This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Sanderson Farms Championship Betting Preview
After an exciting week of team play that saw the USA squad dominate Europe in the Ryder Cup, it's back to individual stroke play as we head south to Jackson, Mississippi for this week's Sanderson Farms Championship. An opposite field event for much of its existence, the event was elevated to a normal Tour stop two years ago and boasts a much better field as a result with six top-50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking - led by tournament favorite Sam Burns. Last year, Sergio Garcia, at 66-1 odds, held off Peter Malnati for a one-stroke victory – his first win since the 2017 Masters.
The Country Club of Jackson has hosted the event since 2014 and it can turn into a birdie-fest with four straightforward par-5s and five par-4s playing around 420-yards or less. As a result, players will have wedges in their hands on approaches often which will put more of a premium on putting than normal. Water is in play on about one-third of the holes, although it's not much of a factor unless you're extremely off target. Although we've seen a variety of different playing styles find success here, I'll be mainly targeting longer hitters with the winner finishing in the top-5 in strokes-gained off-the-tee in each of the last three years.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 7:30 PM ET Wednesday.
They Know Their Way Around
The following golfers, with a minimum of 10 rounds played, have averaged the most birdies per round at Country Club of Jackson since 2016:
- Ryan Armour: 4.8
- Sebastian Munoz: 4.6
- Sungjae Im: 4.6
- Kevin Streelman: 4.6
- Peter Malnati: 4.5
- Denny McCarthy 4.5
Armour bucks the trend of the typical player that you'd expect to be a great course fit here, having won the event in 2017 while making a whopping 28 birdies to win the event by five. The Tour veteran had his exemption from winning the Sanderson end at the end of last season, and he could use a big week as he's playing on conditional status. Armour enters as a long shot at 130-1 odds to win. Another former winner in the field is Munoz, albeit with a more realistic chance at 40-1. It's difficult to find many guys that have played better at the event, with a perfect 4-for-4 made cut record to go along with his win. Although Munoz has failed to find the winner's circle since, he's recorded a pair of top-5s since July and is a prime candidate to be in the mix this weekend.
These five players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes off the tee over their last five tournaments:
Looking to carry the momentum into the new season is Mitchell, who looked iffy to make the playoffs but was able to post a pair of top-10s over his last four events to make it to the second playoff event. A birdie maker who is one of the longest hitters on Tour, Mitchell is a great fit for the course and an intriguing dark horse at 80-1 odds. The lone player to make both lists this week is Im, who lost in a playoff to Munoz in 2019. He's coming off another respectable season with his last missed cut coming 11 starts ago, but he lacked the top-level results with no wins and his fewest top-10s in a season with just five. That makes him more of a reliable daily fantasy option than a betting target for the time being.
Seamus Power (35-1)
Power had an impressive summer with five top-20s in his last eight events, including his first Tour win at the alternate-event Barbasol Championship yet still seems to be under-the-radar. He tends to play better in events with below-average fields, so the Sanderson should be right up his alley. Power doesn't do anything poorly, having gained strokes in every category last season while also ranking 45th in birdie percentage.
Matthew Wolff (40-1)
Wolff is always a risky bet as he's always at risk of missing a cut badly, but at the same time he's one of the best golfers in the field if he's on his game. He's making his first start at the event but there's little reason to think his game won't translate well – Wolff is one of the longest drivers on Tour and his areas of weakness of driving accuracy and play around-the-green should be mostly negated here.
Luke List (80-1)
Time is probably running out on if List is ever going to win on the PGA Tour, but he did have a resurgent 2021 that included four top-10s and a pair of top-5s over his last six starts. Now he heads back to a place where he finished runner-up in 2016. List is a superior ball-striker, having gained .8 strokes per-round off-the-tee and on approach combined last season.
Patton Kizzire (5-1)
These are generous odds for Kizzire who's posted multiple top-10s in five trips to Jackson. That's likely due to his last top-10 coming at Colonial in May. Nevertheless, Kizzire has been a consistent option with only one missed cut in his last seven events. A lot of his best results in his career have come during the fall portion of the schedule.
Adam Schenk (8-1)
Schenk is back inside the top 200 in the world but is playing much better golf than that with a pair of top-5s and only one missed cut since July. He'll welcome a return trip to Jackson where he's never missed a cut in four appearances, with four under-par rounds in 2018 en route to a T-7 result.
Nick Taylor (10-1)
At first glance the odds may not look great considering Taylor missed the FedEx Cup Playoffs due to only recording one top-10 last season, but it did come in his last start of the season. He won the inaugural edition of the event at the Country Club of Jackson in his fourth start off the Korn Ferry Tour, and it's hard to go wrong with him here at 10-1 odds for a top-10.
Hoffman is a safe play this week and even more enticing at even money, with a worst finish of T35 here while coming off a top-10 last year after having a share of the lead through the first round. Meanwhile, Zalatoris missed the cut despite being in great form and is coming off a disappointing summer in which his high level of play tapered off.
In this one-on-one matchup we have two players trending in opposite directions, and I'll go with the one in much better form in Varner. Streelman's advantage of playing precision golf off the tee won't see it's usual affect this week. Varner is a reliable play with four top-20 finishes over his last seven starts.