Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: The former Korn Ferry Tour stud our experts love
After a bye week due to the Presidents Cup being played at Quail Hollow, the PGA Tour’s Fall Swing returns with the Sanderson Farms Championship. Our experts swung and missed at the Fortinet, with none of us selecting Max Homa as the solo favorite to defend his title. Credit to Homa, who then went on to do even bigger and better things in Charlotte.
Homa’s win in Napa also kept a rather interesting trend alive. Nine of the last 16 PGA Tour winners have come at outright odds of 20-1 or shorter. Longshots, unfortunately, have gone by the wayside.
You’d think that trend might end this week due to a weak field, meaning someone north of 50-1 could potentially break through. A few of our handicappers actually have their sights set on a recent Korn Ferry Tour graduate who is near the top of the odds board.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Sahith Theegala (20-1, DraftKings) — He had a great chance to win last year before faltering on the back nine. And he started the season with a T-6 in Napa. His first win comes this week.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Taylor Montgomery (30-1, DraftKings) — Almost any skill set can win at the Country Club of Jackson, but a bomber having a hot putting week is likely the easiest path, since they can dominate the par 5s. I wouldn’t expect him to repeat his putting performance from Napa, where we saw him gain 11.2 strokes to the field putting, but a massive rebound with the driver (he lost 1.6 strokes off-the-tee) is about the best bet you can make this week. Arguably the best Korn Ferry grad, looking back at his past five starts, he finished third in his season debut in Napa, and churned out four straight top 10s to end the KFT season before that. Buy now before his odds are sub 20-1 in a few weeks.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Taylor Montgomery (26-1, FanDuel) — While the stats don’t always translate from one tour to the next, Montgomery has distance, and that’s pretty obvious. The putts-per-round numbers from the Korn Ferry Tour are good, and he putted well from within 15 feet at the Fortinet, a good sign that his putter will remain good—just not as good as it was last time out (which is nearly impossible). It’s a rare combo of distance and putting, which could go a long way this week.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Emiliano Grillo (40-1, DraftKings) — He’s done it again! After gaining 2.61 strokes putting at the Fortinet Championship, that marks six straight events that Grillo has gained strokes on the greens. That’s a massive improvement for someone who is already one of the better ball-strikers out there. That stretch of golf has produced a pair of runner-up finishes, a T-19 at the BMW Championship and a T-25 in Napa. He’s on the verge of having a big week, and the Country Club of Jackson seems like a reasonable spot for it.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Davis Riley (35-1, PointsBet) — Riley had a hot spring with a runner-up at the Valspar, a fourth-place at the Charles Schwab and a fifth-place in Mexico. He cooled off in the summer, letting us get him as high as 45-1 when the odds opened on Monday. The narrative around the Mississippi native predictably attracted betting attention early in the week, but I still like his odds here. He’s second in Birdies or Better Gained over the past 50 rounds, per Fantasy National, and sixth in the field in SG/off the tee, so he should give himself plenty of looks at what is annually a birdie-fest. Let’s hope the putter starts cooking on a Bermuda surface he grew up playing on.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Keegan Bradley (40-1, BetMGM) — Despite his atrocious Bermuda putting numbers, Bradley did manage to finish fourth here a few years ago. I have faith he’ll turn the irons around after some ugly approach play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and we know he’ll gain strokes off the tee like he always does. Not in love with anybody at the top of the board this week and Bradley obviously has some solid win equity at this number. Plus, I have to believe he’ll be coming in highly motivated after missing out on another team event last week.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Russell Henley (25-1, BetMGM) — Henley has both the long and short-term form coming into this event. He ranks second in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years and eighth for SG/total over the last two months. His solid putting on Bermuda greens means he also ranks 12th in the field this week for SG/total at similar courses.
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Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Lucas Glover (200-1, DraftKings) — Just three starts ago, Glover had a heckuva weekend at the FedEx St. Jude, finishing third. That’s a similarly Bermuda-lined course as CC of Jackson, and Glover has some good finishes here in the past, so these odds seem too juicy to ignore.
Mayo: Trey Mullinax (40-1, DraftKings) — A near lock to gain strokes with his driver, it’s the rest of his game, starting with his win at the Barbasol, that is becoming the impressive part. Including his breakthrough win, he’s gained against the field on approach in each start, which included stacked fields in two FedEx Cup playoffs events and the Open Championship. It really comes down to which putter he decides to bring: the freezing cold one or the scorching hot one. In four career starts at the Sanderson Farms we’ve seen both. He’s gained over four strokes on the greens in two of his past three starts in Jackson, and dropped almost five in the other. Seems worth the risk.
Gdula: Carl Yuan (75-1, FanDuel) — Yuan ranked seventh on the Korn Ferry Tour in distance last season and actually was top five in SG/tee to green on a per-round basis at the Fortinet. He missed the cut due to bad putting, and while the KFT putting numbers were just average, we just saw Sam Burns win here while losing from putting and Sergio Garcia win, as well, so it can be done.
