Sanderson Farms Championship Updated Odds, Expert Picks: Denny McCarthy’s Putting Will Stay Hot in Mississippi
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Denny McCarthy.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship odds via Caesars
|Paul Haley II||+15000|
We’re on to Mississippi.
It was a great week at the Presidents Cup in Charlotte. (If you missed it, you can read my takeaway from the event here.) There's no rest for the weary, however, as the PGA TOUR schedule continues at this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship, the second event on the 2022-23 calendar.
Here’s the Cliffs Notes of what you need to know about this week’s host venue: The Country Club of Jackson was founded in 1914, it’ll play just north of 7,400 yards, it features Bermuda greens and it has some pretty solid fishing spots right on property.
That last part probably isn’t germane to your betting plays this week, but this is: Any track which can yield Cameron Champ (No. 1 in driving distance last season) and Ryan Armour (eighth-from-last in driving distance) as winners in back-to-back years should be considered fairly indiscriminatory.
We should bank on ball-strikers who thrive on Bermuda greens, which is where I’ll start with my favorite outright selection.
One player to win the tournament
Denny McCarthy (+3700)
Since we’re well into football season, I can make this analogy: If I’m putting all of my impending picks for this PGA TOUR season into some NFL-like confidence pool, this one would rank somewhere pretty far down the list. Even though the last two winners here were glaringly obvious in retrospect, as Sam Burns and Sergio Garcia were the most talented players in those fields at the time (even if Sergio wasn’t the favorite), that aforementioned indiscriminatory nature of this event leaves plenty of possibilities.
My favorite is McCarthy, for a few reasons. The first is that the guy known as one of the world’s best putters has rapidly improved in all other facets of his game over the past few years, to the point that it should come as a surprise to nobody if/when he claims his first career victory. The second is that he’s knocked on this door before, with finishes of 17th-6th-18th-7th in his last four Sanderson starts.
That includes 15 of 16 rounds under-par, the lone outlier coming in last year’s final round, when a pair of 65s brought him to one back, only to post a 73 on Sunday. And the last reason is that his price offers some value, as he remains longer than the likes of Taylor Montgomery and Taylor Moore, which shouldn’t be the case on this course.
Potential selections for one-and-done pools
Sahith Theegala (+1800)
Hey, it’s going to happen at some point – and two weeks after I was convinced it was going to happen at the Fortinet Championship seems like my kind of timing.
After a T6 finish at that one, his outright number is creeping shorter and shorter, which means I’ll be looking to back him more against stronger fields, where his price is bigger, and he still owns a decent win probability. Even so, I want to have some sort of investment on Theegala anytime he plays, especially at a place where he was the 54-hole leader just last year.
Davis Riley (+3100)
Every Tuesday, I appear on DraftKings’ “The Sweat,” usually with their golf guru Geoff Ulrich. Two weeks ago, as I was singing the praises of Theegala prior to the Fortinet, Geoff was going with fellow super-soph Riley, a player armed with so much ball-striking talent that he’s never a bad play. I said at the time that I’d save Riley for more familiar surroundings at the Sanderson, so here we are. Despite a missed cut at the season opener, I expect Riley to be a popular play in his home state and for good reason, though he did MC here last year.
Chris Kirk (+5500)
As I’ve written before, if you’re one of those hearty souls who begins your OAD pools when the season starts, you’re my kind of people. Kirk is the type of player you’re not uncomfortable about using at some point during a 49-event season, but you probably won’t have any buyer’s remorse in burning him too early, either. The winner of this event 11 years ago, I’ve been waiting for his next victory, and it seems most like to happen in his preferred Southeast, where he tends to play his best golf.
One player to finish top-five
Matthew NeSmith (+2000 for top-five finish on WynnBet)
I recently wrote a piece highlighting my favorite inherent value plays on a regular basis. In addition to the likes of Theegala, Aaron Wise and Keith Mitchell, I mentioned NeSmith, who ranked 30th in strokes gained on approach shots last season.
