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2022 Sanderson Farms Championship PGA DFS Preview: Sam Burns PRIMED to Repeat as Champ in Jackson

Geoff Ulrich

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2022 Sanderson Farms Championship PGA DFS Preview: Sam Burns PRIMED Repeat Champ Jackson 2022

The week after the Presidents Cup brings the PGA Tour to the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi. The Sanderson Farms Championship was once played as an alternate-field event late in the season, but the event eventually graduated to fall swing status.

Coming off the Presidents Cup, there’s lots to wade through this week, so don’t forget to check out the Stokastic PGA DFS projections, which have both scoring data and PGA DFS ownership projections. Stokastic PGA DFS projections come out on Monday and will be updated throughout the week. There’s a ton of big PGA DFS contests around the industry so be sure to check them out before making any final decisions.

PGA DFS Preview | Sanderson Farms Championship 2022

This year’s Sanderson Farms comes in directly after the Presidents Cup, which means there will only be a small dribble of top players in the field this week. Last year’s winner, Sam Burns, is in the field, as are 2020 and 2019 winners Cameron Champ and Sebastian Munoz. Munoz and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are the only two players from the international side in the event this week.

The Sanderson Farms Championship is one of a multitude of lower scoring events in the fall. The winning score here has fluctuated between 18 and 21 under par the last five years, and the par-72 venue doesn’t offer a ton in the way of defense to PGA professionals. It isn’t overly short, but it does contain a mix of holes that has made big drivers flourish here of late. Recent champions include Champ, Burns and Sergio Garcia, all strong drivers of the ball and capable of dominating a course with shorter par 5’s.

Sanderson Farms Championship PGA DFS Picks and Preview

The Sanderson Farms Championship has a regular cut line of the top 65 players and ties. It’s a full field event with 150-plus players, but there’s a wide swath of players at the bottom of the field that wouldn’t be getting an entry if this event took place in the spring. This event is mostly devoid of talent at the top and has a lot of wild cards in it. Much like the Fortinet Championship, which had a near massive longshot winner in Danny Willett, the Sanderson will likely produce a couple of surprise results from players at the bottom of the field.

Here’s a list of the top 10 players in the OWGR in the Sanderson Farms field this week.

  1. Sam Burns – 12
  2. Sebastian Munoz – 63
  3. Dean Burmester – 64
  4. Chris Kirk – 65
  5. Christiaan Bezuidenhout – 67
  6. Davis Riley – 69
  7. Luke List – 75
  8. Denny McCarthy – 79
  9. Mackenzie Hughes -83
  10. Adam Hadwin – 84

Notables: Justin Suh, Byeong-Hun An, Zac Blair, Patrick Rodgers

This is a home event for Davis Riley, who is a Mississippi native. Riley is coming off a missed cut from the first fall event and has missed the cut at the Sanderson in two of his previous three career starts. Many of the top players have already played some golf this year. Big-hitting Dean Burmester is one exception, and he does seem like he could be a great fit for the par 72. Korn Ferry battlers like Justin Suh and Byeong-Hun An are both in the field as well. Suh won the Korn Ferry final last month, and An has typically been better on Bermuda greens. An finished top five at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago.

The Sanderson Farms Championship Past Winners

2021: Sam Burns (14-1)

  • Lead-in: 18th/8th/21/2 (Sanderson was his first fall start)

2020: Sergio Garcia (50-1)

  • Lead-in: MC/MC/66/MC (Sanderson was his first fall start)

2019: Sebastian Munoz (55-1)

  • Lead-in: 7/43/48/37 (Sanderson was his second fall start)

2018: Cameron Champ (50-1)

  • Lead-in: 25/MC/73 (Sanderson was his second fall start)

Analysis: A lot of mid-range winners have struck for this event. Three of the last four winners have all been around 50-1 on DraftKings, and two of the last four winners had already played in a fall series event. 2020 was a COVID season and can be bypassed for the recent form trend, but it’s worth noting that Burns did win as the event favorite in 2021 and was playing his first fall tournament of that year. If going to the top of the board, there should not be concern for how recently a player has competed, but a mid-range bet should come with some decent recent form and a fall start.

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Want to see who is trending as a strong play early? Check out Stokastic’s PGA DFS projections, which will be updated on Monday and throughout the week.

Sanderson Farms Championship Course Preview

TPC Southwind (Memphis, Tennessee): Par 72, 7,461 yards

Greens: Champion Bermudagrass

Designer: John Fought and Mike Gogel (2008)

Similar Courses:

  • Copperhead
  • East Lake
  • TPC Louisiana

The Country Club of Jackson has hosted this event since 2014. It ranked as the 26th-hardest venue on tour in 2018 (71.246 scoring average), but expect a lot of birdies this week.

The players here only average about 54% in driving accuracy, which is nearly 8% lower than the tour average. Golfers don’t need to hit arrow straight to win, though, as several of the past winners have proven. Long drivers of the ball have dominated of late, but finding fairways at Sanderson is important and past winners like Ryan Armour prove that being very straight off the tee and possessing good approach/putting upside can still get it done at this venue.

