Statistically Speaking: Finding an edge for the Sanderson Farms Championship
September 27, 2022
By Mike Glasscott , PGATOUR.COM
- J.T. Poston had 10 top-25 finishes last season on the PGA TOUR. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Drive for show, putt for dough. We’ve all heard it before but the numbers suggest you better do both well this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
With the Country Club of Jackson hosting for the ninth consecutive season we have the luxury of a dive deep into the numbers of previous winners in our quest to maximize our fantasy or betting goals this week.
John Fought's late 2000's redesign melded the two nines into a par-72 that can stretch to 7,461 yards. One of the longer courses on the schedule, it still gives up plenty of low scores to the players on song.
Bermudagrass returns to the menu this week. Champion is on the 6,200 square feet (on average) putting surfaces and will push 13 slick feet on the Stimpmeter. The rough is a combination of 419 Bermuda and Zoysiagrass at two inches so recovery shots are playable, but not maybe ideally controllable.
The average winning total over the previous eight editions hovers at 19 under and the tournament scoring record was established on 22 under last year by Sam Burns. Will Zalatoris also set the course record (61) last year and there were 47 bogey free rounds. Seven players were 20-under or better.
The streak of six consecutive first time winners was broken in the 2020-21 season and extended last year with Burns. The only playoff was in the 2019-20 season. Of the eight champions, six were aged 20-29 and two were 40 and 41.
Only players listed are competing this week; click stat headline for additional players; Stats from 2021-22 completed season.
With some of the tighter fairways on TOUR (just 28 acres total) being able to play from the short grass to control approach shots is paramount. The last four winners have ranked first, first, fourth and second in this category and that sets the table for scoring chances. Those of you who are curious for KFT graduates stats please click here and navigate.
Rank Player 6 Brendan Steele 7 Luke List 13 Hayden Buckley 18 Emiliano Grillo 21 Trey Mullinax 23 Keegan Bradley 24 Austin Smotherman 32 Nick Hardy 35 Chris Kirk 39 Joseph Bramlett
Bermuda greens pushing 13 feet on the Stimpmeter will keep the players attention until the putt disappears into the hole. Before last season the previous seven winners gained 49% of their strokes on the greens. The last two winners were T1 GIR so they didn't fall into the upper end of this category. The previous six winners all registered in the top seven. Country Club of Jackson ranks in the top 10 annually for most three putts and putting inside five feet.
Rank Player 2 Denny McCarthy 3 Brendon Todd 6 Christiaan Bezuidenhout 10 Sam Burns 12 Martin Trainer 13 Chesson Hadley 14 Mackenzie Hughes 24 Adam Long 30 Patrick Rodgers 31 Wyndham Clark
Different angle this week as it relates to the field. Of the four par-5 holes, three play 584 yards or deeper including both on the front nine. More power rather than precision needed this time around. Of the eight winners, seven registered in the top nine and the worst of the bunch was T12.
Rank Player T7 Sam Burns T14 Mark Hubbard T17 Seamus Power T24 Sahith Theegala T24 Brandon Wu T32 Michael Gligic T32 Trey Mullinax T32 JT Poston T32 Rory Sabbatini T32 Robert Streb
As shown above, putting is a key stat in a shootout. Time to take advantage of those GIR and get circles on the card! There aren't many rounds above par annually from the top players this week so go ahead and get all the birdies you can handle. The last three years the cut has been 5-under, 3-under and 3-under. Better get low!
Rank Player 6 Vince Whaley 9 Sam Burns 20 Davis Riley 22 Trey Mullinax 25 Rory Sabbatini 27 Scott Stallings 28 Peter Malnati 32 Stephan Jaeger 36 John Huh 38 Russell Henley
The Bottom Line
Tournament favorite Sam Burns (Win: +1000; Top 5: +225; Top 10: +100; Top 20: -190; Top 40: -350) comes up on three of the four lists above and is defending his title. While some caution may be needed given his Presidents Cup participation and possible fatigue, he can’t be ignored as a player in all formats this week.
You’ll also notice Trey Mullinax (Win: +4000; Top 5: +750; Top 10: +350; Top 20: +170; Top 40: -125) pops up three times and might represent value in your line ups as a point of difference.
Interestingly blast from the past veteran Rory Sabbatini (Win: +15000; Top 5: +2500; Top 10: +1200; Top 20: +550; Top 40: +200) pops up twice. Feeling lucky this early in the season? Might provide some value in DFS or top 40 markets.
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