The PGA Tour continues on this week as is visits The Country Club of Jackson for the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship. The Country Club of Jackson, which will play as a Par 72, 7,461 yard layout this year.
The course is set up to test the best of the best and success can be found by great ball striking. 6 of the last 9 winners of this event have been first-time winners and there is a solid chance that trend may continue this week. This year’s field is highlighted by Emiliano Grillo, Mackenzie Hughes, and Ludvig Aberg, who is coming in fresh off of his Ryder Cup triumph with Team Europe.
Last year’s edition was won by Mackenzie Hughes, who defeated Sepp Straka in a playoff to pick up his second career PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
Golf has not been easy lately for Sean O’Hair, missing the cut in each of his last 7 PGA Tour starts. O’Hair hasn’t fared much better in this event either, making the cut here just once in 3 starts, with a best finish of T-61 coming back in 2014. I have a soft spot in my hearts for the journeyman players of the PGA Tour, but all I have for Sean O’Hair this week is a missed cut.
Currently ranked 108th in the Official World Golf Ranking, it’s rare for Davis Thompson to find himself towards the top of leaderboards. With a weak field this week, that could change. Thompson has had a quiet season on the PGA Tour, with 2 top 10’s, 5 top 25’s, and 9 missed cuts in 26 starts, highlighted by a runner-up finish at The American Express. Thompson has made the cut here in both of his previous starts, but his best finish was T-35 in 2021. With 4 top 25 finishes in his last 5 tour starts, it seems like Thompson is on the verge of putting together a great tournament. We predict that this week will be another step in the right direction and that Thompson will find his way into the top 25 by week’s end.
The last couple of week’s have been an absolute whirlwind for rising phenom Ludvig Aberg. Besides playing on the winning Ryder Cup team in Italy last week, Aberg’s game has been pretty sharp in general, with 4 straight top 15 finishes in his last 4 worldwide starts, highlighted by a victory at the Omega European Masters. Aberg has not played the minimum number of rounds on tour this season to qualify for statistical ranking, but he would be ranked 27th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green based of his current performances, which is key for finding success in this event. With his recent momentum, Aberg will bring home a top 10 finish this week and most certainly be a threat for the win.
Eric Cole has put together a great rookie campaign on the PGA Tour, with 4 top 10’s and 11 top 25’s in 33 starts, which was good enough to finish 43rd in the FedEx Cup this year. Cole has been riding a quiet heater of late, with 5 straight top 31 finishes, including a pair of top 15’s, highlighted by a 4th place finish at the Fortinet Championship just a few weeks ago. Cole has great success throughout the bag right now, ranking 24th in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and 12th in Strokes Gained: Putting, both of which will be key to successfully navigating The Country Club of Jackson. He may not be the favorite this week, but we predict that Eric Cole will make it 7 first-time winners in the last 10 editions of this event by winning the Sanderson Farms Championship for his maiden PGA Tour victory!