After a one-week break for the Ryder Cup, the fall swing is back in gear, and players will be traveling to Jackson, Mississippi, this week for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Albeit under different title sponsors, this tournament has been part of the PGA Tour schedule since 1968, although it has only been played at the current host course, the Country Club of Jackson, since 2015.
While many of the world’s best players will be opting to rest up after the Ryder Cup, Sergio Garica is making the trek from Wisconsin to defend last year’s title. Other notables include Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Will Zalatoris, and Corey Conners. The field is about what we’ve come to expect for fall series events. While there may be a lack of elite talent at the top, there is still an abundance of capable players in the middle to lower tiers of this field.
As far as the task at hand, the Country Club of Jackson is stock par 72, measuring 7,461 yards with Bermuda-grass fairways, greens, and rough. Perusing through previous iterations of this tournament, it’s fairly evident that there is no set way to succeed at this course. We’ve seen bombers win. We’ve seen ultra-accurate fairway finders win. We’ve seen both short and inaccurate drivers be able to mask off-the-tee inefficiencies with elite iron play, and we’ve also seen the player who simply rolls in the most 20-footers win this tournament as well.
For that reason, I am not entirely caught up in finding specialists at a specific skill set. I’m more so looking for players that can make a ton of birdies, are in good form, and have experienced success on Bermuda-grass greens. Given the wide range of skill sets in play here, I would definitely favor recent form this week over course fit.
Let’s dig into my DraftKings picks!
Top 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship PGA DFS picks
Will Zalatoris, $10,800 (22.99% projected ownership)
I’ve already expressed my love for Zalatoris in the betting article, and while I rarely endorse players above 20 percent ownership, the top of the board is a little strange this week as this field is lacking in elite talent. Every player above $10,000 is projected to garner over 14 percent ownership, so there isn’t really a clear pivot. My suggestion would be for fantasy managers to just select their preferred option and differentiate farther down the board. Corey Conners would be my second favorite play, and he is actually garnering 28.3 percent projected ownership. I think it’s worth paying up for Zalatoris this week, as he will be the centerpiece of the majority of my lineups.
Charley Hoffman, $9,000 (11.91% projected ownership)
I’m a little surprised that Charley Hoffman is only $9,000 this week considering he is as low as 20/1 at some sports books. Conversely, I thought that Hoffman would also be one of the most popular golfers on the slate because of the modest price tag. It actually seems like fantasy managers are skipping the $9,000 range entirely when we remove Mito Pereira from the equation. Pereira is $9,900 and carrying 18.29 percent projected ownership, yet no one else in this range is over 12 percent. Everything seems to be spread out between players like Hoffman, Si Woo Kim, Cameron Tringale, Cameron Davis, Harold Varner, and Keegan Bradley. Not only is Hoffman the cheapest option of that bunch, but he is also the player I am highest on.
Carlos Ortiz, $8,600 (9.42% projected ownership)
Carlos Ortiz just narrowly missed a selection on my outright card, but I will gladly deploy the former Houston Open winner in DraftKings. In three appearances at the Country Club of Jackson, Ortiz has both a third and fourth-place finish. His success here certainly makes sense, as over his last 36 rounds, Ortiz is the number one player in this field from 125-150 yards, a range where 20 percent of the approach shots from C.C. of Jackson come from.
Chez Reavie, $7,700 (5.25% projected ownership)
I am playing a lot of bombers this week, so Chez Reavie is a nice change-up to represent the Ryan Armour and Cody Gribble crowd who have also experienced a great deal of success at the Country Club of Jackson. Despite ranking 134th out of 144 players in driving distance, Reavie ranks 14th in strokes gained off the tee. Translation? Despite being one of the shortest players on Tour, he is so hyper-accurate that his driver is still a weapon. The two-time PGA Tour winner has also been percolating with his irons. Reavie is coming off a week at the Fortinet Championship where he gained 5.3 strokes on approach. The ownership is pretty spread out in this range, but snagging Reavie at 5 percent still feels like a steal.
