The best golfers in the world who decided to tee it up this week will be playing in Shanghai at the WGC-HSBC Champions, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t quality golf to watch here in the U.S. time zones.
The Sanderson Farms Championship, the long-running opposite-field tournament in Mississippi, will once again be contested at the Country Club of Jackson (MS).
Here’s a primer for the Tour’s only stop in the Magnolia State:
Tournament: Sanderson Farms Championship
Dates: Oct. 25-28, 2018
Where: Jackson, Mississippi
Course: Country Club of Jackson
Distance: Par 72, 7,421 yards
Architect: Ronald Fream & David Dale
Format: 132 players, 72 holes, 36-hole cut, stroke play
Winning Share: $792,000
FedExCup/OWGR Points: 300/24
Defending Champion: Ryan Armour
Marquee Players: Bill Haas, Stuart Appleby, Wesley Bryan, Retief Goosen, Chris Kirk, Hunter Mahan, Rory Sabbatini, Sam Saunders, Kevin Streelman, and Jhonattan Vegas.
TV & ONLINE
RD1: THU 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (GOLF)
RD2: FRI 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (GOLF)
RD3: SAT 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (GOLF)
RD4: SUN 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (GOLF)
The roots of the Sanderson Farms Championship were planted in 1968 when the event was established and called the Magnolia State Classic, playing off Mississippi’s nickname. The first winner was Mac McLendon, but other notable Magnolia Champions include Craig Stadler, Roger Maltbie, and Payne Stewart.
In 1986, Deposit Guaranty came on as the tournament’s title sponsor and remained its primary partner through 1998.
The annual event at the Country Club of Jackson changed its name three more times (Southern Farm Bureau, Viking Classic, True South Classic) until Sanderson Farms was announced as the title sponsor, starting in 2013.
While it plays opposite the HSBC Champions now, it has taken place the same week as The Masters and Open Championship in the past. As an opposite-field event, the winner does not earn a Masters exemption like other Tour events, and only offers 300 FedExCup points.
But a Sanderson victory still opens up its fair share of doors, including a two year PGA Tour exemption and check valued at $792,000 – more than what the winners of this weekend’s LPGA Tour ($330k) and Champions Tour ($305k) will receive, combined. Hardly a minor league event.
2017 – Ryan Armour
2016 – Cody Gribble
2015 – Peter Malnati
2014 – Nick Taylor
2013 – Woody Austin
2012 – Scott Stallings
Ryan Armour posted a 4-under par 68 on Sunday, finishing off a wire to wire lead, to capture his first career PGA Tour title at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
The 41-year-old Buckeye got off to another nice start at the Country Club of Jackson with birdies on 3, 4 and 7 to end any idea that the journeyman would falter under the spotlight.
“It’s job security for a few years, which I’ve never really had out here,” said Armour. “It’s validation that you don’t have to hit it 330 in the air to still win golf tournaments.”
Armour would go 1-under over his final 11 holes, with three more birdies against a pair of bogeys, to finish at 19-under 269.
“I think the combination of what I had going on, the fairways, the greens, and holing putts, was the best it’s ever been,” continued Armour.
Chesson Hadley also posted a 68 to finish alone in second at 14-under 274. The 30-year old never really threatened Armour, but a birdie-eagle stretch on hole Nos. 13 and 14 added some late drama.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Ryan Armour -19
2 Chesson Hadley -14
3 Jonathan Randolph -12
4 Smylie Kaufman -10
4 Brian Stuard -10
4 Scott Strohmeyer -10