Gehman: Harrison Endycott (200-1, DraftKings) — The recent Korn Ferry Tour grad made his PGA Tour debut in Napa and immediately looked like he belonged. He finished T-12, but the way he accomplished that feat is even more impressive. He gained 5.24 strokes on approach, the fifth-best mark of anyone in the field that week. He posted a positive number in each of the four major strokes-gained categories, which is generally a sign that the golfer is in complete control of his game.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Harris English (50-1, DraftKings) — English’s ninth-place in Napa in his last event was powered mostly by his short game, but that’s always been his strength. It’s a good sign that he might be back. If his ball-striking heats up, he can be a threat at a course where he finished sixth last time he played (2019). This just feels like a value play on a golfer with much more pedigree than others in this price range.
Powers, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (66-1, BetMGM) — After losing boatloads of money on him in Florida last year, I’m pleased to announce I’m back on the Kirk bandwagon. He loves him some Bermuda greens and he’s got great history at Country Club of Jackson, making five of six cuts highlighted by a ninth-place finish in 2013 and a runner-up in 2016. He got a nice tuneup at the Fortinet, where he finished 43rd, so he won’t be coming in cold. Is this the season he finally gets back in the winner’s circle? For his sake, and my wallet’s sake, let’s hope it’s this week.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Taylor Moore (50-1, BetMGM) — A 17th here last year shows just how well suited to the course Moore’s game is. He actually ranks 13th in the field this week for SG/total at similar courses. He will also be bringing his best game to Country Club of Jackson this week, ranking second in the field for SG/total over the past two months and eighth for Opportunities Gained at similar courses.
Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: Players We’re Fading
Caddie: J.T. Poston (16-1, DraftKings) — The Postman had his bachelor party last weekend. I hear it was great times … I would definitely stay away.
Mayo: Denny McCarthy (18-1, DraftKings) — Not a horrible top-10 or top-20 bet, but this outright price for a player who needs to be inside the top 10 percent of a field in putting just to make a cut seems like an error in the market.
Gdula: Sahith Theegala (18-1, FanDuel) — If I’m betting one of the three favorites, it’ll be Burns or Henley. Theegala has had some close calls, and he’s fun, but that makes the number too short based on the current skill level.
Gehman: Seamus Power (40-1, DraftKings) — There’s a lot of concern for Power when looking over his recent stat profile. He’s lost strokes on approach in four straight events, and he’s lost with the putter in three straight. Those are normally two strong facets of his game and it appears like he’s lost the feel in both. His course history doesn’t look much better—he’s missed the cut in each of his last two trips and has given back over 10 strokes from tee-to-green in those four rounds.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Taylor Montgomery (30-1, DraftKings) — It’s terrifying to fade the guy being picked by two of our sharpest cappers, Pat Mayo and Brandon Gdula. But this is a fade of him gaining nearly 12 strokes putting in Napa, and thinking that has to regress back to his baseline.
Powers, Golf Digest: Denny McCarthy (18-1, DraftKings) — I've bet on Denny far too many times to believe he’s finally going to break through at sub 20-1 odds.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sahith Theegala (18-1, FanDuel) — Despite having a great rookie season last year, Theegala’s recent form has been far from impressive. He ranks 88th for Opportunities Gained over the last two months and 38th for SG/total over the same period. He has just one top 10 in his last eight events.
Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Taylor Montgomery (-130) over Keegan Bradley (DraftKings) — Give me all the stock in the most talented graduate from the Korn Ferry Tour. I don’t see why he wouldn’t contend again this week.
Mayo: Emiliano Grillo (-110) over Thomas Detry (DraftKings) — I actually hate going against Detry as he never seems to go away on the weekend—he has a knack for crawling up the leaderboard when no one is watching. It’s basically his power with the driver against Grillo’s overall driving, but I’ll side with the experience in America, which Emiliano has plenty of.
Gdula: Aaron Rai (-108) over Sepp Straka (FanDuel) — Rai has been better than Straka over the past three, six, and 12 months but he is the underdog in this matchup. Neither have a big distance advantage, and Rai is the better tee-to-green player.
Gehman: Thomas Detry (-120) over Christiaan Bezuidenhout (DraftKings) — Detry has earned five top-15 finishes in his last eight starts across the globe with his most recent coming at the Fortinet Championship (T-12). He’s a strong ball-striker who is capable of getting hot with the putter. Bezuidenhout, on the other hand, is much more reliant on the flat stick, which narrows his path to the top of the leaderboard.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Nick Hardy (-118) over Justin Suh (FanDuel) — The stats show an advantage to Hardy in SG/approach, par-5 scoring and SG/putting on Bentgrass, the three most important stats to me this week.
