While many of the world’s best players have made the trip to China for the WGC HSBC Champions there is a great opportunity for some of the PGA Tour’s lesser known players to grab the limelight in Mississippi.
The Sanderson Farms Championship is used to playing a supporting role. Throughout its history it’s been a so-called alternate event, scheduled to take place at the same time as a major or World Golf Championship event. Usually that makes it a tough sell for TV audiences but with the action in China taking place early in the morning, there will be a great deal of interest in the Sanderson Farms as golf fans cast an eye over a fascinating mix of impressive up and comers.
Cody Gribble, Peter Malnati and Nick Taylor each claimed their maiden PGA Tour win at this tournament and we could be in for another first time winner this week. Whether the players are experienced or still learning about the game at the PGA Tour level, they’ll all have to overcome the challenge of the Country Club of Jackson.
Relentless Scoring Required in Jackson
The Country Club of Jackson is a parkland course that plays to a par 72 that can stretch out to 7,354 yards from the championship tees. That’s relatively standard for a PGA Tour event and with some fairly generous fairways to hit, what the players do off the tee this week will be largely irrelevant.
There are some tricky greens to hit at the Mississippi track but it’s not a particularly difficult test of ball striking. In fact, with winning scores of -20, -18 and -16 it’s clear that PGA Tour players are capable of eating this course up. Therefore, the event becomes something of a putting contest. You have to go seriously low to win this event and the player who has the best week with their putter will have a very good chance of winning providing they can keep a clean scorecard.
Donald’s Putting a Major Plus
Luke Donald is one of a number of experienced players who have seen golf change hugely during their careers. The Englishman utilised his wonderful wedge play and putting to make it to number one in the world in 2011 but he’s since found it increasingly tough to compete with the new breed of big, powerful golfers dominating the game right now.
Players like Donald have to carefully pick and choose their weeks to compete as, in reality, there is a limited number of courses at which they can expect to challenge. The Country Club of Jackson is one such course. Despite another tough season, Donald ranked third for strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour last year. That is a major plus at this event and makes Donald good value at 50/1 with Betfred.
Wheatcroft’s Time Could Finally Come in Jackson
Steve Wheatcroft would not count himself among the young hopefuls looking to make their break on the PGA Tour. The 39-year-old has been scrapping around for any start he can at the top level for years but has not yet been able to grab that life changing PGA Tour win. That could come this week at 80/1 with Bet365 for this excellent putter who has found some good form of late.