Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Best Bets - Sanderson Farms

PGA Tour Betting Preview

Sanderson Farms Championship
Thursday Sept. 19 to Sunday Sept. 22
Country Club of Jackson – Par 72 – 7,440 yards

A congratulations goes out to Joaquin Niemann, who, after a highly successful amateur career, had lofty expectations thrust upon him by the golfing world as a pro. He finally broke through with his first career PGA Tour win last week at the Greenbrier, and now comes into this week's event in Mississippi as the favorite (+1400) to lift a trophy again.
 
Big picture, Niemann should be able to at least scratch the surface of those lofty expectations many had for him as a pro, but a 20-year-old coming off his first PGA Tour win is not someone I'm really looking to consider just a week later. I'm sure he found some time to celebrate his Greenbrier victory, and while he is among the top group of golfers in this field in terms of talent, backing him as the favorite to win two weeks in a row on the PGA Tour is just too rich for my blood.
 
The Sanderson Farms Championship is a bombers paradise though – as long as they can hit fairways – as you'd better be able to go low here. Rough, trees, and a little bit of length – like the 223-yard Par 3 10th hole which will be a tough start for guys starting their round on Thursday/Friday there – is really all the resistance the Country Club of Jackson provides. Since the Tour started playing here in 2014, the winning score has at least been -16 and that came in the inaugural year of the event. Since then, you'd better be able to sniff -20 or better if you want to claim this trophy, as it's been -19 or lower each of the past three years.
 
Another thing to consider here is now that this event has been moved up to mid-September and not opposite the WGC-HSBC Tour stop, the field is generally deeper then it has been in year's past. That's not to say it's a great field overall because basically all of golf's biggest names are still relaxing at home this time of year, spending time with their families, working on their game, and probably betting on NFL every Sunday like the rest of the country.
 
Yet, for some of this week's favorites – guys with some recognized names – like Brandt Snedeker (+2000), Byeong-Hun An (+2500), and Emiliano Grillo (+3000), this is the first time in their career's they've teed it up here. It will be interesting to see how that works out for them, as defending champion Cameron Champ (+5000) won here last year in his first start at Sanderson Farms, and of the four previous winners (outside of the inaugural event) Champ, and Peter Malnati (2015) won the first time they teed it up here.
 
That's not to say Snedeker, An, or Grillio will win here, as they aren't exactly known as the longest guys on Tour and length is definitely an advantage at this track. But I wouldn't be holding it against them if they come out as one of your favorite selections at the end of your handicapping process. That being said, motivation for established guys like that can always come into question this time of year, as these swing season events can be more about keeping the game sharp, fulfilling their commitments to playing every event at least once every few years, and collecting some extra holiday shopping money along the way.
 
A win on the PGA Tour is still a win though, as Fed-Ex Cup points all count the same no matter what time of year they were accumulated. So it's on to this week's selections as hopefully at least one of them can find there way into serious contention come the start of Sunday.
 

Golfers to Watch

Lucas Glover (+2500)

Glover is a guy that tends to prefer longer tracks as he tends to be long and accurate off the tee when his game is going well, and has no real issues in giving himself many birdie looks with a 68% GIR. He finished last season ranked 47th on Tour in terms of birdie average (3.96), 17th in scoring average (70.083), and his worst Strokes Gained stat ranked 57th and that was with the putter. Putting is such a fickle thing as it is because guys can just get hot as hell for a week here and there, so for that to be his worst Strokes Gained number speaks to just how consistent the rest of his game is. His 19th rank in Strokes Gained: Total speaks to that.
 
But what really makes Glover attractive here is the fact that he is very familiar with this course, as he's played this event in four of the five years it's been hosted, tied for the most of any player (Vaughn Taylor) with +4000 odds or better this week. Playing the Country Club of Jackson frequently is one thing, but with finishes of 22, 39, 5th, and 14th last year, Glover has tended to thrive at this event and I don't expect any different from him this week.
 
If his putter gets hot for multiple days, a win could definitely be in the cards for Glover, but even without his best stuff with the flatstick, a Top 20 finish is arguably where his floor currently resides.

Corey Conners (+3000)

Conners is a guy that broke through with his first PGA Tour win this calendar year at the Valero Texas Open, as that came after he had a couple of Top 3 finishes prior to that result. One of those was a 2nd place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall, as a first round 71 held him back from really threatening Champ. The four-shot loss was a great building block for Conners game though, and he's hoping a return to the place where it all started for him a year ago is where his 2nd career win will come.
 
