Bettors believe Sam Burns will continue title defense trend
September 27, 2022
By Ryan Hannable , BetMGM
- September 27, 2022
Sam Burns’ winning highlights from Sanderson Farms
Repeat champions have been a trend of late on the PGA TOUR.
Three players defended their titles from the year prior during the 2021-22 TOUR season before Max Homa remained the king of the Napa Valley at the Fortinet Championship in the first event of the 2022-23 season two weeks ago, saluting after opening at +1400.
This week, Sam Burns is the defending champion at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and the golf betting world seems to think he will make it back-to-back defending champions to start the season.
As of Tuesday at the BetMGM online sportsbook, Burns, who has PGA TOUR odds of +1000, is pulling in the most tickets (10.4%) and the most handle (22.3%). The handle is miles ahead of the next player – Sahith Theegala (9.5%).
A year ago, Burns finished the week at a tournament record 22-under, one stroke ahead of Nick Watney and Cameron Young. At the time, it was his second PGA TOUR win. Burns has won twice more since, including the 2022 Valspar Championship, where he defended his title from 2021.
Ranked No. 12 in the world, Burns enters the week following the Presidents Cup where he played adequately but was not rewarded on the scoreboard. His record in the victorious U.S. Team was 0-3-2, including tying Hideki Matsuyama in the Sunday singles. He will be the only member of Team USA to play this week.
The Country Club of Jackson (Mississippi) will host the tournament, a course that has favored the best drivers of late. Burns ranked 24th on TOUR last season in driving distance, which should help him out this week as will the fact he was seventh in Par-5 Scoring and ninth in Putting: Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage.
It’s also worth noting this event is one of the closest to his hometown in Louisiana, so he surely will have some support from the crowds.
Theegala (+1800), who is still seeking his first career win, is also drawing the second-most tickets (7.9%). He held at least a share of the lead after the first three rounds last year until a final round 71 had him finish the week T-8. Those good vibes from a year ago, combined with a T-6 finish at the Fortinet Championship, should give Theegala plenty of confidence.
Current Handle & Tickets
1. Sam Burns – 22.3%
2. Sahith Theegala – 9.5%
3. Denny McCarthy– 8.7%
4. Taylor Montgomery – 6.3%
5. Davis Riley – 6%
1. Sam Burns– 10.4%
2. Sahith Theegala – 7.9%
3. J.T. Poston – 6.3%
4. Denny McCarthy– 4.4%
5. Davis Riley – 4.2%
Denny McCarthy, who has the third-most handle and fourth-most tickets, is +2800. He’s yet to win on the PGA TOUR but has had some success at The Country Club of Jackson. In his last four starts at the Sanderson Farms Championship, he’s finished 17th, 6th, 18th and 7th.
Davis Riley (+3300) is similar to Theegala as both seek their first TOUR win following strong rookie seasons. He tailed off toward the end of the year and missed the cut at the Fortinet Championship, which is likely why his odds are much higher.
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