2022 Sanderson Farms Championship Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, Busts, and Holes to Watch

The 2022-23 PGA Tour season kicked off with a bang, as Max Homa chipped in on the 72nd hole to go back-to-back at the Fortinet Championship earlier this month. After taking the week off for a decisive Presidents Cup victory by the Americans, the PGA Tour returns this week for the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship.

As is the case for most of the fall events on the PGA Tour calendar, the Sanderson Farms Championship won’t feature a star-studded field. Reigning champion Sam Burns is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 12 in the world, but we won’t be seeing anyone else inside the top 45 this week.

But, as we saw at the Fortinet, even the weaker fields can provide plenty of drama on Sunday.

So, how does Sportscasting see the Sanderson Farms Championship playing out?

2022 Sanderson Farms Championship predictions

Sanderson Farms Championship picks.
2022 PGA Tour Sanderson Farms Championship predictions | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

Here are a few predictions for the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship from Sportscasting golf experts Luke Norris and Jack Dougherty.

Winner

Luke Norris: Sahith Theegala

This breakthrough win is coming for Sahith Theegala. I honestly thought it would come at the Fortinet, and he made me look at least somewhat decent in finishing tied for sixth. While the 24-year-old nearly won the Sanderson Farms a year ago, leading through three rounds, he finishes it off this time.

Jack Dougherty: Denny McCarthy

Denny McCarthy doesn’t have a win on his PGA Tour resume just yet, but this man can roll his rock with the best of them. The 29-year-old finished second on Tour last season in strokes gained putting, which propelled him to five top-10 finishes. If he can dial in the ball-striking this week, his blazing hot putter should put him in contention come Sunday afternoon.

Biggest sleeper

Luke Norris: Taylor Montgomery

We’re not going to be able to call Taylor Montgomery a sleeper for long. Mark my words. This guy is going to win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. A recent graduate of the Korn Ferry Tour, the 27-year-old tied for third in his season debut at the Fortinet and the Country Club of Jackson sets up perfectly for this long hitter. But he’s not just a drive-for-show guy. Montgomery gained over 11 strokes putting at the Fortinet and could turn a lot of heads this week.

Jack Dougherty: Carl Yuan

If you’ve never seen Carl Yuan swing a golf club, you’re in for a treat this week. The 25-year-old Chinese star looks like Javier Baez swinging for the fences on a breaking ball down in the dirt, but it sure has worked out for him so far. Yuan recorded a win and three runner-up finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, and in his first year as a full-time PGA Tour member, this is the perfect tournament for him to announce his arrival.

Most likely bust

Sam Burns hits a tee shot during the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Sam Burns hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at Country Club of Jackson | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Luke Norris: Sam Burns

Defending champion Sam Burns is the easy favorite in the field at the Sanderson Farms Championship, but he did not have a good week at the Presidents Cup. He went 0-3-2 at Quail Hollow and hasn’t had a top-10 finish since June. Maybe this is the week he turns it around, but I’m not seeing it.

Jack Dougherty: Russell Henley

I had the same thinking as Luke in regards to a hungover Sam Burns, but I simply can’t pick the same player for this exercise. So, I’ll go with Russell Henley, who is the third-biggest favorite to win the Sanderson Farms Championship at +1900 odds. Henley enjoyed a fine 2021-22 season, but he closed with a missed cut and a T35 finish in a small field. I’ll bank on the weak form to carry over.

Make-or-break hole

Luke Norris: No. 16

OK, so it might be a bit of a copout to go with the signature hole, but the 451-yard, par-4 16th at the Country Club of Jackson is no joke. Like those at the Presidents Cup just faced with part of the famous “Green Mile,” the 16th at the Sanderson Farms has a creek running down the entire left side and actually cuts across the fairway about 80 yards short of the green. It’s the largest putting surface on the course and is protected by a bunker on the right.

Jack Dougherty: No. 18

The finishing hole at the Country Club of Jackson might be the toughest test on the course. It’s a par 4 playing over 500 yards from the back tees, but it plays even longer because of the uphill approach shot to a diagonal green guarded by bunkers on both sides. A par is a great score on the 18th, but that won’t be easy for the leaders on a pressure-packed Sunday afternoon.

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