It’s a wide open board this week as far as bombs are concerned at the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship. Plenty of players who ride in motivated, hot off strong Korn Ferry Tour finishes to earn their PGA Tour cards, and a good number of down-form players who may feel inspired to prove themselves after taking a week off to watch the Americans and Europeans square off in the Ryder Cup. With an unimposing top of the odds board this week, we should be feeling loose and free reaching down the odds board for some outright and high placing bets, and from a DFS perspective, there is no shortage of viable options in the $6Ks. Here’s a look at my 5 favorite players in the lower value ranges on the board this week.
DFS Values & Betting Bombs
Pricing from Draft Kings
Luke List (+8000, $7,500)
A new season means a clean slate for Luke Black-List, who disappointed in seemingly every start I backed him on that favored Bombers & Ball Strikers. He’s a renowned terrible putter, but I’m willing to look past that on a course that’s crowned Sergio Garcia and Cameron Champ in recent years.
Looking at List’s history at Sanderson Farms, it’s always come down to the putter, as in 5 career starts, he’s missed the cut on the 3 occasions he’s lost strokes putting, but finished T28 and T2 in the other two occasions in which he’s gained. List’s two best putting performances in 2021 came on the same Champion Bermuda greens of Quail Hollow and Congaree, gaining 2.7 strokes putting in each event, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re back on Champion Bermuda one again at the Country Club of Jackson.
List ranks 3rd in the field this week in SG: T2G and Driving Distance, the two stats I’m looking most closely at to handicap this week. He’s also 10th in comp course history thanks to high recent finishes at the Wells Fargo, The AmEx, Corales, and the Rocket Mortgage. As an added bonus, List carried his new fatherhood #perspective with him en route to back to back T5s at the John Deere and Barbasol in July, so if there’s any perspective still left in the tank in the 2022, he could have a special week ahead.
Matt Wallace (+12500, $7,100)
Matt Wallace is all over the place on odds boards, posting anywhere from 75/1 to 125/1. Ultimately if you are looking at results alone, his price should be the latter, however the more you dive into the stats, even the former would seem to be good value for Wallace.
“Kisnering” is a verb used to describe a player who tanks the week prior to an event on a course with no discernable comps to the following week’s venue for the sole purpose of securing a better outright number for bettors in the following week. The phrase was coined after Kevin Kisner famously hacked around the WGC FedEx St Jude prior to winning the Wyndham Championship. Ahead of the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship, Matt Wallace has put on a classic display of Kisnering, and not just for one week, this spans all the way back to May.
Wallace once had a reputation as a grinder who was best in difficult scoring conditions against tougher fields. That’s a tough reputation to uphold for someone without an elite skillset or pedigree, and it seems at least in terms of results, that regression has caught up to him a bit. His last 6 PGA Tour events have come at THE NORTHERN TRUST, The Open, US Open, the Memorial, Charles Schwab, and PGA Championship. All challenging courses against steep competition, which a majority of this Sanderson Farms field would fare no better against. This week, we finally get to see Wallace square up against an easy field in easy scoring conditions for what might be the first time since his 3rd place finish at the Valero Texas Open back in April.
Despite the poor results in recent tournaments, Wallace has still strung together impressive stats along the way, suggesting he isn’t far from piecing it all together. Over the last 6 months, Wallace ranks 4th SG: TOT, 5th T2G, 7th SG: ARG, and 13th SG: BS. He’s also Top 20 in Good Drives Gained, GIRs Gained, Par 4 Scoring, and Par 5 Scoring, which nets him out to 6th overall in my model this week. It’s mostly his putter that’s prevented him from higher finishes in 2021, but as the 15th ranked putter on Fast Bermuda Greens L24 rounds, Wallace is due for some positive regression with the flat stick this week in his Sanderson Farms debut.
Stephan Jaeger (+12500, $7,000)
If we’re talking bombs, then we have to talk about Jaeger. I’m already extremely high on Mito Pereira this week, given that the strength of field is weak for this tournament and he’s proven he can beat up on weaker competition consistently throughout the 2021 Korn Ferry season. Well the best player on the Korn Ferry Tour last season not named Mito Pereira was German sensation Stephan Jaeger, so if you’re feeling good about Pereira at 32/1 like I am, you should also feel pretty excited about the 4x higher odds on Jaeger, who collected a win and 8 T5s over the course of last year’s KFT season. While he was slow out the gates to start his PGA Tour career with a MC at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago, we should expect a better showing from Jaeger this week at the Sanderson Farms where he’ll be making his 5th career appearance, highlighted by a T14 finish in 2018. He’s consistently flashed with his short game throughout his sparse PGA Tour appearances, and while the ball striking is incredibly volatile, the sustained elite play recently on the KFT suggest he’s worth a gamble as GPP flyer or outright bomb if he brings his A game to Mississippi.
Dawie Van Der Walt (+12500, $6,500)
Do we open the vault on Dawie Van Der Walt? He’s a risky play considering he’s only played 2 PGA Tour events in the last two years, but on the other hand, he’s finished inside the Top 25 in every single PGA Tour event he’s played in over the last two years. How many other guys in the field can say that this week at $6,500? Van Der Walt also gets a small bump by way of being South African, as history has shown us if you play golf and you’re South African, you’re probably going to hang around the top of the leaderboard by default. So with no Louis, Charl, Higgo, EVR, Grace, or CBez in the field, it’s on Dawie to carry the mantle.
The 38 year old, 6’5 behemoth was once a college prodigy, but after years of grinding out on the Web.com & Korn Ferry tours, he’s managed to ride hot form over the last couple months to secure his PGA Tour Card for the 2022 season. That hot form included a T9, T10, and T15 finish in 3 of his final 4 events of the Korn Ferry Season, proving he has the guts to deliver with the pressure of a Tour Card at stake. And Van Der Walt didn’t stop there; in his first start of the 2022 PGA Tour season at the Fortinet Championship, he looked impressive with a T22 finish that could have been even better if not for an Even Par final round 72. Data is limited on the big man, but he profiles as a long & accurate driver off the tee with an above-average approach game and ability to get a hot putter. While it’s a roll of the dice to take a 38 year old with hardly any recent reps on the PGA Tour, there is some comfort in knowing that in his only prior Sanderson Farms appearance, he gained 5 stroked T2G en route to a T33 finish. At $6,500, Dawie is a high upside GPP play if he can continue to ride his hot form.
Russell Knox (+15000, $6,500)
There are plenty of viable options south of $6,500 this week after Dawie. I’ve thought about leaning course history with Peter Malnati ($6.5K) who has a win in 2011 and Runner Up finish last year. But instead, I’m sticking to my guns and going with the best T2G players in the value range just hoping to get a lukewarm putter, and in the $6Ks, you’ll find few better than Russell Knox.
Knox was leading the field in ball striking half way through the Fortinet Championship before coming back down to earth over the weekend. He’s been level to the field or better in SG: APP for 17 consecutive events now dating back to the API in March, which is good for 13th in the field SG: APP and 19th SG: BS. While he’s not a good putter, he’s shown upside gaining strokes putting in 2 of his last 3 events, including the Wyndham Championship which features the same Champion Bermuda greens. Knox has played this event three times in his career, making it through the cut twice, with a career best of T17 in 2013. At $6,500 we’re only asking the former WGC champion to make it through the cut to pay off his value on a course that should mask his flaws on the greens.