With many of the PGA Tour’s best competing in the HSBC Champions this week, this alternate event provides a chance for the circuit’s lesser lights to shine.
Sanderson Farms Championship Preview, TV Times
The Sanderson Farms Championship takes place this week at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi. Ryan Armour is the defending champion and former U.S. Open winners Retief Goosen and Lucas Glover are among those on the start sheet.
The tournament began life in 1968 as the Magnolia State Classic and has always been held as an alternate event. Between 1969 and 1993, it took place in the week of the Masters. Craig Stadler, Luke Donald and Bill Haas are among the former champions.
Last year, Ryan Armour took the title just a month after regaining his Tour card from the Web.com Tour Finals. It was the 41-year-old’s first win on the main circuit in his 105th start.
As an alternate event, this tournament doesn’t carry quite the same incentives as a regular PGA Tour event. It has a smaller purse and the winner doesn’t receive an invite to play in next year’s Masters. Still, for those in the field, victory could be a career-changer as first prize is $774,000 and the winner will receive a two-year PGA Tour exemption.
11 players have won for the first time on the PGA Tour in this event – including Armour last year, Cody Gribble in 2016, Peter Malnati in 2015 and Nick Taylor in 2014.
The Country Club of Jackson is an historic one, established in 1914. There are 27-holes, 18 of which were redesigned by John Fought in 2008.
The weather forecast for the week is mixed with some rain possible on the first three days.
Venue: CC of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi
Date: Oct 25-28
Course stats: 7,421 yards, par 72
Defending champion: Ryan Armour (-19)
How to watch the Sanderson Farms Championship
Thursday 25 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Friday 26 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Saturday 27 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Sunday 28 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Sanderson Farms Championship?
Players to watch:
Chris Kirk – A former champ and runner-up to Ryan Armour last season.
Cody Gribble – The 2016 winner will be looking to feed off good memories at this venue.
Aaron Baddeley – The talented Australian will aim to build on a solid tied fourth finish in the Safeway Open.
Key hole: 16th – A very demanding par-4 of 469 yards. Swamp waits all down the left side of the hole and it cuts in across the fairway some 80 yards short of the green. The safe tee shot is played to the right side of the fairway but this will leave a long shot in. The approach is just as testing as the drive – water waits left and a large bunker guards the putting surface to the right. A par here is a very good score.