GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Sanderson Farms Championship

With many of the world's best golfers either sitting the week out or playing over in Europe, the best of the rest tees it up for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Who is a good bet to win?

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below we will cover the best bets for the Sanderson Farms Championship based on current form, course fit, and, of course, the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Last week, this space nabbed the winner, a top-20 on the favorite, and a 50/1 that came in a tie for third to cash at any books that offer place bets (also called each way bets). Joaquin Niemann was a popular play and one of the most highly-owned golfers across the daily fantasy industry, but a win is a win, and the 20-year-old puts the numberFire betting guide on the board early this season.

The Sanderson Farms has historically been an alternate field event opposite the WGC event in China, but it is a standalone event for the first time this season. As an early swing season contest, though, the field is still largely the same makeup without the world's top golfers.

Both bombers and plodders have topped the leaderboard here in recent years, and there are plenty of options available across the market this week.

For more info on Country Club of Jackson along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer. Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club.

At the Top

Lucas Glover (+2000) - Glover checks in at significantly higher odds relative to the favorite, Niemann (+1200), but in a full field, we are wary of investing in anyone at that short a number outside a fully pedigreed stud slumming it at this type of event. Glover is not that, but he has good form at CC of Jackson, including a T14 a year ago and T5 in 2017. He played his best golf in the fall and winter last year, placing T17 or better in 10 of his first 12 events, including the Sanderson Farms. Glover is a well-rounded golfer who can gain off the tee, on approach, and around the green, but he has not won on Tour since 2011. The consistency came back in 2019, and his game is in too good a place to be held without a high finish at some point.

Corey Conners (+2200) - Last year's runner up finished 2019 strong with five made cuts and no finish worse than T27. That stretch includes all three FedEx Cup Playoff events, where Conners is decidedly out-classed. The Canadian is one of just four golfers in the field to have made the TOUR Championship last year -- Glover, Brandt Snedeker (+1800), and Sungjae Im (+1800) are the others -- and of that bunch, Conners is both the longest odds and the only man who picked up a win last season. Over his last 50 rounds, he is second in the field in strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: tee to green, and he is first in greens in regulation gained.

Value Spots

Emiliano Grillo (+4000) - Grillo had already yielded the honor of top South American to Niemann in perception, and after the Chilean's win at the Greenbrier pushed him into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the debate has been called. Grillo can change that with a win this week, and CC of Jackson should suit his game well. He is not the longest hitter, but he is accurate off the tee and great on approach -- the Argentinian is ninth in the field in fairways gained over his last 50 rounds and (a fairly stunning) first in strokes gained: approach. He was awful on the greens last year, ranking 185th out of 188 in strokes gained: putting. But Conners is no short game master, and he managed a runner-up here to another poor putter, Cameron Champ. Grillo is not without merit with the short stick, as he was a top-15 putter in 2018. Solid ball-striking and a high-variance putter make for a good bet at 40/1.

Aaron Wise (+4200) - Wise had a disappointing sophomore season on Tour, but his experience should be a feather in his cap rather than a weight around his neck. He has a PGA Tour win and a top-20 at a major to his name, and here he is offered at almost twice the price of Scottie Scheffler (+2200), who beat people up on the Korn Ferry Tour last year. Wise and Scheffler are both 23 -- in fact they have the same exact birthday (June 21, 1996) if you want to send them a card. Wise has his best putting weeks on bermudagrass, and he's performed well at the Wells Fargo Championship, another southern course with bermuda greens. Quail Hollow popped up as a correlation course, and Wise finished T18 last year and T2 in 2018.

Chesson Hadley (+8000) - Hadley doesn't have much going for him in the 50-round sample we typically pull from Fantasy National -- 57th in strokes gained: approach, 124th in strokes gained: tee to green -- but he has found good finishes seemingly out of nowhere in the past. He had three top-10s last year, and his finishes the week prior were missed cut, T73 (close to dead last at THE CJ CUP), and missed cut. Two of those top-10s came in the swing season, and he was a star of the 2018 swing (fall 2017) as well with three top-5 finishes. That stretch included a runner-up finish at the Sanderson Farms, when he had one of the best weeks of his career with his irons and gained 8.3 strokes on approach.

Long Shots

Doug Ghim (+10000) - Ghim earned his Tour card for the season with a gutty side winder on his final hole of the season on the Korn Ferry Tour and carried that momentum into the Greenbrier with a first round 65. He was tied for 7th after that barrage but faded from there to a T31 finish. He has more pedigree than he's shown in his pro career thus far, having risen to be the top amateur in the world midway through 2018. He finished T71 here last year, making it the first course of Ghim's professional career that he'll see for a second time.

Henrik Norlander (+15000) - Norlander has been around for a while but has not been able to stick on the PGA Tour, despite coming in with a decent ball-striking profile. His PGA sample is pretty up and down, but over his last 50 on Tour, he's 32nd in strokes gained: approach, 33rd in fairways gained, and a surprising 5th in greens in regulation gained. He had a win and nine other top-25s on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, including a T7 in the final event of the season. The big Swede was 4th in greens in regulation percentage and 11th in overall scoring average on the Korn Ferry Tour last year.