Folks, this is the fall season we know and love. The best field of the week is over in Europe at the BMW PGA Championship, but the cult favorite Sanderson Farms Championship takes center stage on the PGA Tour. And, naturally, we have some silly storylines hot off the presses.
What came first?
It’s chicken week! The Sanderson Farms Championship kicks off on Thursday, but this year’s field, unlike last year’s, is no joke. Headlined by a plethora of young guns, the 2019 Sanderson promises to be a memorable affair. Sanderson Farms Championship Tee Times
Bomb and gouge
Last year’s Sanderson Farms Championship featured an eye-popping style of golf from the eventual champion. Fresh off the Korn Ferry Tour, Cameron Champ won by four shots in his second start as a PGA Tour member. Champ relied almost exclusively on his power off the tee and a hot putter as he battered Country Club of Jackson. He went on to have a strong fall season, but after January, he struggled to just three top-50 finishes.
Getting off to a fast start – With many of the top players passing on the fall events, recent Korn Ferry Tour graduates have a great opportunity to stockpile FedEx Cup points. Scottie Scheffler and Robby Shelton posted top-10 finishes last week, so we will see if other grads like Harry Higgs and Xinjun Zhang kick it up a notch this weekend.
Who’s the new guy – If you thought Joaquín Niemann was young, try Akshay Bhatia. The 17-year-old phenom makes his professional debut this weekend, forgoing college to play with the big guys. Previously ranked fifth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Bhatia is coming off a strong performance for the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team.
Country Club of Jackson favors the bombers, no question about it. For help with your DraftKings picks, see which power players Paulie thinks could hole some putts this week. Paulie’s Picks – Sanderson Farms Championship
Beamer, Benz, or Bentley
We have some serious coffee golf this weekend! The BMW PGA Championship gets underway at the West Course at the Wentworth Club on Thursday and will boast a world-class field. Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, Matt Wallace, Henrik Stenson, Tyrrell Hatton… we could go on. The field is dope. Period, point blank. Tee Times
While there will be plenty of studs at Wentworth, the biggest story on the European Tour is virtual. GPS tracking will be used on every group to monitor slow play, a big step in the Tour’s effort to address the problem. Tracking data will be sent to officials around the golf course and displays will be posted so players know where they stand. The European Tour plans to have displays on every tee by 2020. It’s not revolutionary, but this is at least an intriguing development in professional golf, and one we are excited to monitor.
Bubba Watson is not a fan of the new driver-testing protocols on the PGA Tour. A recent Golf Digest article featured quotes from several tour pros, most of whom seemed unconcerned. Bubba, however, is worried about the legitimacy of the tests, the frequency of them, and above all the undue stress he says it will cause him. Just chill out, bud! Full Story by Dave Shedloski
We’re down to the final eight at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Colorado Golf Club. 2016 champion Stewart Hagestad headlines the players still in the mix. Scoring
Shotgun Start: Strut like a Peacock, Good vs. Evil at the Mid Am, and Bubba on driver testing
It’s a big week on the Shotgun Start as the PGA Tour swings down to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship, a.k.a. the Peacock Classic. Brendan and Andy review some of the, uh, well-traveled names in the field, which leads to a lengthy digression on the Stadler father-son duo and a scary inside detail about the state of Smylie Kaufman. Then they get to discussing Akshay Bhatia and if his debut is a sign of a teenage takeover or if this is a risky test case. Over on the Euro Tour, they highlight the new GPS system being put in use to track slow play at Wentworth. The U.S. Mid-Am earns event of the week and also prompts Andy to portray the bracket as a clear case of good vs. evil, as well as lay out his official stance on who should and should not be eligible for reinstated amateur status. They wrap with some amusing if frustrating quotes from Bubba Watson on the stressful and onerous driver testing now in effect on the PGA Tour. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.
Bubba Watson seems ready to blow his lid over these new testing regulations. For those of us who are more level-headed, new Fried Egg rope hats are here! Check out our new selection of styles today!