The PGA TOUR Heads to Mississippi ⏤ Sanderson Farms Championship

Fantasy Golf

Ccof Jackson2

The PGA TOUR returns stateside from its detour to the Dominican Republic for this week's Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, MS. The event continues the fall swing in the run up to the upcoming Masters Tournament that will be played from November 12th to the 15th at Augusta National Golf Club. Sebastian Munoz will be on hand to defend his crown and you have to like his chances to contend again as he has finished in the top-ten at this event in each of the last three years. This certainly seems to be a horses for courses kind of tournament as the Country Club of Jackson seems to bring the same names to the top of the leaderboard each and every year. Fantasy players should be keen to look at past course performance as it seems to be a strong indicator of future success here.

The Field and the Favorites

The field is a little bit stronger this week as compared to last week's Corales Championship. Sergio Garcia has decided to make the trip down south and he stands as one of the highest-ranked players in this week's field. He joins major champion Henrik Stenson who appears to be taking full advantage of the opportunities that exist in these weaker-field fall PGA TOUR events. He played last week (T21 at the Corales Championship) and hopes that his increased activity this fall helps reignite a career that appears to have fallen off since his dazzling display of golf at Royal Troon en route to a win at the 2016 Open Championship. 

Scottie Scheffler is back in action after a positive COVID test disrupted an awfully good run of golf he was on leading up to the U.S. Open. After a missed cut at Muirfield Village for the Workday Charity Open, Scheffler posted a T22 finish at the following week's Memorial that kick-started a run of strong play heading into the U.S. Open. He finished T15 at the WGC Fedex St. Jude Invitational before top-five finishes at the PGA Championship, the Northern Trust and the TOUR Championship. He was arguably one of most on-form players before an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 forced his withdrawal from America's national championship. This run is why (now that his quarantine period is over) he enters the week as the betting favorite at +1000 despite having not yet won on the PGA TOUR.

Sungjae Im comes into the week as the second favorite at +1200 in the wake of his runner-up finish at this event last year. He was one of the hottest players in the world heading into the COVID pause after a win at the Honda Classic and a third-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a week later. His play since the pause has been far more sporadic but has taken a turn for the better lately. He finished 9th at the Wyndham Championship and 11th at the smaller-field TOUR Championship before a 22nd place finish at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot a couple of weeks ago. His ball-striking should be an asset this week and make him a fine pick among those stacked in Group A.

Some surprises among the next crop of favorites include Sam Burns (+2000), Will Zalatoris (+2000) and Adam Long (+3300). All three of those players are fairly unheralded, but each has their reasons for finding themselves near the top of the board going into the week. Adam Long went into the final round of the Corales Championship last week with the lead before a hasty collapse and a final-round 75 that led to a disappointing T5 finish. Will Zalatoris has had a couple of great weeks in a row starting with a 6th-place finish at Winged Foot and then an 8th place finish at last week's Corales Championship. Sam Burns played well at the Safeway Open (7th place) and put together three good rounds (69, 67, 66) last week around an unfortunate 78 on Saturday that left him just inside the top-30 at the end of the week. All three are fine candidates to play well this week.

The Golf Course

There are a lot of different fingerprints on the design at the Country Club of Jackson layout that will host this week's event. While the club itself was founded on a different property in 1914, it was moved in the early 1960s to the current site upon which a Dick Wilson original design was built. A number of different designers and architects have had their hand in some changes to the layout since then, but the most impactful among them was the renovation done by John Faught back in 2008 that brought more of a Donald Ross-esque design philosophy to the golf course. The layout now includes a lot of the classic features that one might expect from a Golden Age design.

The par five holes at the Country Club of Jackson should play a major role this week as all four pack a fair bit of length and should give an advantage to those players who can manage to cover nearly 600 yards in two shots. Those players without the length may find that all four of the five-par holes this week are unreachable as three of them are over 580 yards and the eleventh measures 554 yards with water down the right-hand side. Those players without the firepower to get their ball up and around the green in two shots will have to rely on strong wedge play to find their birdies at holes where you are going to have to bag at least a few in order to top the leaderboard at the end of the week.

Here are our selections for the Sanderson Farms Championship:

Group A (Henrik Stenson)

Group B (Zach Johnson)

Group C (Cameron Davis)

Group D (Sean O'Hair)

Group E (Luke List)

Group F (Scottie Scheffler)