Sanderson Farms Championship: Round 3 Matchup Bets and Potential Outright Adds


Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Sergio Garcia.

Keegan Bradley leads J.T. Poston and Charley Hoffman by two strokes entering the final two rounds of the Sanderson Farms Championship, but there are plenty of big names and intriguing players lurking just behind them.

Let’s take a look at two potential outright plays and two matchups for the third round.


Sergio Garcia (+2000)

Prior to the opening round, I said on SiriusXM PGA TOUR radio that I assumed Sergio was only teeing it up this week to fulfill some potential sponsorship minimums or other requirements. After all, it was a bit curious as to why he’d choose this year to make his maiden voyage to Mississippi. For those reasons, he was a fade for me pre-tournament, but as I also stated on-air, even if his primary rationale wasn’t to simply get some competitive reps before the upcoming Masters, that didn’t mean he couldn’t play well — especially on what’s known as a ball-striker’s course. I’m impressed at his pair of 68s so far; so much so that I think 20/1 on the biggest name in the field being five shots back is a bargain. I think Garcia can lose interest quickly if he’s not in contention, but this start should have him fully invested on the weekend, to the point where he can make a serious run at the title.

Corey Conners (+2200)

One shot further back of Garcia, Conners is fresh off a pair of missed cuts in his last two starts, but this is a course he’s enjoyed before, finishing runner-up two years ago. I’m sticking with above-average iron players here and the Canadian certainly qualifies. He’s second in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green, but losing strokes putting so far. If that flatstick heats up — and granted, that’s a big if — he can go low on the weekend.

Round 3 Matchups

Camilo Villegas (+155) over Stewart Cink

In my Round 2 preview, I wrote about Villegas’ strong opening round and how he’d be the golf story of the year — maybe the sports story of the year — if he could win this tournament just two months after the heartbreak of losing his two-year-old daughter. He followed that first-round 69 with another on Friday, and once again, his ball-striking remained really solid. At seven shots back, I still don’t mind an outright play for sentimentality’s sake at 175/1, but I really like him at this price in a matchup against Cink.

Tyler McCumber (+106) over Cameron Percy

Each of these guys is running hot, as McCumber finished runner-up at the Corales Puntacana event last week and Percy was T-8. I still like the latter to keep playing well, but McCumber’s ball-striking has been really good lately, gaining more than a shot-and-a-half on the field in both rounds so far. At plus-money, he should be a smart play here.

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