Pick 'Em Preview: Sanderson Farms Championship
September 28, 2022
By Rob Bolton and Mike Glasscott , PGATOUR.COM
- September 28, 2022
- Hayden Buckley hits a lot of greens and fairways, which will be an advantage this week. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Let’s turn back to the clock for a moment.
Remember when Danny Willett owned a one-shot lead over Max Homa as the duo stepped onto the 18th tee in the final round of the Fortinet Championship? Of course you do. It was only 10 days ago. But were you monitoring PointsBet’s app or website for live outright odds for both?
If you weren’t, Homa was +300 after they matched pars on the par-4 17th hole. He had been as long as +400 before converting the 4 to retain position one back, but the par-5 finishing hole was the easiest on the course all week. No doubt you, like me, figured that Homa was going to need to hole out for eagle at the last just to have a chance for a playoff.
Of course, Homa did hole out, but it was for birdie. It’s not necessary to rehash how Willett was unable to swerve away from the fire because that’s not the point of this exercise.
Homa’s odds to win throughout that saga still didn’t exceed +300 at PointsBet.
Setting aside the business savvy of the algorithm or executive decision not to be at greater risk – remember that Justin Thomas was +25000 to win early in his back nine of the PGA Championship – the moral of this matter is that even when it seems that victory is certain (for the guy who eventually doesn’t win), the board did not allow the chance to swing for a deeper fence in the face of said certainty.
Unless you’re battling for prize money entering a finale, your Top 10 and/or Top 20 are poised to pay and you’ve hit on at least one tie in a 2-ball that projects to propel you into the mix, consider just sticking with your early pick if he’s still in the hunt. No, your odds aren’t as strong as a coin flip, but the grass won’t necessarily be greener on the other side.
Like the Fortinet at Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course, the Sanderson Farms Championship also is contested on a gettable stock par 72, but this one likely will require 20-under or lower to prevail. Have fun!
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Rob … Sam Stevens (+12500)
We live in a different world than the one that yielded six consecutive breakthroughs at Country Club of Jackson through Sebastián Muñoz in 2019, but the construct of this field begs to open with a non-winner.
If you’ve read me long enough, you know that I’ve poured a lot of faith into pedigree, and the rookie is bursting with that. It’s not easy to be targeted to play collegiately at Oklahoma State University, but that’s where he refined his game as he was coming of age. As an upperclassmen, his teammates included Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff, Kristoffer Ventura and fellow rookie Austin Eckroat among the notables.
Stevens turned in a solid rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022 before securing his first PGA TOUR card at the Finals a month ago. He finished third on the KFT in greens hit, 11th in scoring average and ninth in the all-around.
Glass … Hayden Buckley (+12500)
For those of you new to our game, welcome aboard. This is your second reminder after the first one at Fortinet that there's no reason to open with chalk. The ability to change your winner all weekend allows us to dream pre-tournament and hope our longshots work out.
Buckley is Mississippi-raised, played his first professional event here and hit the top 10 last season (T4) at 20-under. The fairways and GIR machine just needs some cooperation from his putter, and I'm all set!
Until I'm not.
Glass … Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+400)
The days of loading a long shot and trying to catch the window are gone for me. I'm defaulting to the more conservative side so as not to get caught locked out on the weekend.
I was disappointed that Captain Immelman didn't play his fellow countryman more last week. Bezuidenhout didn't lose and he was holing everything he looked at on Champion Bermuda greens. He's loosened up and he makes cuts for fun, plus he has a rep on Bermuda.
Rob … Sahith Theegala (+240)
Given that he’s atop my Power Rankings, I’ll take this “risk” all day long.
I know that we’re gambling here, but like Glass, I’m so gun-shy about being shut out from having the ability to revise the pick that I’ll trade some peace of mind to reduce the possibility of being inconvenienced at 2 a.m. Arizona time.
Rob … Emiliano Grillo (+170)
Playing this more conservatively than usual because of the inconsistency of when the bet will unlock, if it does at all.
A reversal in putting has guided him back into the mix among probables to contend. He chased the pair of co-runner-up finishes in July with a T19 at the BMW Championship, and then opened this season with a T25 at Silverado. Already seasoned at CC of Jackson with three paydays in as many appearances as well.
He’s No. 7 in my Power Rankings, so I considered him for the Top 10 (at +380), but again, I’d rather set and forget at shorter odds than roll the dice for just a few more coins.
Glass … Philip Knowles (+900)
Let's gamble! Top five in fairways and birdies last season on the KFT while sitting 18th in putting. Fantastic close to KFT season included a T2, T10 and T17 in his final four events. Now that he's got the first one out of the way, it’s time to swing it and make some birdies.
Glass … J.T. Poston (+3300)
Six appearances here with five rounds in the 60s to begin, including a 64 in 2020 and a 66 in 2021. He's off No. 10 in the fourth group of the day, so I'll have plenty of time to rearrange if necessary.
Super on Bermuda and three of his last four opening rounds on TOUR are 66, 64 and 65 plus his 62 to open and WIN the John Deere Classic in July. We'll see if he delivers this time!
Rob … J.T. Poston (+3300)
Robby see, Robby do.
Keeping it simple and throwing my dart at the guy who opened his T2-Win blast over the summer with 62s. He kept it floored for most of the rest of the way, so he’s still feelin’ it. As Glass alluded to, Poston goes off 10 at 7:33 a.m. local time.
The nines at CC of Jackson essentially are equal in their level of difficulty, or relative ease as it were. However, Poston’s R1 scoring average in six trips is a sporty 67.67, so it doesn’t matter to him.
NOTE: While Glass and Rob typically stick with their selections as detailed in Pick ‘Em Preview, they are allowed the right to make changes at any time.
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