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Sleeper Picks: Sanderson Farms Championship

3 Min Read

Sleeper Picks

    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    All-time shots from Sanderson Farms

    Adam Hadwin (+225 for a Top 20) … The common refrain for most after a performance that doesn’t yield a win includes some measure of failure to put four rounds together. On paper, these guys always are really good, but they also can beat themselves up unnecessarily. Eh, it’s part of the nature of losing, er, not winning. The 34-year-old Canadian has connected for a win on the PGA TOUR, but he’s appeared in 205 other tournaments as a member and didn’t prevail. His numbers are eye-popping even when he doesn’t sign for four sparkling scores, but it's that foundation that elevates expectations often. He’s also rested a month since concluding 2021-22 with a career-best-tying five top 10s. This is his fourth appearance at the Country Club of Jackson but just his second of the last seven years. He’s 3-for-3 overall.

    Aaron Rai (+225 for a Top 20) … The 27-year-old from England filed a fine rookie campaign in 2021-22 with two top 10s among five top 25s and 19 cuts made, but he was a rookie by definition only, so it would have been surprising if his game didn’t travel and transcend. While cutting his professional teeth on the DP World Tour for five years, he won twice and scaled to eighth in the DPWT ranking in 2020. Since closing out the most recent PGA TOUR season at 16th in fairways hit and 23rd in greens in regulation, he returned to his home circuit for two starts, the more recent of which in Italy where he finished T5 just two weeks ago.

    Lee Hodges … He’s all things Alabama through and through, but don’t hold that against him next door in the Magnolia State where he’s making his second appearance. That was a year ago when he cashed for the first time (T45) as a PGA TOUR rookie and ranked T8 in par-5 scoring at CC of Jackson. For the season, he checked up at 20th in greens hit. It was the kind of blanket insurance policy that makes it easier for a first-timer to sleep, but now it’s time for his experience on the greens to pay dividends. He also walked off the season with eight paydays in his last nine starts, three of which going for a top 25.

    Zecheng Dou … Back on the PGA TOUR after four seasons since his forgettable foray in 2017-18, but still just 25 years of age, the talent from China made sure to get on the board quickly with a T21 at the Fortinet Championship. Although it bested all eight of his previous paydays across five seasons, it also was merely an extension of the kind of form that brought him back. He was a winner on the Korn Ferry Tour inside three months ago and he added a solo third in the middle stage of the KFT Finals to total five top-five finishes on the season. Also was among the most proficient in paying off greens hit and ranked T3 in par-5 scoring.

    MJ Daffue … The first-time PGA TOUR member from South Africa – remember, he’s not a rookie because he exceeded seven starts in 2020-21 – is making his second start at CC of Jackson. Surprise, surprise – not! – he open-qualified in 2020 and raced out to sit fourth at the midpoint before settling for a T12. It doesn’t take but a single line to connect the dots between his aggressive approach and being a threat in a shootout, but his wildly successful season on the KFT this year supports the exercise with the empirical. En route to four podium finishes among seven top 10s, he ranked third in birdie average and second in converting greens in regulation into par breakers.

    Odds were sourced on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. For live odds, visit BetMGM.