / Scott Piercy; 10) Cameron Davis; 11) Doc Redman; 12) Kristoffer Ventura; 13) Beau Hossler / Adam Long; 15) Jason Dufner; 16) Stewart Cink / Vincent Whaley; 18) D.J. Trahan; 19) Chesson Hadley / Kramer Hickok.
Recent Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 20 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the PGA Championship and English Championship, which includes PGA Tour and European Tour events. Players rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:
- Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Will Gordon; 2) Scottie Scheffler / Vincent Whaley; 4) Will Zalatoris; 5) Sam Burns; 6) Emiliano Grillo; 7) Chris Kirk; 8) Sergio Garcia; 9) Kristoffer Ventura; 10) Corey Conners / Davis Riley; 12) Sungjae Im; 13) Keith Mitchell; 14) Luke List; 15) Michael Gligic; 16) Cameron Davis / Si Woo Kim; 18) Beau Hossler; 19) Chris Baker / Dylan Frittelli; 21) Jamie Lovemark / J.J. Spaun; 23) Ted Potter Jnr; 24) Doc Redman; 25) Lucas Glover.
- Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Will Zalatoris; 2) J.B. Holmes; 3) Scottie Scheffler; 4) Emiliano Grillo; 5) Chris Baker; 6) Russell Knox; 7) Hudson Swafford; 8) Chris Kirk / Rob Oppenheim; 10) J.J. Spaun; 11) Greg Chalmers / Corey Conners; 13) Sungjae Im / Patton Kizzire; 15) Martin Laird / Chez Reavie / Scott Stallings; 18) Byeong Hun An / Wesley Bryan / Doc Redman; 21) Dylan Frittelli / Charley Hoffman / Denny McCarthy; 24) Cameron Davis / Talor Gooch.
- Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Jamie Lovemark; 2) Bud Cauley; 3) Brandon Hagy; 4) Michael Gligic; 5) Scottie Scheffler; 6) Brian Harman; 7) Byeong Hun An; 8) Hank Lebioda; 9) Bo Hoag / Sebastian Munoz; 10) Charl Schwartzel; 11) J.J. Spaun / D.J. Trahan; 13) Jason Dufner; 14) Adam Long / Si Woo Kim / Will Zalatoris; 17) Peter Malnati; 18) Ted Potter Jnr; 19) Robby Shelton; 20) Camilo Villegas / Tim Wilkinson; 22) K.H. Lee; 23) Kyle Stanley; 24) Tom Hoge / Carlos Ortiz / Nick Watney.
- Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Will Zalatoris; 2) Scottie Scheffler; 3) J.J. Spaun; 4) Emiliano Grillo; 5) Kristoffer Ventura; 6) Bud Cauley; 7) Russell Knox; 8) Chris Baker; 9) Si Woo Kim; 10) Sam Burns / Sungjae Im / Rob Oppenheim; 13) Wesley Bryan / Cameron Davis / J.B. Holmes; 16) Luke List; 17) Dylan Frittelli; 18) Ted Potter Jnr / Kyle Stanley; 20) Corey Conners / Michael Gligic; 22) Adam Long; 23) Byeong Hun An; 24) Jason Dufner / Brian Harman / Doc Redman.
- Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Sahith Theegala; 2) Peter Malnati; 3) Vincent Whaley; 4) Beau Hossler; 5) David Hearn; 6) Rob Oppenheim; 7) D.J. Trahan; 8) Zach Johnson / Andrew Putnam; 10) Scottie Scheffler; 11) Chesson Hadley / Brian Harman; 13) Rafa Cabrera Bello. 14) Stewart Cink / Doc Redman / Sean O’Hair; 17) Cameron Davis; 18) Cameron Percy; 19 Brice Garnett / Patton Kizzire; 21) Patrick Rodgers; 22) Sam Burns; 23) Kevin Chappell; 24) Adam Long / Troy Merritt / Pat Perez / Sepp Straka.
