We have a new venue on the PGA Tour for the Sanderson Farms Championship: Jackson CC takes centre stage and the buzzword this week seems to be "flavour" in association with a Donald Ross style theme. Indeed from flyovers and pictures, Jackson CC reminds me a lot of the actual Donald Ross designed Sedgefield and that's an angle I'll be hoping to exploit here.
Leading the market is Nick Watney - 17.00 - who ironically was the man to beat at Sedgefield in the Wyndham Championship this year after 54 holes. Martin Laird - 26.00 - and Scott Piercy - 26.00 - are two more with course form around that particular track and I fancy the latter could emerge as the front runner late in this event.
The Course - CC of Jackson
"I love it when people come up to me and say, 'I played that course and I had better be thinking when I'm out there. I need to go play that again. I can do better on that hole.' That's what it's all about." The words of course designer John Fought whose methods are similar to the great Donald Ross, and just like at Sedgefield, it seems the premium at Jackson will be finding the right part of the fairway to position yourself nicely for the best approach angle into shaven, sloping greens with run offs. Smart play is the order of the day on the sparsely tree-lined track playing circa 7,350 yards to a par of 72. Short siding yourself will seemingly generally cost you around here.
Three from the pack
Kevin Kisner - 34.00 or 7.50 - may prove one to watch this year and the University of Georgia man has notched up three top tens in his last six events, culminating in a progressive four round haul for a T4 at McGladrey last week. Interestingly Kisner also hit four rounds in the 60s at Sedgefield a few months back - including a 2nd round 64 - to post a T8 finish. Currently sitting 16th in scrambling, a good touch and imagination around the greens will be required.
The first name that springs to mind every year for the Wyndham Championship is Carl Pettersson - 36.00 or 8.00. A Sedgefield course specialist, Carl P enjoys Donald Ross style tests and / or courses that require good management skills. The Swede demonstrated the latter with a masterclass in tee to green play when winning the RBC Heritage in 2012. He's also a winner at Sedgefield as well as having taken down the RBC Canadian Open. Showing progressive form of 57-42-17, the big man is warming up nicely.
David Toms - 41.00 or 9.00 - is another with excellent form on Ross courses and Sedgefield in particular. Toms has numerous top 20s there and just narrowly missed out on victory to Arjun Atwal in 2010. Sneaking under the radar after having closed 66-67-65 following an opening 73 at McGladrey last week, Toms is the exact 'plodder' type who excels around thinking mans golf courses. If the putter is on, he'll contend this week.
Mark Wilson - 61.00 or 13.00 - returned to form last week eventually finishing T8 but he was in with a good chance of victory down the stretch until he missed a tiddler around the 14th hole. A former winner of the Sony Open, Wilson, like Toms, also thrives in this type of test and could be worth siding with again.
Shawn Stefani - 81.00 or 17.00 - took to Twitter the other week declaring if the putter starts to behave, he'll win, as he's striking it so nicely from tee to green. He has a bit of hidden Sedgefield form having opened 67-67 a few months back and seems to excel on parkland type courses, narrowly missing out to Justin Rose at the Quicken Loans earlier this year.
Bet on the PGA Tour now.