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The PGA Tour is in Jackson, Mississippi this week for the Sanderson Farms Championship, which traditionally has been played as an alternate-field event. However, the tournament, with a strength of field that resembles those of years past, stands on its own this season due to the longer fall schedule.
A 156-man group will take on the Country Club of Jackson. Historically, the event turns into a birdie fest with winning scores around the 20-under-par range.
From a betting perspective, this tournament is completely wide-open. The last five champions were all first-time winners priced at 45-1 or above, with four entering the week longer than 80-1. Additionally, each of the last five winners played in the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs of that same year, which may not predict a winner this week, but highlights the importance of recent form.
2018: Cameron Champ (-21)
2017: Ryan Armour (-19)
2016: Cody Gribble (-20)
2015: Peter Malnati (-18)
2014: Nick Taylor (-16)
As noted above, favorites haven't found success at the Sanderson Farms in the past and it's a trend that could continue this week.
Fresh off his win at the Greenbrier, Joaquin Niemann tops the betting board at 14-1. While he showed his ability to win on the PGA Tour, it's tough to envision him going back-to-back.
Im has all the tools to win but only three top-fives in his PGA Tour career. He needs to seriously contend before being considered as the second betting favorite. Snedeker is a pass at 18-1 even though he can get hot with the putter and post scores required to win in Jackson. Scheffler led the field in strokes gained: tee to green last week at the Greenbrier, which could be viewed as a missed opportunity or an indication he's close to winning.
Byeong Hun An (22-1), Lucas Glover (25-1), Brian Harman (28-1), and Corey Conners (28-1) round out the group below 30-1. Conners is the most intriguing option here, finishing second at Sanderson Farms last year and boasting a stellar tee-to-green game that can compete on a weekly basis.
If forced to choose from the top, Scheffler is the pick followed closely by Conners.
Now for the fun part.
The first name that leaps off the page is Aaron Wise at 40-1. From a skill perspective, you could easily argue he's one of the top five players in the field with odds that fail to align with his talent. He can take a similar bomb-and-gouge approach Cameron Champ took en route to victory last year.
Speaking of the defending champion, Champ sits at 50-1 but hasn't shown enough form over the last few months to indicate he's ready to repeat.
Burgoon fits the trend of a potential first-time winner priced above 45-1 who played in the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs. He's one of the best birdie-makers in the field and has two runner-up results in his career.
Munoz played beautifully last week at the Greenbrier, posting a T7 result backed by nearly flawless tee-to-green play. Stanley finished the 2018-19 campaign with exceptional ball-striking, and if that continues into the new season, he should have no issues contending in the weak field.
A number of options above 80-1 exist this week. The play could be spreading your exposure across this range as four of the last five winners of the Sanderson Farms were long shots.
Sam Burns, Doc Redman, and Robby Shelton are all intriguing options at 80-1. Burns is making his second start since returning from a broken ankle. He finished T3 in Jackson last season and is one of the best Bermuda grass putters in the field.
Redman is a birdie-maker and already has a runner-up result at a similar course (the Donald Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club). Shelton was mentioned as a long shot last week at 250-1 for the Greenbrier and popped with an impressive T7 performance.
Betting this trio of youngsters could be highly profitable if the recent trend of first-time winners continues at Sanderson Farms.
Aaron Wise (40-1)
The value on Wise is simply too good to pass up. Had he played recently and finished inside the top 20, he likely would be priced among one of the five favorites. Instead, we get a juicy 40-1 number that doesn't account for his solid conclusion to the 2018-19 season, his ability to score on par 5s, and his success on Bermuda grass in the past.
Bronson Burgoon (66-1)
Not only does Burgoon fit the trend of recent winners at Sanderson Farms, but he's playing great as well. In his last five starts split between the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, he has four top-20s and two top-fives. His two best finishes on Tour were both runner-ups, where he shot 19-under and 21-under.
Sam Burns (80-1)
Burns shook off the rust last week at the Greenbrier, and despite missing the cut, showed signs his game is coming back. He gained nearly three strokes off the tee in two rounds, which should carry over to this week. Additionally, returning to the course where he ranked second in strokes gained: tee to green last year should bring back fond memories.