In terms of performance and positive numbers you want to see from guys here, the fact that Conners finished 8th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, and 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach last year is what you want to see. From tee-to-green he also ranked 9th, so if he's dialed in with his long clubs and not having to rely on his weakness – scrambling around the green – we should see his name among the leaders this week. He finished last year's Tour season ranked 1st in GIR percentage (73.06), and in events where you need to go low to win, giving yourself as many birdie looks as possible is always a huge plus.
 
Putting and scrambling is where Conners tends to lose strokes to the field so that is the concern with him, but that's not really a big issue in general for this course. It will be his accuracy with his first two shots (drive, approach) that should give him a leg up on the majority of the field this week if he's on, and you just got to hope a few putts drop. Given that that's what happened for Conners at this track a year ago, that may not be as big of an ask as it may seem.

Martin Laird (+6000)

Laird is a guy that doesn't stand out statistically as the other two on this list do, but as a guy who has a knack for showing up in contention in events lacking big star power like this, he should always be given consideration.
 
What there is to like about him this week is the fact that like Conners, he had a great finish here a year ago (7th), as a tough 1st round (72), and ho-hum final round (70) prevented him from finishing higher. But there is no shame in a Top 10 finish, and he would love to build on top of that a year later.
 
Laird is a guy that can struggle with his approach game at times so that is a concern if he's loose with his swing early on, but like most guys on Tour, when he's got it going and can repeat his swing in the desired slot, the confidence only grows. He finished strong in the summer with two Top 10's in his final four starts, and both of those events (Barbasol Championship, Barracuda Championship) were ones where you needed to go low. If he can find that form from the start of Thursday and maintain it throughout all four days, expect to see his name on the first page of the leaderboard when all is said and done.

Odds to win Sanderson Farms Championship

Joaquin Iemann 14/1
Brandt Snedeker 20/1
Sungjae Im 20/1
Byeong Hun An 25/1
Lucas Glover 25/1
Scottie Scheffler 25/1
Brian Harman 25/1
Cameron Smith 30/1
Corey Conners 30/1
Emiliano Grillo 40/1
Aaron Wise 40/1
J.T. Poston 40/1
Si Woo Kim 40/1
Vaughn Taylor 40/1
Cameron Champ 50/1
Dylan Frittelli 50/1
Russell Henley 50/1
Austin Cook 50/1
Kyle Stanley 50/1
Wyndham Clark 60/1
Bronson Burgoon 60/1
Nick Taylor 60/1
Luke List 60/1
Sebastian Munoz 60/1
Denny McCarthy 60/1
Kevin Streelman 60/1
Martin Laird 60/1
Grayson Murray 60/1
Sam Burns 80/1
Sepp Straka 80/1
Lanto Griffin 80/1
Ryan Armour 80/1
Harris English 80/1
Zach Johnson 80/1
Jason Dufner 80/1
Roberto Castro 80/1
Adam Schenk 80/1
Doc Redman 80/1
Matt Jones 80/1
Robert Streb 80/1
Peter Uihlein 80/1
Cameron Tringale 80/1
Brice Garnett 80/1
Tom Hoge 80/1
Charley Hoffman 100/1
Jimmy Walker 100/1
Bill Haas 100/1
Chesson Hadley 100/1
Robby Shelton 100/1
Richy Werenski 100/1
Patrick Rodgers 100/1
Kramer Hickok 100/1
Joseph Bramlett 100/1
Sam Ryder 100/1
Harry Higgs 100/1
J.J. Spaun 100/1
Andrew Landry 100/1
Michael Thompson 125/1
Brian Stuard 125/1
Brandon Hagy 125/1
Anirban Lahiri 125/1
Carlos Ortiz 125/1
Scott Brown 125/1
D.J. Trahan 125/1
Scott Stallings 125/1
Peter Malnati 125/1
Fabian Gomez 125/1
Adam Svensson 125/1
Cameron Davis 150/1
David Hearn 150/1
Zac Blair 150/1
Brendon Todd 150/1
Scott Harrington 150/1
Stephan Jaeger 150/1
Henrik Norlander 150/1
Adam Long 150/1
Patton Kizzire 150/1
Shawn Stefani 150/1
Doug Ghim 150/1
Mark Hubbard 150/1

Odds Subject to Change - per Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook

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