- Top 25 SG Total: 1) Will Zalatoris; 2) Scottie Scheffler; 3) Sahith Theegala; 4) Kristoffer Ventura; 5) Rob Oppenheim; 6) Cameron Davis; 7) Vincent Whaley; 8) Zach Johnson; 9) Brian Harman / Si Woo Kim; 11) Chris Baker / Sam Burns; 13) Doc Redman; 14) Bud Cauley / Jason Dufner; 16) Adam Long; 17) Wesley Bryan / Roger Sloan; 19) Beau Hossler / Michael Gligic / Peter Malnati; 22) J.J. Spaun; 23) Sungjae Im / J.B. Holmes / Pat Perez.
Winners & Prices: 2019: Munoz 66/1; 2018: Champ 66/1; 2017: Armour 125/1; 2016: Gribble 125/1; 2015: Malnati 250/1; 2014: Taylor 400/1; 2013: Austin 125/1; 2012: Stallings 100/1; 2011: Kirk 30/1; 2010: Haas 22/1. Past 6 Renewals Average: 172/1. Average: 131/1. For a full summary of winner’s odds on the PGA Tour since 2010 click here.
- 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 92. Wind SE 5-10 mph. Due to inclement weather, play was suspended at 2:46 p.m. CT and called for the day at 5:57 p.m. Friday: Round one resumed at 7:01 a.m. Partly cloudy. High of 88. Wind SE 6-12 mph. Due to darkness, round two was suspended at 7:03 p.m. Saturday: Round two resumed at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 9:34 a.m. Third-round tee times were adjusted to be between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in threesomes of Nos. 1 and 10. Partly cloudy. High of 88. Wind SE 6-12 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 90. Wind SSE 6-12 mph, with gusts to 15 mph.
- 2018: Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 61. Wind NW 10-15, with gusts to 20 mph. Due to darkness, round one was suspended for the day at 6:13 p.m. and resumed at 8:20 a.m. Friday (12 players). Friday: Round one concluded at 8:41 a.m., with round two beginning as scheduled at 7:20 a.m. Light rain and cloudy. High of 61. Wind NW 10-15, with gusts to 20 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 70. Wind W 5-10 mph. Sunday: Sunny. High of 83. Wind SW 10-15 mph.
- 2017: Thursday: Sunny with a high of 79. Wind SSW 6-12 mph with gusts to 18 mph. Friday: Cloudy, with a high of 77. Wind SSW 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Saturday: High of 58. NNW wind 10-15 mph. Sunday: Sunny and cool, with a high of 63. NW wind 7-12 mph.
- 2016: Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 85. Wind NW 6-12 mph. Friday: Sunny, with a high of 86. Wind S 5-10 mph. Saturday: Sunny, with a high of 87. Wind S 5-10 mph. Sunday: Sunny, with a high of 88. Wind SSW 5-10 mph.
- 2015: Thursday: Cloudy, with showers off and on throughout the day. High of 81 degrees. Winds SSW 7-14 mph. Friday: Due to lightning, round two was suspended for the day at 4:49 p.m. Saturday: Cloudy, with rain throughout the day. High of 68 degrees, with NNE winds 10-15 mph. Play was called for the day just before 2 p.m. local time with 76 players remaining to complete the second round. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees. NNE winds 10-15 mph. Monday: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 66 degrees. Winds NNW 5-10 mph.
Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Jackson, Mississippi is here. We’ve got different conditions in play to what we saw here 12 months ago. Back then firm and fast fairways and watered, receptive greens, made for an interesting test, especially with just enough wind to course indecision.
2020 though has seen 151mm of rain deposited on the Country Club of Jackson and over 130mm of that was last week. With more precipitation looking more than likely on Monday, I think soft and receptive conditions are likely this week. And in Mississippi in September, where 30 degree Celsius in more than common precipitation tends to have limited effect. But temperatures of between 21-26 degrees Celsius, this week should see that cut in the turf remain – and at a PGA Tour event where birdies are the currency, expect watered, receptive greens whatever.
Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of CC of Jackson G&CC winners since 2014 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:
- 2019, Sebastian Munoz (-18). 315 yards (4th), 51.8% fairways (36th), 79.2% greens in regulation (9th), 35″4″ proximity to hole (28th), 80.7 % scrambling (7th), 1.65 putts per GIR (11th).
- 2018, Cameron Champ (-21). 334 yards (1st), 46.4% fairways (65th), 76.4% greens in regulation (9th), 37″5″ proximity to hole (36th), 58.8 % scrambling (55th), 1.58 putts per GIR (1st).
