And here we go.
The PGA Tour starts a run of nine straight weeks of tournament action with this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.
The tournament, which will be held at The Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, will see at least six former major champions teeing it up.
And that includes defending champion Sergio Garcia, a one-stroke winner over Peter Malnati. The win was Garcia’s first victory since winning the Masters in 2017.
With the action hitting high gear right from the start of the 2021-2022 wraparound season, it’s never too early to put a win up and make the rest of the year a little less stressful.
Oh, don’t get us wrong…it’s still plenty stressful for the players but having a nice big paycheck in the bank and a two-year exemption under your belt takes a little pressure off that swing in the events moving forward.
But first you’ve got to win and this week’s field, which is definitely down in star-power, gives a lot of lesser-known players the chance to step into the spotlight and the winner’s circle.
Odds To Win Sanderson Farms Championship From FanDuel
|Sanderson Farms Championship Odds||FanDuel|
|Si Woo Kim||+2800|
Another Chance For Those Moving Up
With that being said, this week’s event is still missing a good number of big names such as Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, etc. You know, the players the fans always hope to see at events and bettors look to put down a wager or two on.
They won’t be playing this week because of two main reasons. They are either: A) just getting over their play in the Ryder Cup last week or B) still taking time off after the stretch run of the last FedEx Cup run.
Or, in some case, both.
But that gives us the chance to look at some of the up-and-coming players–or those looking to get back into the winner’s circle–who are coming back into action after a little time off.
If you’re looking to make a name for yourself, it’s weeks like this that give players the best shot.
A Great Spot For A Guy Who Has Been Close
The odds for Malnati this week, +15000, has us intrigued. He’s so far down the list that we almost missed him. But why he was that far down the list has us mystified.
It’s not like he’s playing bad golf. He was T-22 at the season-opening Fortinet Championship and was runner-up here last year to Garcia.
What’s not to like?
Oh, and we almost forgot one other important factor: He’s won here before. His lone PGA Tour victory was at this event back in 2016 so he’s got good vibes around this place.
We’re not saying he’s a lock. We aren’t even saying he’s going to be a factor.
What we are saying is this event lacks major star-power (sorry, Sergio) so it opens up the opportunities for many, many other players to step up.
And that includes Malnati.
There Are Some Bigger Names Lurking
Just because some of the top stars won’t be on hand doesn’t mean there won’t be a well-known champ. In fact, a guy like Keegan Bradley at +3200 could slip in and win for the first time since he won in 2018 at the BMW playoff event.
It hasn’t been a smooth ride in the time since that win as he’s been off-and-on over the last year with just five top 10s and double digits in missed cuts.
But one of those top 10s was last year at this event where he was T-4.
Whether he’s ready to get back into the winner’s circle is still to be determined as he makes his first start of the wraparound season.
But a solid finish a year ago certainly has to boost his confidence to get back that winning feeling.
Longshots Aplenty On The Board
Like we said, with the bigger names taking a pass on this event, that opens the door for longer shots to start licking their chops at the chance to put their name on that oversized winner’s check.
Look no further down the list than Patrick Rogers at +6500. He’s another one still looking for that first win on Tour. He’s been close, especially recently as he had two top-15s at the end of last season and opened the 2021-2022 wraparound season with a T-6 at the Fortinet Championship.
He may be only ranked 180th in the world but he’s sixth in the FedEx Cup rankings after his solid showing in the wraparound season’s first tournament.
A victory would boost his confidence, his rankings everywhere and his bank account…all in one week.