The PGA Tour is in Jackson, Miss., this week for the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship.
In 2018, rookie Cameron Champ was the tournament winner, turning a lot of heads with his incredible potential. The remainder of the season proved to be a grind, as Champ struggled mightily. Perhaps a week back in Jackson will re-spark that magic.
If that’s to pan out, it won’t be easy. The field includes the likes of Lucas Glover, Sungjae Im, last week’s winner Joaquin Niemann, Corey Conners, Brandt Snedeker and J.T. Poston, just to name a few.
As is typically the case this time of year, the forecast in Jackson calls for super-hot temperatures and caddies report to TCN that the greens are playing incredibly quick. But with lighter rough, guys who are crooked off the tee shouldn’t need to worry too much. That said, the speedy greens should play into the hands of the ball strikers.
So which players should you be keeping a close watch on this week at the Country Club of Jackson?
To help answer that question, we reached out to three experts – the people who walk alongside the players inside the ropes each week – the caddies.
Each caddie – anonymously – provided a pick to win, a darkhorse pick (darkhorses must be outside the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking) and a player to finish inside the top 10.
Here are the players they like and why…
Winning Pick: Brandt Snedeker
Why: I wouldn’t call this a super-strong field. With that, Snedeker is one of the highest-ranked players in the field (41 in the OWGR). World-class players, especially in a field like this, usually play real well. Brandt may not win, but I definitely expect a high finish out of him this week. He also ended the season nicely with top-6 finishes in the first two playoff events.
Darkhorse Pick: Scottie Scheffler
Why: This is a player who is not long for the darkhorse ranks, but he fits the criteria since he’s outside the top-50 in the OWGR (currently No. 84). He finished T7 last week at Greenbrier in a tournament that included two great rounds – 65 on Thursday, backed up with a 62 on Friday. He has been playing nice golf for a while. Last year, you saw a young player win at Sanderson in Cam Champ. I think a similar thing could happen this week with Scottie.
Top-10 finisher: Harris English
Why: He had his first top 10 in a long time last week at Greenbrier – a T3. Prior to that, you’ve got to go all the way back to Puntacana in March 2018 to find his last top 10 (T5). Harris has been working with a new coach recently and I think it’s helping him out. Though he didn’t make the playoffs, he did fire a 64 in the final round of the Wyndham, the final regular season event. He found something there. He’s in the 126-150 category and needs to take advantage of every start he gets. He’ll be ready to play.
Winning Pick: Lucas Glover
Why: I feel like he’s going to win at any time and has had a lot of rest since the Tour Championship. Lucas played great golf pretty much all year and I think he just got tired at East Lake. But he’s rested now and ready to go. He’s a phenomenal ball striker, which comes in handy anywhere, but especially at the Country Club of Jackson.
Darkhorse pick: Brian Harman
Why: He always seems to play well on Bermuda grass. Couple that with the fact that he’s coming off a heater with a top-5 last week at Greenbrier – T3 with bookend 65s – and I think he’ll be on page 1 of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Top-10 finisher: Sungjae Im
Why: No other reason other than he plays good every single week. He just won Rookie of the Year. He plays a lot and doesn’t seem to get tired.
Winning Pick: Joaquin Niemann
Why: I’m going with the hot hand after winning last week in Greenbrier. There’s no let down from this young kid. Last week was the first of many to come.
Darkhorse Pick: Corey Conners
Why: Corey was the runner up here last year. This week, he’s making his first start since the Tour Championship. This is the perfect golf course for his solid ball striking. I see him picking up where he left off a year ago.
Top-10 finisher: Brian Harman
Why: Brian has racked up four top 10s in his last seven starts. He comes into this week after a T3 at Greenbrier on Sunday. He would’ve been my winning choice, but he’s making his first trip to Jackson since 2013… so let’s just say top 10.