2021 Sanderson Farms Picks and Best Bets: Value on Longshot J.T. Poston
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: J.T. Poston
- After a thrilling Ryder Cup, the PGA TOUR is back with the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi.
- Sergio Garcia is the only player going from Wisconsin to Jackson, although he’s not where the betting value lies according to Jason Sobel.
- Check out Sobel’s betting picks and tournament preview below.
SHEBOYGAN, Wisc. — We have officially reached the slower part of golf’s year-round schedule, but when the dateline for last week’s event is there for this week’s preview, you know it’s still Grind Season.
As the last one leaving Whistling Straits, I’ll be sure the music that was so often blaring from the first tee is turned off and I’ll pick up any straggling beer cups on my way out.
What a week, though. Not only did the U.S. side just play tremendous team golf, the crowds were fantastic, the sportsmanship was brilliant and I can’t wait for ‘em to do it all over again in Rome.
But as Bill Belichick would say while waiting to leave the greater Sheboygan area: We’re on to Jackson.
This week’s Sanderson Farms Championship might lack, oh, just a little bit of the electricity that we witnessed at the Ryder Cup, but we’re back on that grind at an event where driving is essential, as Sergio Garcia belted his way to victory last year (more on him wayyy at the bottom of this preview) and recent winners have included Cameron Champ and Ryan Armour, perhaps the longest and straightest drivers, respectively, on the PGA TOUR.
With that in mind, let’s get right to the picks.
One player to win the tournament.
J.T. Poston (+13000)
He’s missed the cut in three straight events, but led the field in total driving in his most recent start at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago. With a third-place finish at this event last year and a playoff loss at the Barbasol, which could offer a nice correlation, Poston should own some good vibes in a familiar atmosphere. And oh by the way, I love this pre-tourney price, too.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
Corey Conners (+1600)
I don’t necessarily love betting him at this number, but I similarly don’t mind using him in OADs at an early-season event where he’s amongst the favorites.
Hudson Swafford (+10000)
A popular play two weeks ago, Swafford followed a pair of top-20s in his two previous starts with a missed cut in Napa, but I think he’s still trending and like him for a much better course fit this week.
Austin Cook (+15000)
If you really don’t want to burn a player you might use elsewhere, then Cook is a player who provides a high ceiling (though a low floor, as well). He doesn’t have a great record here – four MCs in five starts – but he has finished T-11 in his last two starts, on courses which might not suit him as well as this one.
One player to finish top-five.
Mito Pereira (+600 for top-five)
In his last six starts, Mito has cashed three top-five tickets and finished one spot away in a fourth. Don’t overthink it too much and hop on this train while it’s still going full-steam.
One player to finish top-10.
Stephan Jaeger (+800 for top-10)
About a month ago, near the end of the Korn Ferry season, Jaeger joined Michael Collins and me on our SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio show. We asked where we should pick him this season and he offered two options: The Sony Open and this week’s Sanderson Farms. For a guy who’s been crushing it on the KFT, I like him to start contending very quickly now that he’s back in the big leagues.
One player to finish top-20.
Aaron Rai (+400 for top-20)
Speaking of our radio show, one of my favorite answers to a question that we’ve ever received came a few weeks ago from Rai, who still has iron covers. Before you judge him, listen to this answer – and then go bet him on a course which should suit his game.
One player to finish top-30.
I’m continuously putting Pan into the category of: Guy Who’s a Lot Better than Most People Realize. Coming off a T-6 in his season debut a few weeks ago, I like him to have another solid week.
One player to finish top-40.
Hayden Buckley (+300 for top-40)
Love this story: Buckley didn’t even have KFT status last season until he started Monday qualifying; now he’s a PGA TOUR member. I wouldn’t expect too much, too soon, but he’s obviously got some game.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
Will Zalatoris and Sam Burns
I can’t imagine any U.S. players who didn’t compete in the Ryder Cup were more motivated than these two. If I’m making a prediction for the team in 2023, I think we’ll have 10 of the same guys, with these two added to the mix. As for this week, I expect a floor of top-20 with a ceiling as high as it’ll go.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
Remember this name. Sigg is a Kevin Kisner-type who can ball-strike his way around shorter courses and should thrive whenever he plays on Bermuda greens. All of that should mean good things for this week.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Chris Kirk (+6000 for FRL)
A former champion of this event, Kirk has posted three opening-round 67s here. I was tempted to go with Cameron Tringale, who’s sort of an auto-FRL play at this point, but Kirk tends to start strong, too, finishing 19th in R1 scoring average last season.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Aaron Wise (+5000)
I don’t necessarily love Wise at this course – his best finish is a T-17 in four career starts – but I do really like him for some big things soon. I’ll go with a few cautious matchup plays this week, but he’s a guy I’ll target when the schedule gets to the West Coast in January.
The Big Fade
One top player to avoid at this tournament.
Sergio Garcia (+2000)
Last year, I questioned why Sergio would put this tourney on his schedule, then he went out and won the damned thing. That said, I can’t help but wonder about his motivation again this week, following a Ryder Cup that undoubtedly sapped him of so much energy. I’ll be staying away.
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