The First Look: Sanderson Farms Championship
September 13, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Cameron Champ earned his inaugural PGA TOUR victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2018. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
It was just Cameron Champ’s second event as a full-fledged PGA TOUR member, but it was a memorable one. After birding five of his final six holes, Champ, then 23, won last year’s Sanderson Farms Championship by four shots over Corey Conners.
This year the Sanderson Farms Championship – held at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi -- offers full FedExCup points (500 to the winner) for the first time.
FIELD NOTES: Past champions other than Champ playing this week include Ryan Armour, Peter Malnati, Nick Taylor, Scott Stallings, D.J. Trahan, and Chad Campbell. … Recently named Rookie of the Year Sungjae Im will be in the field. Im also is the highest-ranked golfer from last year’s FedExCup standings playing in Jackson. … A plethora of rookies will be making their second starts as PGA TOUR members, led by Scottie Scheffler who topped both the Korn Ferry Tour season-long points list and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals points List. … Four major champions in the field -- Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, Stewart Cink, and U.S. Team Presidents Cup assistant Zach Johnson. … Three Canadians – the most of any nationality other than American – have won the Sanderson Farms Championship (and nearly a fourth, Corey Conners, did it a year ago), and there will be five in the field this week including Conners, Mackenzie Hughes, David Hearn, Michael Gligic, and 2014 winner Nick Taylor.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points
COURSE: Country Club of Jackson; 7,421 yards; par 72. The Country Club of Jackson will be hosting the Sanderson Farms Championship for the sixth time.
STORYLINES: The Sanderson Farms Championship has long been played opposite of an event on the PGA TOUR, but this year it got its own week on the schedule and will offer full FedExCup points … Six of the past seven Sanderson Farms Championship victors have been first-time winners on the PGA TOUR. … Chez Reavie, who was 14th on U.S. Presidents Cup points prior to the cut-off time, will be among those in the field as he looks for a captain’s pick. … Champ had three top-10 finishes a year ago, and all three came in the fall – including his win in Mississippi. He earned 81.5% of his FedExCup points in the five events he played last fall, proving the importance of a fast start.
72-HOLE RECORD: 263, Dan Halldorson (1986 at Hattiesburg GC). CC of Jackson record: 267, Cameron Champ (2018)
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Keith Clearwater (2nd round, 1996 at Annandale GC). CC of Jackson record: 62, Roberto Castro (1st round, 2015).
LAST TIME: Talk about getting off to a quick start. In just his second start as a member of the PGA TOUR – after earning a spot via The 25 on the Korn Ferry Tour – Champ shot a 21-under 267 a year ago, setting the scoring record at the Sanderson Farms Championship en route to winning for the first time on the TOUR. Champ, who nearly returned to college (if he didn’t get through second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School he would have gone back to Texas A&M for his senior season), instead of turning professional, got off to a heck of a start last fall. Champ took apart the Country Club of Jackson with his impressive length (he led the tournament in distance, with more than 308 yards per pop). Corey Conners remained tied with Champ until the 13th hole on Sunday before Champ reeled off five birdies in his final six holes, eventually winning by four shots. Carlos Ortiz and fellow 2018-19 rookie Sam Burns finished tied for third.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. ET (featured groups)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)