The greens are relatively easy to hit at Jackson too, as greens-in-regulation percentage is about 69%, which is about 4 points higher than the tour average. Each of the last three winners have also gained 3.5 strokes or more off the tee for the week (Garcia gained over five strokes off the tee in 2020 and Burns gained 6.8 last year).

Past winners have often putted the lights out, with five of the last six winners at Country Club of Jackson ranking fifth or better in strokes gained putting for the week of their win. There was an anomaly to this though last year, as Burns actually lost two strokes putting on his way to the win. Finally, the course carries four very scorable par 5’s, three of which play between 550 and 600 yards. The 2018 winner, Champ, played those holes in 12 under par the week he won, so efficiency on these holes can be a huge benefit.

Jackson Country Club Past Winners and Stats

2021 — Sam Burns (22 Under Par)

  • Won by a stroke but put on a ball-striking display for the ages — gained 6.8 strokes off the tee and 8.3 strokes on approach.
  • Won despite losing strokes putting (Burns was the only player in the top 10 to gain less than two strokes putting for the week).
  • Nine of the top 10 finishers gained one or more strokes off the tee — seven of the top 11 gained 2.5 strokes or more off the tee.

Strokes Gained: TTG +14.8; APP +8.3; OTT +6.0; ATG +0.4; PUTT +2.0

2020 — Sergio Garcia (19 Under Par — played as a WGC)

  • Much like Burns, Garcia went nuclear with his ball striking for the week, making some insane shots down the stretch to grab the win.
  • Garcia led the field in strokes gained off the tee for the week but gained the fewest strokes putting of anyone in the top five.
  • Putted with his eyes closed for much of the week.

Strokes Gained: TTG +12.0; APP +7.0; OTT +5.5; ATG -0.5; PUTT +2.8

2019 — Sebastian Munoz (18 Under Par — played as a WGC)

  • Munoz actually was coming in off a decent start in the first fall event of the year before winning his first PGA Tour event.
  • He represented the fifth first-time PGA winner at this event in a row (Malnati, Gribble, Armour, Champ, Munoz).
  • Had a fantastic week on the greens, but like many recent winners was also very strong off the tee.

Strokes Gained: TTG +5.9; APP +3.2; OTT +3.3; ATG -0.1; PUTT +6.2

Sanderson Farms Championship Horses to Watch

These are players who continue to defy logic with how consistent they have been at this week’s venue. This section will try to decipher what they do so well and why it allows them to flourish at this venue, but some of this is just player preference.

Want to see if the course horses will be popular? Check out Stokastic’s PGA DFS ownership projections, which will be updated on Monday and throughout the week.

  1. Sam Burns (winner 2021, 3rd in 2019): Burns won the event last season but had made three cuts in a row at Jackson Country Club between 2018 and 2020 — all before he began his rise to become a top-20 player. Destroyed the venue last season despite losing strokes on the greens.
  2. Denny McCarthy (top-20 finish at this event four years in a row): For a short hitter has been remarkably consistent at this venue. Top-20 finishes at this event four years running and was sixth in 2020. He leads the field in strokes gained total over the last five years.
  3. Trey Mullinax (4th in 2021): Doesn’t have a big sample size to work off of but was fourth at this event in 2021 and had made two of three cuts between 2016 and 2018 when he was struggling due to injury. His power off the tee sets up well for this venue.

Strokes Gained on Approach (Last 24 Rounds)

  • Brendan Steele
  • Chez Reavie
  • Russell Henley
  • Stephan Jaeger
  • Chesson Hadley

Strokes Gained Off the Tee (Last 24 Rounds)

  • Luke List
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Wyndham Clark
  • Hayden Buckley
  • Brendan Steele

Top Five Strokes Gained Total (Last Six events)

  • Trey Mullinax
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Taylor Moore
  • Andrew Putnam
  • Scott Stallings

Sanderson Farms Championship Weather Forecast

Thursday a.m.: 55-65 F, Winds 8-11 mph

Thursday p.m.: 70-74 F, Winds 11-12 mph

Friday a.m.: 58-70 F, Winds 6-11 mph

Friday p.m.: 75-77 F, Winds 11-12 mph

Try as one might, there’s almost nothing to the weather this week that bears noting for PGA DFS purposes. It’s likely best just ignore the weather, as both the first two days look extremely similar in forecast. For more updates for the Sanderson Farms Championship, tune into the PGA DFS Lineup Builder show Tuesday afternoon on the Stokastic YouTube Channel.

Sanderson Farms Championship Early Betting Leans

Trey Mullinax Outright | BetMGM

The course this week isn’t overly demanding, but it’s also one that’s shown a pretty clear trend of late. Great ball strikers with plenty of power off the tee simply have an easier time with Jackson’s larger fairways and expansive holes. For his part, Mullinax has maintained hot play since his win at the Barbasol last summer and could easily win again soon. He’s seventh in strokes gained off the tee and 14th in strokes gained ball striking over the last 50 rounds, and he should like the Bermuda greens at Jackson much better than the poa at Silverado that caused him to lose 3.8 strokes putting.

Mullinax has gained over four strokes putting on Jackson’s Bermuda greens twice in his five previous visits and grew up in this part of the country over in Alabama. He’s likely to have odds similar to past winners in the 30-1 to 50-1 range, making him a solid fit for betting cards from both a style and historical odds (of past winners) perspective.

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