My theory is that an above-average ball-striker only needs a few plus-level putting performances in which to contend for a title. Back on Bermuda greens, this should be a really nice spot to once again focus on NeSmith, who should also be on your card at +11000 for an outright play.
One player to finish top-10
Adam Svensson (+700 for top-10 finish on WynnBet)
Ugh, Canada. It was a week to forget for the Great White Northerners, as Taylor Pendrith and Corey Conners each finished with 0-4-0 records at the Presidents Cup. The good fans of Canada deserve a little pick-me-up during the NHL preseason, and Svensson is certainly capable of delivering some better news.
With a T-12 finish in his first start of the season, the talented iron player can finish a couple of notches higher at this one and cash those top-10 tickets. In fact, don’t be surprised if Svensson is firmly in the mix of potential International team players when the contest returns to Canada at Royal Montreal in two years.
One player to finish top-20
Callum Tarren (+450 for top-20 finish on DraftKings)
Much like NeSmith, Callum Tarren is a player I’ll be targeting early and often this season. Ever since he contended for the first 27 holes (or so) of the U.S. Open, I’ve had my eye on him, and the Englishman has the look of a player who can and should be knocking on the door to a top-50 ranking in the not-too-distant future. He’s cashed top-20 tickets in three of his last eight starts and just barely missed in two others, so this feels like a nice place to attack.
One player to finish top-30
Greyson Sigg (+320 for top-30 finish on FanDuel)
Following a late-summer period when he finished top-30 in four straight starts, Grayson Sigg has now finished outside of the top-50 in his last four. Despite a MC here last year, this should be the type of track where he can turn things around.
One player to finish top-40
Vincent Norrman (+220 for top-40 finish on DraftKings)
No, he’s not some renegade member of the Norman family who didn’t get invited to the LIV party. A rookie from Sweden via Florida State – check that extra “r” in the spelling – Norrman has shown a propensity for consistency.
Many players received a promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour based on a few special weeks, but Norrman only had a couple of title contentions mixed with a ton of just solid results. I’d expect that consistency to continue now that he’s playing at a higher level – and it already has so far, with a T36 in his first start as a rookie.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups
Sam Burns (+1000)
None of the other 23 players in last week’s Presidents Cup played better and got less out of it than Burns, who joined Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas as the only U.S. team members to compete in all five sessions, but somehow wound up with a 0-3-2 record.
Burns really did play much better than that mark suggests, which hints at some positive regression for the defending champion this week, who could certainly join Max Homa as back-to-back winners in back-to-back events. There’s enough value down the list that I’ll pay up for Burns in plenty of lineups this week.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
Will Gordon (+13000)
A product of Vanderbilt, Will Gordon burst onto the professional scene two years ago, when he finished in a share of third place as a non-member at the Travelers Championship. Since then, it’s been a wild series of ups and downs, with his game marked by plenty of volatility. Case in point: In his final 11 starts on the KFT last season, he had a win and four other top-fives but also finished outside of the top-40 on five occasions. For GPPs, especially, I’m willing to take a chance on Gordon’s upside this week.
One player to post the low round Thursday
Scott Stallings (+3700 for FRL)
Not only did he finish last season red-hot, with six results of 13th or better in his last 10 starts, but Scott Stallings was opening with some strong scores, as well, posting a couple of Thursday 67s and a 68 since July. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his Sanderson victory this week, he’ll undoubtedly have some good vibes to go along with that confidence and momentum that carried over from his first career TOUR Championship appearance.
One player who should beat comparable players
Alex Smalley (+6500)
The problem with players such as Cameron Young, Tom Kim, Mito Pereira, Theegala, Riley and Pendrith having such strong rookie seasons is that other first-time members barely received much recognition. Smalley performed better than most observers realized and should follow with an even stronger sophomore season. At this price, you might get him right around even-money in head-to-heads against the likes of Joseph Bramlett, Dean Burmester and Luke List. I’d fire on any of those.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Russell Henley (+1600), Taylor Moore (+3300), Byeong Hun An (+5000), Davis Thompson (+9500), Mackenzie Hughes (+10000), Hayden Buckley (+11000), Lee Hodges (+12000)