Horses for Courses: Sanderson Farms Championship 2020

Six years, six different winners!

The PGA TOUR returns to the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, for the seventh consecutive year of the Sanderson Farms Championship. For the second consecutive year, the event stands alone on the TOUR schedule providing a purse of $6.6 million ($1.188 winner, 500 FedExCup points) and a trip to the 2021 Masters for the last man standing.

John Faught was in charge of the redesign in 2008. The parkland track sits right in front of the players and is highlighted by outstanding Champion Bermuda greens. Running at a lightning-slick 13.5 feet on the Stimpmeter, true putts will find the hole and birdies will be circled. The average winning score in the six events prior is almost 19-under par so avoiding bogeys will be a huge factor this week.

Only two inches of Bermuda will line the fairways and surround the greens but errant tee shots and iron shots will be difficult to spin and hold. The old story holds true that the more fairways hit should equal more greens in regulation. Avoiding the 56 bunkers and seven water hazards will help keep the squares off the cards as well.

It’s not surprising that repeat or multiple champions have not been crowned here because it was an opposite field event for five years prior to 2019. In fact, all six winners are FIRST TIMERS on TOUR. Roberto Castro (not entered) holds the course record, 62 while Cameron Champ (2018) holds the tournament record of 21-under 267.

Past Winners

2019: Sebastian Munoz (-18, 270)
Needed a 14-footer on 18 to force a playoff with Sungjae Im. … Defeated Im with a par on the first playoff hole. … First TOUR win at age 26. … Posted 63, low round of the week, in Round 3 to play in the final group. … Becomes the third consecutive 54-hole leader to win. … Columbian joins Nick Taylor as the only international winners. … Only squared three bogeys for the week. … First winner in six NOT to finish No. 1 or No. 2 in Putting: Birdie or Better Percentage (T15). … Sixth consecutive winner seventh or better (5th) in Strokes-Gained: Putting. … Only one of the last six winners has finished outside the top nine in Par-5 scoring. … T7 week before at Greenbrier and had cashed in six straight entering.

Notables: Im (P2) closed 67-66 after MC 2018 and led the field in birdies (24). … Ben An (3rd) led after 36 holes on 12-under. … Carlos Ortiz (T4) played in the final group with Munoz and backed up his T3 from 2018. … Dylan Frittelli (T6) led the field in Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green and Strokes-Gained: Approach and was T2 birdies (23). … Bronson Burgoon (T6) closed with 65. … Cut was 3-under. … Top 27 were 10-under or lower. … Just 12 rounds above par in the top 51 players TOTAL. … Only playoff.

2019 Top 25 (entered this week)
 1  Sebastian Munoz
 2  Sungjae Im
 3  Byeong-Hun An
 4  Carlos Ortiz (31-under last two years)
 6  Dylan Frittelli
 6  Bronson Burgoon
11 Cameron Percy (4 from 4; 34-under)
11 JT Poston (4 from 4; Rd 1 last year)
14 Brian Harman
14 Zach Johnson
16 Scottie Scheffler
16 Cameron Tringale
18 Fabian Gomez (4 from 4; T14 2016)
18 Denny McCarthy
18 Richy Werenski
23 David Hearn
23 Charley Hoffman
23 Adam Long
23 Robert Streb

2018: Cameron Champ (-21, 267; Not Entered)
Rookie went co-wire-to-wire for his first TOUR victory. … Birdied five of his last six to set the tournament scoring record. … Led by four after 54 holes, won by four. … Led Par-5 scoring (-12), All Drives and Putting: Birdie or Better Percentage. … Played the back nine 16-under. … Second Strokes-Gained: Putting. … First time playing SFC. … Made 28 birdies.

Notables: Played the final week of October. … Corey Conners (2nd) matched Champ with 64 in Round 3 for low round of the week. … So did Carlos Ortiz (T3) in Round 4. … Sam Burns (T3) hasn’t missed in three tries. …Denny McCarthy (T7) led the field in Strokes-Gained: Putting. … Nobody put all four rounds in the 60s. … Cut was 1-under. … Cool and wet early, nice on the weekend as the event was held the last weekend of October.

2018 Top 25 (entered this week)
 2  Corey Conners
 3  Carlos Ortiz
 3  Sam Burns
 7  Denny McCarthy
 7  Adam Schenk
 7  Martin Laird
 7  DJ Trahan (T10 2016)
14 Lucas Glover
14 Talor Gooch
14 Bill Haas
14 Patrick Rodgers
20 Nate Lashley
20 Rory Sabbatini

2017: Ryan Armour (-19, 269)
Oldest winner at 41. … Led by five after 54 holes, won by five. … First TOUR win and first TOUR podium. … Co-wire-to-wire. … Also circled 28 birdies. … Posted 14-under on back nine. … Only player with all four rounds in the 60s. … Led the field in Proximity and Par-4 scoring. … Second in Putting: Birdie or Better Percentage, Strokes-Gained: Putting and Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green. … Third in Fairways, Greens, Strokes-Gained: Approach and Par-3 scoring. … 74th of 75 Driving Distance.

Notables: Chesson Hadley (2nd) closed 68-68 and led the field Strokes-Gained: Approach. … Brian Stuard (T4) posted his only top 10 in four starts. … Grayson Murray (Rounding out T10 was Beau Hossler, Patton Kizzire and Vaughn Taylor. … Cut 1-under. … Just 11, bogey-free rounds. … Late October event.

2017 Top 25 (entered this week)
 1  Ryan Armour
 2  Chesson Hadley
 4  Brian Stuard
10 Patton Kizzire (T4 2016)
10 Beau Hossler
10 Vaughn Taylor
17 Wyndham Clark
18 Brandon Hagy
18 Rob Oppenheim
18 Zac Blair
18 Brian Gay
25 Austin Cook
25 William McGirt (T2 2016; 7th 2015)
25 Aaron Wise

Key stat leaders

(* – top 25 finish last six years)

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Par-5 Scoring
 6  *Wyndham Clark
 6  Matt Jones
10 James Hahn
21 Cameron Davis
21 *Scottie Scheffler
21 *Sungjae Im
21 *Sam Burns
21 *Jhonattan Vegas (4th, 2016)
28 *Charley Hoffman
28 Mark Hubbard
32 *Grayson Murray (36-hole leader 2016, 8th)
32 Josh Teater
32 Will Gordon
37 *Aaron Wise
37 *Corey Conners
37 *Luke List (T2 2016)
37 Anirban Lahiri
43 Wes Roach
43 *Rory Sabbatini
43 *Brian Harman
43 *Sebastian Munoz
43 *Adam Schenk

Strokes-Gained: Putting
 1  *Denny McCarthy
 4  Kristoffer Ventura
 9  Maverick McNealy
11 *Patrick Rodgers
14 *JT Poston
16 *Wyndham Clark
21 *Richy Werenski
23 *Troy Merritt
24 *Beau Hossler
25 *Patton Kizzire
29 Mark Hubbard
30 *Sam Burns
32 *Zach Johnson
37 Brandt Snedeker

Scrambling
 7  *Adam Schenk
 8  Mark Anderson
 9  *Brian Harman
13 Bud Cauley
14 *Cameron Tringale
15 *David Hearn
18 Kramer Hickok
22 Russell Knox
24 Tim Wilkinson
26 Brandt Snedeker
29 *Carlos Oritz
30 Maverick McNealy
33 *Brian Stuard
35 *Sungjae Im
36 *Zach Johnson

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