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Sanderson Farms picks and predictions for this week. The PGA Tour heads South to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Golf handicapper Andy Lack is here to break it all down and give us his early picks.

Sanderson Farms Championship Picks and Predictions: Look for Davis Riley, Gary Woodland to Find Success

On the heels of a thrilling Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour returns to regular stroke play competition with the Sanderson Farms Championship. This tournament has been hosted at a number of different venues before finding its current home at the Country Club of Jackson. Now a standalone event in the Fall swing, 500 FedEx Cup points and an invitation to the Masters are now up for grabs. Sam Burns will return to defend his title, and he will be met by a worthy crop of challengers, including Presidents Cup participants, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Sebastian Munoz, and talented second-year players, Davis Riley and Sahith Theegala.

Sanderson Farms Championship Course Preview

The Country Club of Jackson

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The Country Club of Jackson was originally laid out in the early 1960s, but John Fought completed a massive renovation in 2008 in hopes to attract a PGA Tour event. The course now tips out to 7,461 yards and plays as a stock par 72, with four par threes, ten par fours, and four par fives. It features slick Bermuda-grass greens and sticky two-inch Bermuda-grass rough. In terms of its architectural identity, there's not much to report on the Country Club of Jackson. It's one of the straightest courses on the PGA Tour and bears resemblance to Torrey Pines in terms of the extremely banal and conventional layout of its holes.

The roadmap to success as the Country Club of Jackson is fairly straightforward. There is not a severe penalty for wayward driving, and even short and inaccurate players such as Peter Malnati and Henrik Norlander have been able to find success here. Ryan Armour won this tournament averaging 269 yards off the tee, and Cameron Champ claimed victory the next year averaging 334 yards off the tee. There is not one particular type of player that has overwhelmingly populated the leaderboards. Every year, it's nearly an even split of bombers and plodders. Both styles are welcomed at the Country Club of Jackson. The reason for this has a lot to do with the lack of resistance that this course provides from tee to green. With 41.4% of strokes gained having come last year via putting, the Country Club of Jackson falls firmly in the putting contest zone. Of course, if the best tee-to-green player in the field shows up, ala Sam Burns last year, substandard putting is still acceptable. Yet a simple scroll down the leaderboard proves that many can get by here on the strength of their flat stick. Ultimately, this course routinely ranks as one of the top-10 easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule, and I will primarily be looking to identify elite birdie-makers that raise their stokes gained baseline in easy scoring conditions, and have shown an ability to catch fire on Bermuda-grass greens.

Sanderson Farms Picks and Predictions

Sanderson Farms Key Stats

  • Birdies or Better Gained
  • Strokes Gained Putting: Bermuda-grass
  • Par 5 Scoring

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Sanderson Farms Picks and Predictions: Outright Winner

Davis Riley (+4600) (Bet $100 to Win $4,600)

*Odds available at Bet365 at time of publishing

I see a prime opportunity here on one of the premier talents in this field on the heels of a missed cut. At the Fortinet Championship, Riley was neutral off the tee, +1.5 strokes on approach, and he simply failed to make the weekend because he lost a combined 8.1 strokes around the green and putting. Results can be deceiving, the Mississippi native actually hit the ball better than third-place finisher Taylor Montgomery! I expect Riley to bounce back in a big way here, and despite some less than stellar course history, my numbers suggest that the Country Club of Jackson is actually an ideal fit for the 25-year-old's game. Riley ranks top-25 in this field in strokes gained off the tee on long golf courses, strokes gained approach, birdies or better gained, opportunities gained, strokes gained total in easy scoring conditions, strokes gained tee to green on Bermuda-grass courses, and par five scorings. By my metrics, the University of Alabama product possesses one of the most well-rounded course fit profiles in this field, and he's coming in at a depressed price tag. Now's the time to pounce.

Gary Woodland (+6100) (Bet $100 to Win $6,100)

*Odds available at Bet365 at time of publishing

Similar to Riley, I also see immense value on this Woodland number, and it would not be the first time that a former major has entered the Sanderson Farms in sub-standard form and a collapsed price and gone on to win the tournament. The former U.S. Open winner is coming off a 64th-place finish where he gained 4.6 strokes on approach, his best iron week since the Valero Texas Open. Of course, he was plagued by a shaky driver and short game, two ails that I do not believe will hurt him at the Country Club of Jackson. Woodland remains one of the better drivers of the ball on long courses, and long iron players in this entire field. I expect him to continue his stellar approach play and feast on the par fives. Woodland's three best finishes last season came on Bermuda-grass courses, and I expect him to be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Jackson.

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Article Author


Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.


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