Preview: Sanderson Farms Championship 2020

All six winners are first timers on TOUR. All but one were in their 20s.

Sanderson Farms Championship

Country Club of Jackson

Jackson, Mississippi

Yards (per official scorecard):7,461
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:Champion Bermuda, around 6,200 square feet.
Stimpmeter:13.5′
Rough:Bermuda/Zoysia at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards56/7
Architects:John Fought (2008).
Purse:$6.6 million; $1.188 plus 500 FedExCup points to the winner.
Defending Champion:Sebastian Munoz, -18 (270).
Fact of the Week:All six winners at CCofJ are first timers on TOUR.
Fact of the Week II:Munoz and inaugural winner at CCofJ Canadian Nick Taylor are the only two international winners.
  

Notes:

  • 144 players.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • Winner gets invitation to the Masters.

2020-2021  Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.

Event Winners:

YearPlayerNotes
2019Sebastian Munoz, 18-underMade a big putt at the last to force then win a playoff over Sungjae Im.
2018Cameron Champ, 21-under28 birdies and won by four over Corey Conners.
2017Ryan Armour, -19Complete domination, 28 birdies, won by five over Chesson Hadley
2016Cody Gribble, -20Lefty won by four over Chris Kirk and Luke List.
2015Peter Malnati, -18Like all of the winners, top seven SG: Putting.
2014Nick Taylor, -16Inaugural event at CCofJ; highest winning total.

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record:Champ, 21-under 267.
Course Record:62; Roberto Castro, 2015
Lowest Round – Last Year63; Munoz, Round 3. 64; JT Poston, Tom Hoge and Sam Burns.
Recent Defending Champion(s):N/A.
Multiple Winners (event or course):N/A.  
Oldest  Winner:Armour, 41.
First Time TOUR:All six of them!
Odd Fact:Armour is the only player 30 or over to win.
Odd Fact II:Four of the six winners never played here before. Quick studies.  

Quick Thoughts

Second season running that SFC will be a stand-alone event and send the winner to the Masters. The field only has four of the OWGR Top 50 so it should be wide open again this week.

Pros have remarked over the years that this classic track sits right in front of you so it’s not surprising four of the six winners had never played this event before. The other noticeable talking point is the Champion Bermuda greens are annually in great shape. I was surprised to learn they’ll roll almost 14′ this week but that means putts online won’t have any problem getting to the hole.

It’s back to Bermuda for the first time since Wyndham and that should excite those who grew up in the Southeast. Slick, grainy greens aren’t for everyone neither is the “nesty” rough off the fairways and greens. The winning score averages almost 19-under so this isn’t Carnoustie or Oakmont obviously.  Keep the ball in the short grass and get lined up on the greens and the ball is going to go in the hole. Minimizing bogeys by getting up and down will also take the pressure off. Scores over par need not apply this week.

CCofJ has taken three inches of rain over the last seven days but only had an inch in the coffers the previous three weeks of September. Sunny afternoons after cool mornings should dry things out so I’d expect scores just a hair underneath 20-under but there always seems to be ONE GUY that isn’t bothered by anything.

 Chalk – Betting Favorites (Bet365.com) under 30-1

Scottie Scheffler (+1000): Fits the bill for first-time winner in his 20s. Makes first start since missing the US Open (COVID concerns). Finished last season on a tear 2nd-T20-T4-T4 last four starts. Top 12 in scoring and birdies in 2020.

Sungjae Im (+1200): Went close here last year as Munoz ran him down on 18 and he imploded on the playoff hole. Top 20 scoring and birdie average last season.13-under on the Par-4 holes last year. Won Honda in March so that’s been checked off the to-do list.

Will Zalatoris (+1800): Last week’s favorite so there isn’t much to add for this week. Closed with 65 to claim another top 10 finish (T8) and keep all seven of his sponsor’s exemptions in his back pocket. I had him on my bench Sunday in the Expert’s Game at PGATOUR.COM because I thought the streak of top 20s was dead and gone. Wrong! Led the field in scrambling last week.

Sam Burns (+2200): Lovely combo this week of hitting it a mile and being a super putter. Besides the Zurich this is the Louisiana native’s home game. T3 two years ago, 64 last year (T45) and T43 on debut three years ago suggests he’s comfortable. Closed 78-66 last week at Corales for T28. Led on 15-under after 36 holes before fading to T7. Best finish on TOUR is here, T3, two years ago.

