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by Joanne Miller

After a thrilling Ryder Cup that saw Europe dominate, the PGA TOUR now heads to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson. This tournament, which was upgraded to a standalone event in the 2019-20 season, will feature a 156-man field, including some talented players looking to make a mark and secure their spots in next season’s signature events.

The Country Club of Jackson is a challenging course, measuring 7,461 yards with fast Bermudagrass greens. The layout of the course, which underwent renovations in 2008, aimed to replicate some classic Donald Ross course features. As a result, the greens are relatively small, making accuracy on approach shots crucial for success. Players will need to find the right level on their approach shots to give themselves birdie opportunities.

Several notable golfers in the field this week include Ludvig Aberg, Eric Cole, Keith Mitchell, and Emiliano Grillo. Past winners at the Country Club of Jackson include Mackenzie Hughes, Sam Burns, Sergio Garcia, and Sebastian Munoz.

When analyzing the key metrics for the course, Strokes Gained: Approach stands out as a crucial statistic. Previous winners like Sergio Garcia, Sam Burns, and Mackenzie Hughes have excelled in this category. Some players with impressive Strokes Gained: Approach stats over their last 24 rounds include Chez Reavie, Alex Smalley, Sam Ryder, Kevin Streelman, and Eric Cole.

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee is another important statistic to consider, as it reflects a player’s driving accuracy and distance. Previous winners Sergio Garcia and Sam Burns have excelled in this category. Brent Grant, Ludvig Aberg, M.J. Daffue, Kevin Yu, and Trevor Cone have impressive Strokes Gained: Off the Tee stats over their last 24 rounds.

With the rough not being a significant issue this week, driving distance will be an advantage. Players like Peter Kuest, Brandon Matthews, M.J. Daffue, Garrick Higgo, and Kyle Westmoreland have gained impressive driving distance over their last 24 rounds.

The par 5s on the course offer birdie and eagle opportunities, making Strokes Gained: Par 5 another important metric. Stephen Thompson, Scott Harrington, Stephan Jaeger, Grayson Murray, and Jason Dufner have performed well in this category over their last 24 rounds.

Finally, putting on Bermudagrass greens will be crucial, as it has been a significant factor in determining the tournament winner in the past. Martin Trainer, Chad Ramey, Brian Gay, Alex Noren, and Ben Taylor have excelled in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda greens over their last 24 rounds.

Using a combination of these key statistical categories, the model rankings show some intriguing picks for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Golfers like Peter Kuest, Stephan Jaeger, Kevin Yu, Trevor Cone, and Callum Tarren have strong overall model rankings.

Among the top picks for this week’s tournament is Eric Cole, who has shown excellent form and comfort on fast Bermudagrass greens. S.H. Kim, known for his impressive ball striking, also stands out after a strong performance at the Fortinet Championship. Sam Ryder, with his consistent ball striking, and Ben Griffin, who excels on Bermuda greens, are also worth considering.

As the Sanderson Farms Championship gets underway, these players have the skill and motivation to make their mark and secure their spots in the upcoming signature events. With the exciting talent on display, this tournament promises to be an exciting and competitive battle on the beautiful fairways of the Country Club of Jackson.

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