The Rundown: 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship
The fall season is in full swing with seven-straight weeks of PGA TOUR action kicking off with the Sanderson Farms Championship this week. While it's not the strongest field in the world, victorious Euro Ludvig Aberg joins Keith Mitchell and Tom Hoge to headline a group of journeymen and young guns looking to get a headstart in the FedEx Cup race before the calendar turns over. Here's everything you need to know to make some picks and cash some tickets at the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship.
course notes & quotes
The Country Club of Jackson returns as host for the Sanderson Farms for the 10th consecutive time. The John Fought redesign has provided some entertaining golf during a part of the year when most golf fans (and plenty of pros) take a break from the action.
A 7,461-yard par 72, the course plays shorter than the number on the card with much of the length coming from the four par-5s, three of which play over 580 yards. But it's worth noting that most of the par-4s are very gettable. According to DataGolf, roughly 34% of approaches came from between 100-150 yards during last year's event, almost double the average from the typical TOUR setup.
The Country Club of Jackson is wall-to-wall bermuda and features relatively tight fairways resulting in an average driving accuracy of under 55% dating back to 2015. But the rough around here hasn't given these guys too much trouble over the years as this course ranks in the bottom ten on TOUR in terms of missed fairway penalty.
The greens are the only thing keeping the Sanderson from being even more of a birdiefest than it already is. These slick bermuda putting surfaces routinely draw high praise from the pros as some of the fastest and purest greens they see each year.
While this tournament has often been relegated to opposite-field status up against bigger events, the last few years have made the Sanderson a highlight of the fall schedule. Here's a look at the recent results.
Looking more closely at last year's event, here are a few insightful notes and numbers from the top performers in the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Off the Tee: Of the 12 players to finish T10 or better, only three finished better than T15 in driving accuracy for the week. The champion, Mackenzie Hughes, finished T50 in driving accuracy, hitting less than half of the fairways.
On Approach: Seven of the top 10 players in SG: APP finished T10 or better.
On the Green: Nine(!) of the top 12 names on the leaderboard from 2022 finished T15 or better in SG: Putting. Keep an eye on some bermuda ballers...
Betting picks & plays
It's a fresh season here on the golf column, so here's hoping we can get off to a hot start with some winning plays. Each week, this section will feature at least one outright, a couple T-10/20/40 plays and one or two matchups with units tracked all season long. For any further plays, be sure to drop a follow on Twitter (X), TikTok and Instagram, and of course keep up with the rest of the TJ gang's posts on the Tour Junkies Blog.
The Country Club of Jackson rewards distance off the tee, even it means playing your second from the rough which has proven to be relatively easy compared to some of the tougher courses on the PGA TOUR schedule. Hot putting and experience on Bermuda greens has been a strong indicator as well, especially when you consider the stat from last year's event I mentioned above. With all that said, I'm eyeing a few bombers and strong putters at long odds this week in the hopes that the added variance from a weak field will see one of these guys near the top of the leaderboard.
Davis Thompson +5000 (.25u) +500 T10 (.5u), +230 T20 (.75u)
The second-year pro out of Georgia has all the length needed to contend on what should be a comfortable course fit down in Mississippi. He made the cut in both prior starts in the Sanderson and is riding a solid start to the fall with a T22 at the Wyndham followed by a T30 at the Fortinet in his last start.
Callum Tarren +5500 (.25u), +550 T10 (.5u), +260 T20 (.75u)
Tarren finished T13 here last year, bludgeoning the course with driver and gaining over a stroke and a half off the tee. He's in good form as of late with two top-15 finishes in his last three starts, including a T7 last time out at the Fortinet. His putter has been hot too, gaining strokes on the greens in four of his last five starts.
Meet the Author:
A Georgia native, proud UGA alum and former media guy for Augusta National, the only thing Nate Moore loves more than the Peach State is a Top-20 parlay. Nate is a golf-obsessed sportswriter/journalist who brings his experience in the golf industry to the Tour Junkies brand.
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