Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Sanderson Farms Championship
The PGA Tour heads to Jackson, Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship as the fall swing continues.
Fresh off a win by young phenom Joaquin Niemann at The Old White TPC, we return to the site where another would-be stud picked up his own first PGA Tour win. Cameron Champ closed with five birdies in the last six holes to set the course record and soundly take the title last year. Though he failed to live up to the hype over the rest of the season, a win on Tour is a great accomplishment, and Champ, who led the Tour in driving last year, has at least one elite skill among even the best golfers in the world.
It would be easy to draw the conclusion that Country Club of Jackson can be gouged by long hitters based off Champ's win, when in fact there is strong evidence to the contrary. Champ gained 9.1 strokes putting en route to victory, by far the best putting performance of his career, including an incredible 4.0 strokes in the final round alone.
In stark contrast to Champ is the 2017-18 season Sanderson Farms champion, Ryan Armour. Armour is the polar opposite of Champ -- whereas Champ ended the season of his win ranked 1st in average driving distance, Armour ended 2018 as the 185th out of 193 in distance.
Formerly an alternate field event opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions, the Sanderson Farms gets top billing and a full allotment of FedEx Cup points this year. Country Club of Jackson is a 7,440-yard, par 72 that has been the host since fall of 2014 (the 2015 season...these things tend to get confusing).
One other effect of the schedule change is that the event is held more than a month earlier, and one thing you may not know about Mississippi is it can get quite steamy. The early forecast has temperatures topping 90 degrees and humidity around 50%, with no precipitation expected. Warm weather helps with ball flight, and we are still early in the hurricane season, so it's likely the course has not taken on quite as much water as in years past.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Country Club of Jackson
Distance: 7,440 yards
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average||O/U Par Avg||Rank|
With five years of data, we have a decent idea of how the course has played in the past. Moving the event up affects both the course conditions and the field, though the former more so than the latter.
The fairways are difficult to hit, as the course ranked inside the bottom 20 in driving accuracy each of the past five years, including the 7th lowest fairway percentage last year. That is not a consequence of the field bombing driver, either -- CC of Jackson has ranked inside the bottom 12 of driving distance, as well, all but one of those years. Unless you plan on catching fire on the greens like Champ, short and straight off the tee is the way to go.
The distance to stretch this course out to over 7,400 yards comes mostly on long par 3s and par 5s, as seven of the par 4s are under 450 yards.
Comparable courses/events sport bermudagrass greens, warm temps, and require more than just a bomb and gouge mentality. As a historical alternate event, the field couldn't be more different than THE PLAYERS, but TPC Sawgrass looks like a good match from a distance and accuracy standpoint. A more comparable field plays the two Georgia courses at the RSM Classic, and Sea Island has a clear overlap in Champ, who finished sixth there last year.
Pebble Beach and the Pro-Am rotation (Monterey Peninsula CC and Spyglass Hill GC) require golfers to keep the ball in play off the tee, and we see a lot of overlap in past performance, while Quail Hollow Club features a bit more length, but past performance indicators point toward a correlation with CC of Jackson.
These stats will be key to success in the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson.
|Key Stats for the Sanderson Farms Championship at CC of Jackson|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400-450 yards)|
Approach once again rates out as the most important individual metric this week. Top-10 finishers have gained more strokes on approach than off the tee and around the green combined. Champ was lights out with the putter, but so was Armour. Putting doesn't make the cut because so many poor putters have performed well here.
With fairways so difficult to hit, finding golfers who keep it in the short grass will be essential. Fairways gained is preferred to driving accuracy because it controls for events when everyone is clubbed down or hitting into wide fairways.
Birdies or better gained will be a key this weekend, as the winning score has reached a least 18-under par in each of the last four years, including Champ's record 21-under last year. Many of those birdies came at the short par 4s and the long par 5s. Performance on those holes can be pulled out separately and weighted accordingly.
Course History Studs
Nick Taylor won here in 2015 and has played three times since, with last year's T26 his worst finish.
Lucas Glover was T14 last year and T5 in 2017, and he has just two rounds over par in four trips to CC of Jackson.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.