Horses for Courses: 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship

The Country Club of Jackson welcomes a field of new and familiar faces this week as it hosts a stand-alone event for the third year running. Sergio Garcia returns to defend his 2020 championship.

via @Sanderson_Champ

A stop-start beginning to the 2022 season has begun again! After taking a week off following the Fortinet Championship to enjoy the Ryder Cup, the PGATOUR is back to work in Jackson, Mississippi. The field of 144 will welcome back 2020 champion Sergio Garcia as he looks to become the first player to defend his title since the event moved here in 2014.

RELATED: Expert Picks

The Country Club of Jackson was redesigned by John Faught (Detroit Golf Club) in 2008 and emulates a classic Donald Ross feel around the grounds, especially on the greens. The Champion Bermuda greens are quite slick, running between 12 and 13 feet. The putting surfaces will challenge especially inside of 10 feet as the course has one of the highest 3-Putt percentages on TOUR. Rolling the rock will be a major concern this week. Or hit 60 of 72 like Garcia did and take your chances!

Stretching to almost 7,500 yards playing Par-72, four Par-5 holes will provide relief as will only two inches of Bermuda/Zoysia rough. Greens are above average in size at 6,200 square feet so hitting them won’t be a problem. Water is in play on just five holes and there are just 56 bunkers to avoid. CCofJ has ranked in the bottom half of easiest courses played the last three years and the average winning score here is almost 19 under since the first event in calendar 2014.

On the line is a purse of $7 million with the winner pocketing $1.26 million plus 500 FedExCup points. Also the winner is exempt for the rest of this season and the next two seasons. It’s a huge bonus to lift the LARGE ROOSTER trophy this week!

The cock of the walk indeed

Recent Event Winners Stats

Calendar Year202020192018
 Sergio GarciaSebastian MunozCameron Champ
Score269 (-19)270 (-18)267 (-21)
Runner-UpPeter Malnati Sungjae ImCorey Conners
All Drives131
Putting: Birdie or Better %12T151
SG: Off-the-Tee142
SG: Approach-the-Green32021
SG: Around-the-Green464042
SG: Putting2852
SG: Tee-to-Green1139
Bogey AvoidanceT31T14
Par-3 ScoringT7T37T2
Par-4 ScoringT437
Par-5 Scoring7T51

Recent Winners

2020 – Sergio Garcia (-19, 269)

Stuffed it to three feet on the final hole and made the putt to avoid a playoff with 2016 season winner Peter Malnati. … Co-led after 54 holes (-14). … Closed 66-67. … Sat five back after 36 and four back after 18. … Overpowered and dissected Tee-to-Green. … Hit 60 of 72 GIR. … T2 with 22 birdies. … Only player to post all four rounds in the 60s. … ONLY winner outside of the top seven (28th) SG: Putting. … Became first champion at the event who was NOT a first-time winner on TOUR. … Third international winner and second consecutive. … Picked up 11th victory in 368th start at age 40. … Becomes fifth winner of seven to win in his first attempt at CCofJ. … Entered the week MC-MC.

Notables in the field this week:

2015 winner Peter Malnati (2nd) closed with 63, tying the tournament course record and missed the playoff by a shot… JT Poston (3rd) backed up his T11 from 2019 with a share of the 54-hole lead. … Keegan Bradley (T4) led by two after 36 holes thanks to a hot putter. … Henrik Norlander (T4) circled three eagles for the week including two on Sunday when he posted 65. … Cam Davis (T6), who won at Detroit Golf Club earlier this year, matched Malnati’s 63 in Round 3 to also share the 54-hole lead. … Charley Hoffman (T6) was one of four first round leaders to post 64. … Denny McCarthy (T6) circled 22 birdies (T2) to pick up his second top 10 in three years. … Tyler McCumber (T6) went close again after finishing second at Punta Cana the previous week. … Scott Stallings (T6) shot 40 on the back in Round 2. … Brandt Snedeker (T17) was one shot back after 54 holes and circled 22 birdies for the week. … Defending champion Sebastian Munoz (T23) posted 64 in Round 1 before not breaking 70 the rest of the week. … Top 27 players all 10-under or lower. … 62 of 66 players to make the cut finished Even or better. … Cut was 3-under. … 26 bogey-free rounds. … 71.080 scoring average, ranking 31st most difficult of 50 courses played 2020. … The 2020 event followed Corales Punta Cana Club and Resort Championship.

2019 – Sebastian Munoz (-18, 270)

Defeated Sungjae Im with a par on the first playoff hole. … Holed a 15-foot putt on the final hole to force playoff. … 54-hole leader by one after tournament best 63 in Round 3. … Sat five back after 36 holes and was six off the pace after 18. … Only squared THREE bogeys for the week. … First international winner since Nick Taylor in 2014. … First win in his 47th start at age 26. … Sixth consecutive first-time TOUR winner at CCofJ. … Won in his third attempt.

Notables in the field this week:

Sungjae Im (P2) closed with 66 and was the only player to post all four rounds in the 60s. … Carlos Ortiz (T4) played in the final group and was top 10 in both Fairways and GIR. … Kevin Streelman (T4) raced home with 64 for his second top 10 in three years. … Bronson Burgoon (T6) joined Sungjae Im with 24 birdies, most for the week. … Dylan Frittelli (T6) hit the top 10 with two doubles on the card. … JT Poston (T11) shared the first round lead with Tom Hoge (T39) on 64. … Defending champion Cameron Champ did not enter. … Top 27 players all 10-under or lower. … 66 of 68 players to make the cut finished Even or better. … Cut was 3-under. … 31 bogey-free rounds. … 70.787 scoring average, ranking 26st most difficult of 40 courses played 2019-20. … The 2020 edition was the first time played as a stand-alone event on the calendar.

