It was a nice start to a new PGA betting season as Joaquin Niemann (featured in last week’s article) won his first PGA Tour event at the Greenbrier Classic. Niemann was tipped at 30/1 odds and ended up winning the tournament by six strokes. It was the first time a native of Chile has ever won a PGA event, so it was a huge breakthrough for the young 20-year-old phenom.
The PGA tour now heads to Jackson, Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship. Similar to last week, the field is not overly strong and we will see a slew of young talent teeing off. Joaquin Niemann is the betting favorite at +1300 followed by tour veterans Brandt Snedeker (+1800) and Byeong Hun An (+2000). We can expect this event to be another birdie fest, so we will look to find some value down the betting board.
This weeks’ Sanderson Farms Championship will be played at the Country Club of Jackson. It is one of the longer courses on the tour, measuring at 7,421 yards. It is a par 72 and the greens are Bermuda grass. Despite being the ninth longest golf course on the tour last year, shorter, accurate golfers found great success here. This is because the fairways are narrow, and a lot of golfers need to club down to increase accuracy. There are four par 5s on the track and they are very scorable.
Since this is is the second event of the new PGA season, it is difficult to assess recent form. I will be relying on some course history when selecting my betting picks along with how golfers perform in several key statistical categories. Par-5 scoring is big this week since there are four of them. Last year, nearly 60% of the birdies were piled up on these holes. Golfers will need to be accurate off the tee and have sharp iron play. Strokes gained approach is always a key stat to look at every week. The majority of approach shots this week will be between 175-200 yards.
Scottie Scheffler (+2200 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
The leading points leader on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, Scheffler started off his 2019-20 PGA Tour campaign in impressive fashion last week at the Greenbrier Classic. He finished in a tie for third after shooting 13-under par.
Even more impressive, Scheffler led the field strokes gained tee-to-green, greens-in-regulation, and proximity to the hole. If he can find a little more success with the putter this week, I expect Scheffler to make another strong run at the championship.
Brian Harman (+3300 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Harman is in excellent form as of late. In his last eight Tour events last season, Harman had three top-10 finishes. He carried that momentum into the Greenbrier Classic where he shot 14-under par to tie for third place. I have the sense that he is getting very close to a win, and this track should suit his eye.
Harman is second in my rolling stats model in strokes gained tee-to-green, 10th in strokes gained ball striking, and fourth in strokes gained total. A very accurate driver of the golf ball, he should have no problem splitting fairways. He is also top 10 in this field in iron proximity greater than 200 yards — a key stat I am keying in on this week.