Sebastian Munoz (+2800): Defending champ for the first time usually scares me away. Duties in this day and age are limited pretournament because there aren’t any engagements/gatherings/requirements due to COVID. Blazing hot finish to the FedExCup Playoffs (T8-T8-T18) and knocked the rust off with four rounds at Winged Foot. No repeats or multiples in the previous six years here.

Doc Redman (+3000): Last time we saw this man on TOUR he closed with 62 at Safeway for T3. Last time we saw this man on Bermuda he posted 18-under at Wyndham for T3. Figured it out late last year as he closed with 68 at CCofJ. Best finish on TOUR is 2nd to Nate Lashley at Detroit Country Club, a similar endeavor. T13 fairways and 12th GIR will give him ample opportunities to attack.

Select Next Tier (33-1 and up)

Byeong-Hun An (+3300): Opened 66-66 last year before finishing solo third. Led the field in Par-4 scoring on 14-under. Never won. Putter is always the club in the bag that makes me sweat on Sunday.

Adam Long (+3500): Checks all the boxes this week again as he backed up T13 at Winged Foot with solo fifth at Punta Cana. 54-hole leader last week on 17-under limped home with 75 but it’s one round and he’s already won on TOUR. T23 here last year included all four rounds in the red. Seven cuts made running.

Zach Johnson (+3500): Showed up last year for the first time and cashed T14. Arrives T8-T49-T7 this time around and in his sharpest form in sometime. Closed 61-65 at Wyndham last time on Bermuda.

Brian Harman (+3500): Outstanding putter has cashed in his last six. 21st in scoring last season but never put four rounds together in the same week. First time participant last year and improved every round (71-69-68-67) for T14.

Corey Conners (+3500): MONSTER tee to green but putting the ball in the hole is always the challenge. Solo second here had one round in the 60s, 64, but that’s it. One top 10 last year (ZOZO) from 22 events.

Chez Reavie (+4000): Super closing at Safeway (66-66) for T3 and T6 at TPC Southwind are his best two in his last six. Just doesn’t make a ton of birdies (No. 180 last year) and it’s his first time here.

Cameron Davis (+4000): Australian Cam Champ? Hits it a mile and has cashed in five straight, all T36 or better. All four rounds in the red at Safeway to start his season (12-under; T36). Makes plenty of birdies (23rd avg. last year).

Luke List (+4500): Cashed in six of his last seven including T8 last weekend. T2 here in 2017, MC last year. 4th BOB% last week (21 birdies, 1 eagle). Need more than 45s.

Dylan Frittelli (+4500): Came blazing home on the weekend last year 67-66 for T6. Led the field in SG: TTG. All four rounds in the 60s on Bermuda at Wyndham for T20 and closed 62 at Harbour Town on Bermuda for T8. First event in a month.

Si Woo Kim (+4500): Put a blindfold on and tell him it’s Wyndham. Only MC in last 11 is Winged Foot. Of his last 16 rounds on TOUR (non-major) 14 are in the red. T61 here last year.

Patrick Rodgers (+5000): Love the power/putting combo this week. Looking for win No. 1 in his fourth trip. T20 on debut, T14 two years ago. T11 last week in the DR.

Xinjun Zhang (+6000): 26-under in his first two events of the new season and that’s with 74 in the final round last week.

Carlos Ortiz (+6000): He’s played this event the last two years and is 31-under (T4, T3). Played in the final group last year to get a front-row seat to see what it takes for his college teammate to close it out and make a playoff. Of his eight rounds here three are 65, 65 and 64. Sat 11-under heading into the final round at Safeway before cooling off.

Longer Shots – Top 20 or Each Way Tickets

Pat Perez (+6600): If I liked him last week at half of that, no turning back now after T21-T9 start.

Charley Hoffman (+6600): No problems on bigger ballparks with T7 Workday at Memorial, T13 TNT TPC Boston and T14 last week.

Denny McCarthy (+7000): Leads in the TOUR in SG: Putting annually and these are the slickest greens going. Now, HIT THEM.

Kristoffer Ventura (+8000): Quiet week last week in the wind. Return to the mainland and slick greens should have his full attention after top 10 at Safeway.

Cameron Percy (+11000): Ben Everill loves him this week and nobody follows the Aussies with more passion and insight.

Anirban Lahiri (+17500): Top last week gets him into the field this week. Super putter should be riding high.

I’ll have others at Covers.com

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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