2018 – Cameron Champ (-21, 267 – not entered this week)

Led or co-led after every round. … Birdied five of his last six holes to set the tournament scoring record. … 28 birdies is also a record. … Won by four shots. … Posted 64, co-low round of the week in Round 3 to lead by four. … Posted 12-under on Par-5 holes. … Played the Back 9 in 16-under. … Won on debut. … First win on TOUR in his SECOND event with a TOUR card. … Age 23 is the youngest winner. … T25 in Napa Valley the week before.

Notables in the field this week:

Corey Conners (2nd) made only four bogeys and was top five in both Fairways and GIR. … Sam Burns (T3) closed 66-68 and was T4 GIR. … On Sunday Carlos Ortiz (T3) matched Conners and Champ with the low round of the week, 64. … Denny McCarthy (T7) only needed 104 putts. … Seth Reeves (T7) posted all four rounds at 70 or better. … Adam Schenk (T7) only squared TWO bogeys for the week. … Martin Laird (T7) circled 20 birdies. … Defending champion Ryan Armour (T54) did not break 70. … Top 24 players all 10-under or lower. … 69 of 72 players to make the cut finished Even or better. … Cut was 1-under. … 21 bogey-free rounds. … 71.246 scoring average, ranking 26st most difficult of 49 courses played 2019-20. … The 2019 event was played opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and played in late October.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Strokes Gained: Putting (2020 final rank)Player
2JT Poston
5Zach Johnson
8Brendon Todd
9Sam Burns
11Chesson Hadley
16Cameron Tringale
19Adam Hadwin
22Denny McCarthy
25Patton Kizzire
31Brice Garnett
34Lanto Griffin
34Michael Gligic
39Ryan Armour
40Brandt Snedeker
41Andrew Putnam
43Charley Hoffman
44Jimmy Walker
48Austin Cook
50Sungjae Im
Strokes Gained: Approach the GreenPlayer
4Keegan Bradley
7Will Zalatoris
9Corey Conners
11Matthew NeSmith
12Emiliano Grillo
16Charley Hoffman
20Russell Knox
21Doug Ghim
22Chez Reavie
26Harold Varner III
27Henrik Norlander
30Sam Burns
31Matt Wallace
33Kevin Streelman
37Lanto Griffin
38Seamus Power
42Cameron Tringale
44Aaron Wise
46Scott Stallings
47Matthew Wolff
Par-5 ScoringPlayer
7Sergio Garcia
11Sam Burns
11Will Zalatoris
21Carlos Ortiz
21Anirban Lahiri
21Luke List
30Sungjae Im
30Patton Kizzire
30Vince Whaley
30Keegan Bradley
35Kevin Tway
35Cameron Tringale
42Sepp Straka
42Si Woo Kim
42Matt Wallace
42Aaron Wise
42Seamus Power
42Brandt Snedeker
42Matthew Wolff
51Matthew NeSmith
51Corey Conners
51Bill Haas
51Patrick Rodgers
51Hudson Swafford

Horses for Courses

Top golfers entered this week and other exceptions

Player (Starts/Cuts Made)Top 10s Top 25sMost Recent (year) Others
Sergio Garcia (1/1)11Win (2020)All 4 rounds 68 or better; Only player 4 rounds 60s
Peter Malnati (5/6)222 (2020)2016 winner on debut
JT Poston (5/5)123 (2020)T11 2019; 8 straight in the red
Kevin Streelman (3/5)23T4 (2020)T10 2018, T18 2017
Henrik Norlander (3/4)11T4 (2020)MC, T39 others
Keegan Bradley (1/1)11T4 (2020)Led after 36 holes after 66-65
Denny McCarthy (3/4)23T6 (2020)38-under and 13 straight in the red
Charley Hoffman (3/3)13T6 (2020)Trending; T23, T35; 64 in each of his last 2 here
Cam Davis (2/3)11T6 (2020)T28, MC; 66 and 63 last year
Tyler McCumber (1/2)11T6 (2020)All 4 rounds 70 or better
Sebastian Munoz (4/4)12Win (2019)T23 2020
Sungjae Im (2/3)11P2 (2019)T28 2020; 27-under last 2
Carlos Ortiz (2/3)22T4 (2019)T3 2018; Posted 64, 65 and 65 here
Bronson Burgoon (2/4)12T6 (2019)T20 2015; MC 2020
Dylan Fritteli (2/3)11T6 (2019)T54 debut 2018; MC 2020
Corey Conners (3/4)122 (2018)T17 2020; 10 straight 72 or better
Sam Burns (3/4)11T3 (2018)64 2019; T43 is other
Martin Laird (2/5)11T7 (2018)T28-MC-T7 last 3
Ryan Armour (3/6)11Win (2017)T46 next best
Chesson Hadley (1/4)112 (2017)MC other 3
Brian Stuard (3/5)11T4 (2017)T28 2019; only 2 of 16 rounds in 60s
Patton Kizzire (3/5)22T10 (2017)T4 2015; T59 MC last 2
Chris Kirk (3/4)11T2 (2016) 
Luke List (2/4)11T2 (2016)T28 before; MC last 2
Lucas Glover (4/6)13T5 (2016)T14 2018; MC last 2
Past Winners/Others    
Nick Taylor (4/6)13Win (2014)followed T20, T23, T26; MC last 2
Robert Streb (3/4)128 (2014)T26 2018, T23 2019

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