Powers, Golf Digest: Sahith Theegala (+125) over Sam Burns (Bet365) — Theegala came out strong with a T-6 at the Fortinet, which gave him his sixth T-16 or better finish in his last 11 starts. Burns played great at the Presidents Cup, but you have to figure there will be a natural letdown going from that arena to Jackson, Mississippi, no offense to Mississippi. Give me Theegala here at an inflated number.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sam Burns (-150) over Sahith Theegala (Bet365) — As you can see above, I don’t like Theegala this week. Burns on the other hand comes into this event ranked first for SG/total over the last two years, fourth for SG/putting on Bermuda over the last two years and third for SG/total at CC Of Jackson.
Matchup Results from the Fortinet Championship: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Steele (-111) over Riley); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Theegala (-110) over McNealy); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Matsuyama (+108) over Conners); Powers: 1 for 1 (Pendrith (+105) over McNealy); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Putnam (-110) over Reavie); Mayo: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Hennessey: 1-0-0 (up 1.08 units); Powers: 1-0-0 (up 1.05 units); Gehman: 1-0-0 (up 0.91 units); Alldrick: 1-0-0 (up 0.91 units); Caddie: 1-0-0 (up 0.9 units); Mayo: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit); Gdula: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit)
Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Andrew Putnam (+450, DraftKings) — He’s been solid since the summer, and in a putting contest, I’ll take this guy rolling the rock to a top-10 finish.
Mayo: Emiliano Grillo (+400, DraftKings) — This course is weirdly set up for the Argentinian when he’s running good. It’s a course that emphasizes driving, but not all distance. That’s the Grillo wheel house. Over the past 24 rounds he’s actually No. 1 in this field in SG/off-the-tee despite only being 45th in Driving Distance in that stretch. Average to above average length with deadly accuracy is a great combo anywhere, but the stats show it is greatly weighed at CC of Jackson. The craziest part of his recent run though; Grillo’s normal high-end irons have become middling, while one of the worst flat sticks of the past half decade has suddenly come alive. He’s gained on the greens in each of his past five starts, picking up an average of three-plus strokes on the greens on the field. You worry that he’ll turn back into a pumpkin any week now, but you gotta ride in case he actually figures out his wedges while the putter is hot.
Gdula: Denny McCarthy (+410, FanDuel) — McCarthy is one of the best Bermuda putters and overall putters on the planet, and he’s used that to finish top 20 here four straight years. The long-term data on McCarthy ranks him third in the field over the past 12 months, so we know he’s good. He’s just limited on certain courses. CC of Jackson isn’t one of them.
Gehman: Scott Stallings (+300, DraftKings) — Stallings fell flat on his face at the Tour Championship, finishing 29th and having the fourth-worst strokes-gained week of his career. If you’re willing to look past that, you’ll find that he has six top-15 finishes in his last 10 starts. You’ll also find that he’s the best approach player in this field over the last 36 rounds, the second best tee-to-green player and the second best player overall during that stretch.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Harrison Endycott (+2100, FanDuel) — The rookie’s ball-striking was exceptional last event in Napa, as our guy Rick Gehman pointed out. It might be a lot to ask him to win, but why not clean up on these top-10 numbers?
Powers, Golf Digest: Austin Smotherman (+1400, FanDuel) — Smotherman’s numbers on Bermuda greens leave a lot to be desired, and he has no history to speak of at Country Club of Jackson. But the course should be a perfect fit for his skill set, which is gaining strokes off the tee and striping your irons. He’s also gained strokes putting in six of his last 11 starts, so it’s not all bad on the greens for the former SMU Mustang.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Thomas Detry (+400, DraftKings) — The Belgium Bomber has not played at Country Club of Jackson before but his is an excellent driver of the ball and a fantastic putter on Bermuda greens so should relish this course. Form-wise, he ranks 12th in the field for SG/total over the last two months and has two top fives in his last five events.
Top-10 results from the Fortinet Championship: Gdula: 1 for 1 (+490, Taylor Montgomery); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Gdula: 1 for 1 (up 4.9 units); Caddie: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Mayo: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Gehman: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Hennessey: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Powers: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Alldrick: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit)
Sanderson Farms Championship picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Sam Burns — Let’s not overthink this: Burns is the best player in the field. He was awesome last week in Charlotte, despite what his Presidents Cup record shows. We are in the middle of the chalkiest stretch of golf in recent memory. With Max Homa’s victory at the Fortinet Championship, that makes nine of the last 16 winners checking in with odds of 20-1 or shorter.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo.
Hennessey: Denny McCarthy — Denny has the best course history here with four top-20 finishes in the past four years. The outright numbers are tough to get behind, but he’s a logical One and Done play.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Cam Davis.
Powers: J.T. Poston — The Postman has posted two top-11 finishes here in his last three appearances, and he’s been playing some fine golf over the last few months, with a runner-up finish at the Travelers and a win at the John Deere serving as the highlights.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Sahith Theegala.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.