Power Rankings: North Mississippi Classic

After his victory at the Savannah Golf Championship, Sam Burns eyes a second straight title at the CC of Oxford. (Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)

After two weeks off, the Web.com Tour resumes its domestic slate at this week’s inaugural North Mississippi Classic, to be contested at the Country Club of Oxford.

This week marks the second consecutive new event on the Web.com Tour schedule, after LSU alum Sam Burns emerged victorious at the Savannah Golf Championship earlier this month, making birdie on the final three holes at The Landings Club (Deer Creek) to finish one shot better than Roberto Castro.

Ole Miss standout junior Braden Thornberry will compete this week on a sponsor’s invitation, and last year’s NCAA individual champion is sure to draw a vocal contingent throughout the week at the CC of Oxford.

Should we expect Thornberry to contend for the title in the Magnolia State?

Here are 10 players to watch at our inaugural North Mississippi Classic.


1 Sam Burns

The Savannah Golf Championship winner and reigning NCAA Player of the Year is motivated to earn a Three-Victory Promotion to the PGA TOUR, and a week spent in contention in Mississippi would surprise no one.

2 Sungjae Im

Our current money leader hasn’t become complacent after his torrid run through The Bahamas. T11 in Louisiana, T8 in Savannah, allowing the 20-year-old to surpass $200,000 in season-to-date earnings.

3 Edward Loar

The 40-year-old has been near the top of the leaderboard often this season, most recently in Savannah (T5), and the two-time Tour winner appears to be trending toward title No. 3.

4 Taylor Moore

The Arkansas alum has recorded two top-five finishes in his last three starts, including a solo second in Louisiana, and he ranks fourth on Tour in both total driving and ball-striking.

5 Braden Thornberry

Old Waverly Collegiate Championship early-week. Web.com Tour debut later this week. SEC Championship next week. A busy stretch, but he’ll be motivated to thrill the local fans in Oxford.

6 Julián Etulain

The Chitimacha Louisiana Open winner finished T5 in Savannah the following week, far from a letdown. He’s seventh on Tour in both scrambling and putting average.

7 Curtis Luck

Coming off a T5 finish in Savannah, where he closed with a 7-under 65, the 21-year-old might be finding his stride as the Tour schedule starts to heat up.

8 Josh Teater

The veteran has recorded three straight top-20 finishes, and he leads the Tour in greens-in-regulation percentage. A hot putter could lead to big things.

9 Hank Lebioda

The Florida State alum has made 6-of-7 cuts this season, with two top 10s. At a new course, the rookie won’t be at a course-knowledge disadvantage.

10 Maverick McNealy

The former Stanford standout is 3-for-3 in cuts made this season, but has yet to record a top 25. He should be buoyed by his San Jose Sharks’ strong start to the NHL playoffs.


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