Adam Schenk, $6,700 (2.20% projected ownership)
For his price both in the betting market and on DraftKings, Adam Schenk is my favorite play on the board. I cannot understand why he is so cheap, but I will gladly plug the Indiana native into the majority of my lineups. Schenk is coming off a performance at the Fortinet Championship where he gained 2.5 strokes off the tee and 1.9 strokes on approach. That was actually Schenk’s best off-the-tee week in nearly a year. His ball-striking is trending positively, and he has a tendency to play his best golf on tracks that cater to lower scoring.
Interesting photos from the 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (plus links to all galleries)
GolfWRX has an assortment of photos from the 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, including in-hand photos of equipment, shots from the range, exclusive looks at new shafts, 17 WITBs, and more.
With the meat of the 2022 season far off on the horizon and the equipment launches for the year ahead still months away, the antsy and searching of the PGA Tour are keen to experiment.
Links to the galleries, below.
- New Cameron Las Vegas covers – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- New Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts – 2021 Shriners Hospitals doe Children Open
- New Garson Quad Tour 17 grip – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Rory Sabbatini – WITB (new Mizuno 223 irons)
- Rickie Fowler – WITB
- James Hahn – WITB
- Danny Willett – WITB
- Abraham Ancer – WITB
- Harry Higgs – WITB
- Ian Poulter – WITB
- Corey Conners – WITB
- Harry Higgs – WITB
- Matt NeSmith – WITB
- Doug Ghim – WITB
- Anirban Lahiri – WITB
- K.H. Lee – WITB
- Carlos Ortiz – WITB
- Seung Yul Noh – WITB
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Tuesday #1
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Tuesday #2
Here are a few of the most interesting shots from the Shriners.
New Mizuno 223 irons spotted in Rory Sabbatini’s bag this week (more photos here)
Rory Sabbatini – WITB (new Mizuno 223 irons) (more photos here)
New Cameron Las Vegas covers (photos here)
Rickie Fowler has some new putters for testing this week (more photos here)
New Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts (more photos here)
Corey Conners w/ PX 6.0 — interesting to see a player go below 6.5 in PX (more photos here)
Ian Poulter prototype Aldila shaft that uses graphene (more photos here)
Tour Rundown: Willett and Burns, oh my
It’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep at my laptop, chin collapsed against my chest. Wife and traveling buddies have laughed repeatedly at the sight. After Ryder Cup week, especially the one we had, I feel that way as I begin this Tour Rundown.
Shoulder seasons are always interesting for professional tournament coverage. Not every tour has ramped up its play, and some have ramped it down for the year. The events that are played mean a lot to the communities they serve, and to the players who need to certify their place on the money list. For those reasons, they mean a lot to us. This week’s TR includes a Champions Tour event from last week. We hope that you enjoy it and that your Ryder Cup hangover is not nearly as crushing as mine!
European Tour: Dunhill Links to Willett by two
A couple of IFS to begin this segment: if an event is played at The Old Course, it automatically leads. If a golfer is the only one to shoot four rounds in the 60s (barring an annihilation and one-round hiccough by another competitor) said golfer wins. Now that that’s over with, let’s talk about the Dunhill Links championship, which featured two of four rounds at St. Andrews Old, and Danny Willett, the only golfer to sign card for four rounds in the 60s. Wait a second…we already did. Kudos to Willett on his first victory in two years, and his eighth overall. The Englishman’s brilliance at Augusta in 2016 left us wanting more majors, and perhaps at age 34, number two might be on the horizon. Today’s his birthday and this trophy is quite a present. Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren and England’s Tyrrell Hatton came second at 16-under, two back of Willett
Two holes to go.
Two shots clear. @Danny_Willett is looking to become the first man to win on his birthday on the European Tour since Ernie Els at the 2004 HSBC World Match Play Championship.#DunhillLinks pic.twitter.com/PJ1N1Qp2Ky
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 3, 2021
PGA Tour: Sanderson Farms Championship claimed by Burns in late going
If you’ve never listened to Jackson, by Mrs. and Mr. Cash, take the time to click the link below. Howza come? Well, they just finished up a tournament in Jackson, MS today, and depending on which Cash you believe, Sam Burns was either a “big-talking man” or the fellow who “teach’em what they don’t know how.” We think it’s the later. Burns waited for the front-runners to cool down and then, hotter than a pepper sprout, he made his move. Birdies at 11, then 13 through 15, shoved him past resurgent Nick Watney, upstart Cameron Young, and all the rest; they also gave him the cushion he needed to make bogey at the last and still claim a win.
