Sanderson Farms Championship: Best Bets, Daily Fantasy Golf Picks, Course Key Stats, and Win Simulations
With the Presidents Cup having come and gone, the PGA Tour once again takes center stage in the world of golf during the swing season.
The Sanderson Farms Championship won't feature a field we'll confuse as a major week; however, a combination of youth and veterans prepare to navigate the Country Club of Jackson in hopes to raise the highly sought-after rooster trophy.
Let's dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Country Club of Jackson Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,461 (long: ~80 yards longer than the average par 72)
Fairway Width: 29.2 yards (14th-narrowest of 80 courses)
Average Green Size: 6,200 square feet (average: ~100% of Tour average)
Green Type: Bermuda
Past 5 Winning Scores: -22, -19, -18, -21, -18
Past 5 Cut Lines: -5, -3, -3, -1, -1
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (emphasis on Driving Distance), Strokes Gained: Putting, Birdie or Better, Adjusted Strokes Gained (to account for Korn Ferry Tour graduates)
We have seen the Country Club of Jackson since the 2015 PGA Tour season, so we've got quite a good bit of data on it.
Driving distance is a big help this week on the long par 72, and we see strokes gained: off the tee correlate quite strongly to overall strokes gained at the CC of Jackson (it's 14th of 48 courses in my database). So, I almost always prefer strokes gained: off the tee instead of just distance alone, so that's the route I'm going.
Of course, iron play matters a ton always, and the greens are just a tick larger than average, so we'll need precision there again.
Other than that, it's a really straightforward setup, statistically speaking.
Where we see a lot of separation is on the greens: strokes gained: putting correlates stronger to total strokes gained stronger here than all but one other course in my database.
That means we can de-prioritize wedge play a bit and instead look for drivers and putters (not the most common combination).
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
The best strokes gained averages at this event over the past five years among golfers with at least two starts include:
- Cheng-Tsung Pan (2.21)
- Nick Watney (2.06)
- Keegan Bradley (1.70)
- Denny McCarthy (1.68)
- Stewart Cink (1.63)
- Nicholas Lindheim (1.61)
- Henrik Norlander (1.59)
- Sahith Theegala (1.56)
- Rory Sabbatini (1.44)
- Kevin Streelman (1.36)
- Sam Burns (1.36)
- Trey Mullinax (1.26)
- Sebastian Munoz (1.18)
Past winners at this course among the field:
For more context on past winners, Cameron Champ, the 2018 winner, withdrew. The 2019 winner, Sebastian Munoz, withdrew. Sergio Garcia, the 2020 winner, is no longer on the PGA Tour. There's a bit of demarcation, then, since 2018 with elite ball-strikers earning wins.
Win Simulations for the Sanderson Farms Championship
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds this week at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Sanderson Farms Championship
The model this week finds Sam Burns simultaneously the favorite but also overvalued and a tough bet at +950. The other problem with Burns is that he just played on the Presidents Cup team this past weekend while going 0-3-2, which really didn't reflect how well he played. I think he's a better daily fantasy play than a bet, but I'm also not against betting the obvious class of the field at somewhat reasonable odds.
Taylor Montgomery is the best value in the field based on pure model odds at +2600. Montgomery hits it long, which is helpful this week. The super small sample returns with ShotLink data is that he's a good putter, too.
Montgomery will be my anchor, and I'll be targeting Clark, Kirk, and Yuan, as well.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Sanderson Farms Championship
All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Sam Burns (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | Golf betting odds: +950) - The only negative for Burns is that he played on the US Presidents Cup, which held off the International side, last week. So, there might be a bit of an emotional letdown here for the defending champion. But if that's what you have to go off of to knock a guy, I can live with it. He's the class of the field by virtually any measure, and Burns has the distance and putting to go back-to-back. He has 89th-percentile-or-better rates in strokes gained: approach, around the green, and putting among this field. It's also Bermuda Burns week on these greens.
Russell Henley ($11,700 | +1600) - Henley isn't particularly long by any means (108th on Tour last season) but is the best iron player in the field over the past year and ultimately the best tee-to-green golfer. The question mark comes in with the putter (25th-percentile), yet we have seen dominant tee-to-green games win out here for historically non-elite putters. (Burns won last year while losing strokes gained, and Sergio won with just 2.6 strokes putting because they were so good tee-to-green.) Yeah, I know these are the two highest salaries in the field, but their tee-to-green games are a massive step above anyone else's.
Others to Consider:
Taylor Montgomery ($11,100 | +2600) - Has distance, and long-term adjusted form stacks up against this field.
Scott Stallings ($10,900 | +2900) - Good course form, which makes sense; he's long off the tee, a good iron player, and a good putter.
Denny McCarthy ($10,500 | +2900) - History at CC of Jackson is great; elite bermuda putter (98th-percentile).
Gary Woodland ($10,000 | +4500) - The win odds drop off quickly this week both at FanDuel Sportsbook and also in my simulation model, so we can really look to build around the top-end. That said, a balanced build and assuming that Burns is burnt out after the Presidents Cup and that Henley struggles too much on the greens is also appealing. Woodland could be a key part of such a build. Woodland. He's got 91st-percentile ball-striking, 91st-percentile distance, and 78th-percentile expected putting. He is looking like my favorite play at salary behind Burns.
Chris Kirk ($9,600 | +5500) - Kirk's had solid results at the Country Club of Jackson: 2nd, 34th, cut, 53rd, and 35th. Of course, that's not all that matters. He's a 94th-percentile ball-striker among this field, and he is a pretty neutral putter, which works. Kirk sees his tee-to-green game spike at a higher rate (42%) than all but one golfer with a salary in the $9,000 range, so the upside is obvious.
Others to Consider:
Wyndham Clark ($9,700 | +5000) - If you want distance and putting, a rare combo, Clark has it.
Alex Smalley ($9,200 | +6500) - 89th-percentile ball-striking; 84th-percentile distance; best when putting on bermuda.
Patrick Rodgers ($9,100 | +7500) - Doesn't always get the T2G hot but one of the few dudes who nukes it off the tee and putts.
Adam Long ($9,000 | +8000) - Long is, coincidentally, not long off the tee (13th-percentile) but makes up for it with good overall ball-striking (78th), and only one golfer in the field rates with better expected putting numbers based on distance splits compared to Long. On bermuda, he's a 96th-percentile putter, too.
Andrew Putnam ($8,900 | +8000) - Putnam also isn't long (2nd-percentile) but has one of the best short games there is in this field (94th) and is a strong bermuda putter (85th). There's not much in the way of value, so we can at least consider him for being the best long-term golfer at this salary or lower among the field.
Others to Consider:
Stephan Jaeger ($8,600 | +11000) - Putter can evaporate at any moment but 83rd-percentile irons; good recent form.
Matthew NeSmith ($8,700 | +11000) - Second-best ball-striking-plus-putting stats among the value range.
Carl Yuan ($8,300 | +7500) - Long off the tee; shortened from 120 to 75. Good T2G numbers last week but bad putting.
Callum Tarren ($8,200 | +12000) - Has good ball-striking (68th-percentile), mega distance (97th), and can make birdies.
Austin Smotherman ($7,700 | +16000) - 86th-percentile mark in ball-striking-plus-putting.