After a one-week break for the Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour returned this week for the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi. Max Homa successfully defended last year’s crown at the Fortinet Championship in the season opener, and many thought Sam Burns was going to do the same as a 10/1 favorite and last year’s Sanderson Farms winner.
As it turned out, Burns had a bit of a Presidents Cup hangover as part of the winning U.S. team, shooting just one round under 70 and finishing 30th. That opened the door for Mackenzie Hughes and Sepp Straka to battle things out in a playoff, with Hughes getting a birdie on the second extra hole to get the win.
Hughes Back in the Winner’s Circle
Maybe the hype was a little too premature for Hughes back in 2016 when the rookie went wire-to-wire to take home the RSM Classic. He was the first rookie in 20 years to go wire-to-wire for their first Tour win, but as it turns out that would be Hughes last win until this weekend in Jackson.
Hughes won the RSM Classic in a five-man playoff, and he edged Straka in the same manner this weekend. Hughes’ long winning drought had his odds up to 130/1 for the weekend so those who had him on their card are feeling very good on Monday morning. Straka just missed getting the win as a 50/1 longshot.
Hughes didn’t have the best start to the weekend, firing a 71, which had him in 38th. He got dialed in on Friday, though with a 63, and finished the weekend 68-69 which was good enough for the win to finish 17 strokes under par.
Hughes was fresh this week after the Canadian was not included on the International team for the Presidents Cup, an event held at Quail Hollow, which is his home course now. Hughes has a higher OWGR than team members Taylor Pendrith, Si Woo Kim, Christiaan Bezudenhoit, Sebastian Munoz, and Cam Davis so he definitely felt snubbed.
Kind of a Light Field at The Country Club of Jackson
The top of the Sanderson Farms Championship was an interesting one. Hughes picked up the win for the first time in six years, third place finisher Garrick Higgo didn’t even have pre-tournament odds, and third place finisher Dean Burmester was 65-1 this weekend.
Five players had a share of the lead at some point during the final round, so while the Sanderson Farms Championship may not have featured a ton of big names, it was still an exciting event.
Korn Ferry Tour graduate Taylor Montgomery had another top 10 finish, tying for 9th after coming in third at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago. J.T. Poston (16/1) and Denny McCarthy (18/1) were popular bets before the event, but Poston missed the cut, and McCarthy finished 39th. That just goes to show the unpredictability of these early-season events.