- 2017, Ryan Armour (-19). 269 yards (69th), 71.4% fairways (3rd), 79.2% greens in regulation (3rd), 29″5″ proximity to hole (1st), 53.3 % scrambling (60th), 1.58 putts per GIR (2nd).
- 2016, Cody Gribble (-20). 312 yards (11th), 51.8% fairways (38th), 72.2% greens in regulation (29th), 36″3″ proximity to hole (31st), 80.0 % scrambling (1st), 1.56 putts per GIR (1st).
- 2015, Peter Malnati (-18). 266 yards (66th), 58.9% fairways (35th), 83.3% greens in regulation (4th), 34″8* proximity to hole (33rd), 58.3 % scrambling (62nd), 1.62 putts per GIR (2nd).
- 2014, Nick Taylor (-16). 295 yards (11th), 53.6% fairways (40th), 80.6% greens in regulation (3rd), 36″4″ proximity to hole (32nd), 71.4 % scrambling (17th), 1.67 putts per GIR (6th).
Tournament Skill Averages:
Driving Distance: 27th, Driving Accuracy: 36th, Greens in Regulation: 10th, Proximity to Hole: 27th, Scrambling: 34th, Putting Average 4th.
Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:
- 2019, Sebastian Munoz (-18). SG Off the Tee: 4th, SG Approach: 20th, SG Around the Green: 40th, SG Tee to Green: 13th, SG Putting: 5th.
- 2018, Cameron Champ (-21). SG Off the Tee: 2nd, SG Approach: 21st, SG Around the Green: 42nd, SG Tee to Green: 9th, SG Putting: 2nd.
- 2017, Ryan Armour (-19). SG Off the Tee: 39th, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 13th, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 2nd.
- 2016, Cody Gribble (-20). SG Off the Tee: 9th, SG Approach: 18th, SG Around the Green: 28th, SG Tee to Green: 9th, SG Putting: 1st.
Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:
SG Off the Tee: 14th, SG Approach: 16th, SG Around the Green: 31st, SG Tee to Green: 8th, SG Putting: 3rd
So let’s take a view from players as to how CC of Jackson has played in recent years and what specific skills it requires:
Sebastian Munoz (2019): “Yeah, so on 6 I hit my driver left and it was unlucky enough that it hit one of the first trees and came back. So by my calculations we had like 235 front with not a lot of options in front of me. Like had to keep it low, and fairway runs on an angle. So it was really easy to hit it from the rough to the rough and have like 90 or 130 out. So I saw, it’s probably like 260 to the pin. That’s what I had the my 3-wood. If I just slice it, which is the shot I feel more comfortable with, fade instead of draw, I could give myself a chance. I saw a bounce there and just reminded me of Phil. What would Phil do? I’m like, Fortune favors the bold, so took it, believed in myself, pulled the shot, and got the up and down. Make it all worth it.
And then back on the playoff hole, all back to the beginning. Still like my heartbeat was still up. All right, calm down. We still got work to do. Still hit a good drive, and from there on. Once I notice Sungjae was over the green, all I wanted to do was kind of keep it short of the pin. I knew that’s a tough up and down. So hit the 9-iron, but it didn’t came as hot as I thought it was going to be from the rough. Left it short, and that’s not an easy chip. These Bermuda greens, they kind of check pretty fast on you. Got to be pretty bold. It’s just different way to play it.”
Cameron Champ (2018): “Obviously driver is the key out here, I think. If I hit driver well out here, like I said, it’s a very scoreable course. So I just kept hitting it as much as I could. Even if the fairways were tighter, I felt like if I was further up, even in the rough versus hitting a 3-wood being 40 yards back, I would rather be up there. I guess that’s the game plan.”
Ryan Armour (2017): “You just try. I mean, you’re not always going to be able to, but my strength is – obviously have figured this out finally – is driving it in the fairway, hitting it on the green, and trying to make putts. You get some wedges in your hand on 14 and 15, so you’re looking to make up some ground there. 13 is a good little par-3. Just have had good numbers there the last two days. Then 16, chip-in yesterday, 60-footer today. I don’t overpower a golf course. I don’t go for very many par-5s. I had a chance to go for No. 11 and I laid up. It’s just one of those making percentage choices for me.”
