With many of the PGA Tour’s best in China for the HSBC Champions, the Sanderson Farms provides the lesser lights a chance to shine. Nick Taylor defends the title.
So far on the 2015-16 PGA Tour, youngsters have dominated and two rookies: Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman, claimed the first two titles of the season. The rookies will be hoping to continue that success this week. Patton Kizzire could be one to watch – leading money winner on last year’s Web.com Tour, he was second to Kaufman in Las Vegas.
This event moved on the PGA Tour schedule last year to coincide with the WGC-HSBC Champions, prior to that the tournament had been contested in the same week as The Open Championship.
The tournament began life in 1968 as the Magnolia State Classic and has always been held as an alternate event. Between 1969 and 1993, it took place in the week of the Masters. Craig Stadler, Luke Donald and Bill Haas are among the former champions.
Luke Donald short game secrets:
Last year Nick Taylor of Canada took the title after a superb final round of 66. He was the first Canadian to win on the PGA Tour since Mike Weir claimed the 2007 Frys.com Open.
As an alternate event, this tournament doesn’t carry quite the same incentives as a regular PGA Tour event. It has a smaller purse and the winner doesn’t receive an invite to play in next year’s Masters. Still, for those in the field, victory could be a career-changer as first prize is over $700,000.
The weather forecast for the week is mixed with the chance of some rain and thunder on Friday and Saturday.
Venue: Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi
Date: Nov 5–8
Course stats: par 72, 7,354 yards
Purse: $4,100,000 Winner: $738,000
Defending Champion: Nick Taylor (-16)
Thursday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Friday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Saturday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Sunday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Patton Kizzire – Leading money winner on last year’s Web.com Tour, Kizzire was tied second behind Smylie Kaufman in the Shriners.
Boo Weekley – He’s started this season slowly but he was tied second in this event last year and could draw on that good result this time out.
Jonas Blixt – It’s about time the talented Swede showed his best form again. This event could provide the perfect springboard for the 31-year-old to push on again.
Key hole: 16th – A very demanding par-4 of 469 yards. Swamp waits all down the left side of the hole and it cuts in across the fairway some 80 yards short of the green. The safe tee shot is played to the right side of the fairway but this will leave a long shot in. The approach is just as testing as the drive – water waits left and a large bunker guards the putting surface to the right. A par here is a very good score.