Watney was the next big thing in the early 2010s, until he no longer was. This wasn’t his comeback week, but he sure come close. Young tried to continue the grand Wake Forest tradition of PGA Tour winners; it should come sooner, rather than later. In the end, it was UFlorida’s Burns, who found his way home to a second tour title, and the success that was predicted for him in college.
LPGA: Boutier earns 2nd tour title at ShopRite in Seaview
Celine Boutier has a solid international record when playing team golf. She is a combined 5-1-1 after two Solheim Cup appearances. Now the young woman from France looks to shore up her individual record, and New Jersey gave her just that opportunity. Boutier moved from 10th place to 1st on Sunday with a magical 63. She posted 31 against a 37 par on the outward half, then came home in two-under 32 to reach 14-under par and edge the lofty trio of Brooke Henderson, Jin Young Ko, and Inbee Park by one. Jin and Inbee began the day in a first-place tie, but could not build on their Saturday performances. Instead, it was Henderson (64) and Boutier who made day-three moves to ascend the leader board.
— LPGA (@LPGA) October 3, 2021
Champions Tour: Choi claims first senior title at Pebble
It was seven days ago today, that we once again cheered for KJ. The affable former power lifter from Wando became the first Korean to win first prize in a Champions Tour event, and he did so at the expense of the ageless Bernhard Langer and his countryman, Alex Cejka. Choi absolutely lit up the front nine at the pacific paradise, posting five birdies for 31. In the blink of an eye, the magic disappeared, and Choi closed with eight pars and a bogey, but still held on for a two-shot margin of victory. In complete contrast, Langer’s back nine was anything but boring. After a double at the 10th, the Teutonic Titan posted four birdies and a bogey coming home, for an inward 35. Cejka, twice a winner in May, had six birdies on the afternoon, but was undone by bogey at six and eight.
First PGA TOUR Champions win ?
First TOUR win since 2011 ?
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) September 26, 2021
Jim ‘Bones’ MacKay returning to the bag as new full-time caddie for Justin Thomas
Announced early on Thursday morning by Golf Channel, Jim “Bones” MacKay will be returning to the bag as the new full-time caddie for world number six, Justin Thomas.
After four years as an on-course reporter for NBC Sports and Golf Channel, Jim “Bones” Mackay will transition back to his original career and caddie full-time for Justin Thomas. https://t.co/NEVpR2gabb pic.twitter.com/y1ELThFbU3
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) September 30, 2021
MacKay spent 25 years as Phil Mickelson’s caddie before he left the six-time major winner’s bag for an on-course reporter gig at NBC Sports and Golf Channel in 2017.
“It came out of left field very recently. I have just tremendous respect for [Thomas] as a person and a player. It was an incredible phone call to get and I said yes,” MacKay told Golf Channel.
MacKay has filled in on Thomas’ bag before, once at the 2018 Sony Open, and multiple times again in 2020. MacKay was on the bag for Thomas’ three-stroke victory at the 2020 WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Thomas’ prior caddie, Jimmy Johnson, had been on his bag since his 2015 rookie season on Tour.
On the departure of Johnson, JT posted this statement to his Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
MacKay will continue his work as an on-course reporter for NBC Sports and Golf Channel when Thomas’ schedule allows, but this was an opportunity he could not pass up.
“I love to caddie and I loved my role with NBC/Golf Channel,” MacKay commented, “but it’s Justin Thomas.”
The 14-time PGA Tour winner is coming off a season where he won the Players Championship in March, and finished fourth in the FedEx Cup. Thomas has yet to officially commit to any events in the fall swing.
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Rickie Fowler WITB 2021 (October)
Rickie Fowler what’s in the bag accurate as of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. We’ll confirm what putter and...
Sam Burns winning WITB: 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (10.5 degrees @10.3, 6 GB, 60.2 lie) Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X (45 inches, tipped...
Matthew Wolff WITB 2021 (September)
Matthew Wolff what’s in the bag accurate as of the Sanderson Farms Championship. We aren’t sure which putter he will...
Kevin Chappell WITB 2021 (September)
Kevin Chappell what’s in the bag accurate as of the Sanderson Farms Championship. Driver: TaylorMade M1 (9.5 degrees) Shaft: Aldila...
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