Cody Gribble (2016): “Well, first, being in the South, growing up on Bermuda fairways, Bermuda greens, it’s something difficult, I think. There were some places in there, I think even on 15 – I think it was 15, yeah, there’s some grain running into you. It’s not a comfortable feeling when you’re having to hit a chip that all that grain is tight going into you. That’s something I’ve been able to learn from a young age, and Randy has done a really good job helping me do that through the years. It goes down to just knowing where the pin is at on every green, and do you have a miss, knowing your misses, knowing where to miss the ball, knowing where you can’t miss the ball. I think in the last 54 holes, I’ve made one bogey, and that was on 12, and the pin was front right, and you cannot miss that ball right. I looked at Bob, and I was like – I watched Andres Romero hit a shot almost in the water left, and he was in a better position than I was 20 feet right of the hole.”
Peter Malnati (2015): “I mean, the course suits my strengths really well. Several of the par-4s I’m able to hit a short iron into. Because of the wetness, the softness of the conditions, I think that sort of neutralized the par-5s. Some of the longer hitters were probably able to get up there in two on the par-5s, but I’d say the majority of the field probably couldn’t, so the par-5s became a bit of a wedge contest, which plays right into my hands. Like I said, several of the par-4s give you a short iron; plays right into my hands. And then the two holes that you would kind of pinpoint as being longer holes, 16 and 18, I really played well all week. I hit it in the water on 16 in the first round I remember, but outside of that, I think I made nothing but pars, maybe a birdie or two even on 16 and 18. If I have a week where I’m going to take those long par-4s and play them well, I really feel like that’s the week when I’m going to be up there and be in contention, and sure enough, it was this week.”
Nick Taylor (2014): “Yeah, the finishing holes 16, 17, 18, it was a good finish. But there were some tougher holes, I think. Some scoring holes on the back nine, both par 5s you can get to the front of the green or around them. 15, I did, and I hit it 20 yards from the green. So I’m not sure if it opened the tee up, but a lot of guys hit driver into that. There were some scoring holes, but you have to hit the fairways on all the par 4s to have a chance to go at the pins because if you have the wet Bermuda, it’s tough to judge coming out of there, and the greens are so quick. So fairways are key for sure, but they’re definitely scoring.”
David Toms (2014): “I’m keeping the ball in play off the tee, which is a big deal. Obviously on a golf course like this, it’s pretty tight. I’ve been real patient with my iron shots. When I have a good number and feel good about the club and where the pin is, I’m pretty aggressive, but when I’m in between clubs or the pin is in a spot where I don’t feel good, then I’m backing off and hitting to the middle of the green and just taking my two putt and getting out. I think having a pretty good game plan, not necessarily before I start but once you’re into the round and really picking the spots to be aggressive.”
Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the last 6 Sanderson Farms Championship winners:
- 2019 – Sebastian Munoz: Round 1: 43rd, Round 2: 9th, Round 3: 1st.
- 2018 – Cameron Champ: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
- 2017 – Ryan Armour: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
- 2016 – Cody Gribble: Round 1: 101st, Round 2: 8th, Round 3: 3rd.
- 2015 – Peter Malnati: Round 1: 42nd, Round 2: 8th, Round 3: 3rd.
- 2014 – Nick Taylor: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 5th.
Shots From the Lead: Below are the last 6 winners and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:
- 2019 – Sebastian Munoz: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
- 2018 – Cameron Champ: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: level, Round 3: 4 ahead.
- 2017 – Ryan Armour: Round 1: level, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 5 ahead.
- 2016 – Cody Gribble: Round 1: 10 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 1 back.
- 2015 – Peter Malnati: Round 1: 7 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 1 back.
- 2014 – Nick Taylor: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 4 back.
Incoming form of winners since 2014:
- Sebastian Munoz: 7th Greenbrier/43rd Northern Trust/48th Sedgefield/11th Barracuda.
- Cameron Champ: 25th Safeway/MC web.com TC/33rd Boise/16th DAP.
- Ryan Armour: MC Safeway/25th DAP/51st Boise/2nd Nationwide Children’s.
- Cody Gribble: 8th Safeway/5th Nationwide Children’s/MC Boise/MC/DAP.
- Peter Malnati: 56th Shriners/MC Fry’s Open/MC web.com TC/MC Nationwide Children’s.
