This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Sanderson Farms Championship
Country Club of Jackson (7,421 yards, par-72)
Winner: $1,188,000 and 500 FedExCup points
This season marks a major upgrade for an event that has been on the PGA Tour calendar since 1994, as this will be the first time the Sanderson Farms Championship will be a standalone event. The winner will receive the full 500 FedExCup points, as well as an invitation to the Masters, which was not previously offered when the tournament was played as an alternate event. The purse also saw a 50 percent increase from last year, when Cameron Champ won in just his second start as a full-fledged member. There are still only three of the top 50 in the OWGR in the field, however, led by Presidents Cup hopefuls Chez Reavie and Brandt Snedeker. There's no doubt balls will be flying this week with temperatures expected to approach triple digits. There is little threat of precipitation, and the winds will be not be a factor.
Key Stats to Victory
Putts per GIR
The Country Club of Jackson is a classic layout with tree-lined fairways and greens on the smaller side. Last year's winner, Cameron Champ, averaged 334 yards off the tee, but found just 46 percent of the fairways. By contrast, runner-up Corey Conners averaged just 287.5 yards off the tee, but founds 70 percent of the fairways. Both styles can work here, as Champ and Conners were first and fourth in SG: Off-the-tee respectively. With four par-5s on the card, you're going to have to pile up birdies if you want to contend this week. Iron play is going to be key to give yourself as many makeable chances as possible. You won't see a ton of three-putts here, but CC of Jackson annually ranks among the hardest on Tour to convert from inside of 10 feet. Champ took advantage of his opportunities last year on the greens, ranking second in SG: Putting and first in putts per GIR.
FanDuel Value Picks
Joaquin Niemann ($11,800)
The 20-year-old has "future superstar" written all over him, and the future might be now after Niemann blew away the field last week with a six-shot victory. He now has posted nine rounds of 65 or lower since June 20th, which is three more than any other player on Tour in that span. The weakest part of Niemann's game has been putting, but he put on a clinic last week, topping the field in strokes gained on the greens. His control with his irons is impressive given his age. Niemann was 10th in proximity last year and third in proximity from the rough. His ability to get the ball close to the hole from the rough will play well at the CC of Jackson, which ranked as the seventh toughest in terms of hitting the fairways.
Scottie Scheffler ($11,000)
Scheffler was the best player on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, and he rode that momentum to a T7 at the Greenbrier last week. His putter fell off a bit on the weekend, but his ball striking was impressive. Scheffler was tops in SG: Tee-to-Green, second in GIR's, and second in birdie average. He also has the length to take advantage of the par-5's at the CC of Jackson. There's very little not to love here.
Lucas Glover ($10,800)
Glover didn't have a great playoffs, but make no mistake, he had one of his best seasons on Tour last year. In 26 starts, Glover posted 16 top-20s and ranked 19th on Tour in SG: Total. The CC of Jackson has been a great track for him, with finishes of T5, T14, and T22 here since 2014. Glover is solid all the way through the bag with an especially strong short game to bail him out whenever he gets in trouble.
Corey Conners ($10,200)
The Canadian was able to shed his conditional status last year with a win at the Valero Texas Open in April. Conners had a few high finishes early in the season, but lacked consistency. He started putting things together late last season, finishing with five straight top-30s. The reason Conners is such an interesting option on a weekly basis is his incredible iron play. Last year he was tops on Tour in both GIR and proximity. The question mark for Conners is the putter, but if he has a good week on the greens he is a very dangerous player. Conners has to have some good vibes coming back to the CC of Jackson after his runner-up finish last year.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Si Woo Kim ($9,500)
Other than a fifth-place finish at the Wyndham Championship in August, the last several months have been tough on Kim. This time last year he was in much the same position and finished inside the top 26 in all four of his starts in the fall portion of the schedule. Kim's game should fit the CC of Jackson quite nicely: he ranked seventh in putts per round and 22nd in birdie average last season. Kim also has one of the most underrated short games in the world.
Wyndham Clark ($9,200)
There is big value here with Clark's $9,200 price tag in a weak field. For starters, the Oregon product closed last season with four top-20 finishes in his last seven starts. His overall performance last season was also consistent with the formula Champ used to win here last year. Clark ranked fifth in driving distance and eighth in SG: Putting. He was also 13th in birdie average and first in putting inside of 10 feet.
Robby Shelton ($8,600)
The rookie out of Alabama got off to quite the start last week in West Virginia. He was 13-under-par through the first two rounds, but had to settle for a T7 after going 70-70 over the weekend. Shelton ranked fourth in SG: Off-the-Tee and tops in birdie average last week. His combination of driving and putting will be useful at the CC of Jackson. Shelton ranked second in putting average and fourth in birdie average on the Korn Ferry Tour last season.
Dominic Bozzelli ($7,900)
Bozzelli didn't play his best golf at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, but closed the PGA Tour season with a T9 and T25 in his last three starts. His inconsistencies were mostly due to his ball striking, but he established himself as one of the best putters on tour. Bozzelli ranked third in SG: Putting, fourth in putting inside of 10 feet, and 18th in birdie average. The CC of Jackson was very difficult as far as putting inside of 10 feet last season, so Bozzelli's putter could be a huge factor if he can give himself enough looks.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on a 60k standard salary cap)
The best move with a weaker field is to load up on players in the range around $8,500-$10,500. There are not enough players worth rostering under $8,000 to load up on a bunch of top-priced guys. I'd suggest taking a flyer on Niemann or Scheffler, then bolstering the rest of your lineup with either bombers and/or good putters in the price range I mentioned above. Lastly, don't get too wound up on players who missed the cut last week. Guys like Ryan Armour, Sam Burns, Bill Haas, and Adam Schenk all posted MC's at the Greenbrier, but all have finished inside the top-15 within the last two years in Jackson.