- Nick Taylor: MDF McGladrey/56th Shriners/MC Fry’s Open/21st web.com Tour Championship.
First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since the tournament moved to CC of Jackson in 2014. Full First Round Leader stats are here.
- 2019 – Hoge/Poston AM/PM Split -8/64 – 80/1, 55/1.
- 2018 – Cameron Champ – AM Wave -7/65 – 55/1.
- 2017 – Armour/Clark/Landry/Shindler/Spaun 3AM/2PM -6/66 – 100/1, 150/1, 45/1, 100/1, 175/1.
- 2016 – Kevin Streelman – PM Wave -9/63 – 50/1.
- 2015 – Roberto Castro – PM Wave -10/62.
- 2014 – Sebastian Cappelen – (10th tee) -7/65.
For the record, here’s the breakdown of Bermudagrass PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:
- 4 – Zach Johnson.
- 3 – Brian Gay, Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson, Camilo Villegas.
- 2 – K.J. Choi, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Sergio Garcia, Fabian Gomez, Si Woo Kim, Chris Kirk, Scott Piercy, Jimmy Walker.
- 1 – Ryan Armour, Aaron Baddeley, Keegan Bradley, Wesley Bryan, Austin Cook, Branden Grace, Jim Herman, J.B. Holmes, Sungjae Im, Patton Kizzire, Satoshi Kodaira, Adam Long, Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Sebastian Munoz, Grayson Murray, Sean O’Hair, C.T. Pan, Pat Perez, J.T. Poston, Rory Sabbatini, Charl Schwartzel, Scott Stallings, Robert Streb, Brian Stuard, Hudson Swafford, Nick Taylor, D.J. Trahan, Jhonattan Vegas, Nick Watney, Aaron Wise.
It’s clear that up until this point the Sanderson Farms Championship has been volatile in terms of its winners since it moved to its autumn spot in the wraparound season format. Tour rookie Nick Taylor was a 400/1 shot in 2014 and although Peter Malnati had a season’s PGA Tour experience behind him, his best main Tour finish before arriving in Mississippi had been 14th in Puerto Rico 18 months earlier. Malnati scored in Mississippi at 250/1 with a few punters stumbling on him mainly because he lived down the road in Knoxville, had won on Bermudagrass greens in Brazil on the web.com Tour earlier in the season and was known for his birdie-making style in softer conditions.
Cody Gribble in 2016 was a well-backed form horse who had finished 5th in his last Korn Ferry Tour outing and a comfortable 9th on his PGA Tour debut 2 weeks prior in Napa, California. Plenty of punters scored on the Texan rookie at a rather tasty 125/1. 2017 saw Ryan Armour score his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Sanderson Farms – his build-up had included 4th at the Sedgefield hosted Wyndham on the PGA Tour and 2nd at Ohio State GC in the web.com Playoffs. His win was again at 125/1.
2018 saw Cameron Champ deliver at 66/1. Rated by a couple of commentators as one of the best players to have been promoted from the Korn Ferry Tour, Champ had finished 25th at the season-opening Safeway Open, where he closed with a -4/68 – the joint third best Sunday round. His Korn Ferry Playoffs campaign had seen him finish a best of 16th at the DAP Championship, but Champ was undoubtedly talented, winning the Utah Championship and backing that up with 4 top-8 finishes. He also ranked 2nd for Scoring Average, 3rd for Total Driving, 2nd for Ball Striking, 5th for All-Round across his Korn Ferry promotion season.
And last year Sebastian Munoz became the sixth consecutive PGA Tour maiden to win the Sanderson Farms Championship and again at a 66/1 price-point. 2019 had seen Munoz land 4 PGA Tour top-10 finishes, jumping 119 Official World Golf Ranking spots into the bargain. The week previous he had finished like a train at the Greenbrier Classic, shooting consecutive Saturday and Saturday 66s to backdoor 7th place. Tellingly he ranked 3rd for SG on Approach at the Greenbrier, in tandem with ranking in the top 7 across my 8-week rolling Strokes Gained Putting tracker.
With a slightly deeper field at this week’s 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship, it will be fascinating to see if we see a different kind of winner, especially a bigger name at a shorter price.
My selections are as follows: