In 1968, the Magnolia State Classic was establised as an alternate event the week of the Colonial National Invitation. From 1969 to 1993, it served as an event opposite the Masters Tournament. It became an official PGA Tour event in 1994.
It went on to serve opposite numerous tournaments including The Open Championship, The Tour Championship and The Ryder Cup. The Country Club of Jackson began hosting the tournament in November 2014 as it moved opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions. The two winners since have been particularly similar in many ways.
Nick Taylor and Peter Malnati were both recent Web.com Tour graduates that were yet to find their feet on the PGA Tour. Taylor was making only his 13th start on Tour and Malnati only his 22nd. Neither had ever even managed a Top 10 on America’s top tour.
Both winners had made the cut without impressing on their last start two weeks prior to the SFC. They also both played well in the Hotel Fitness Championship, the Price Cutter Charity Championship and the Albertsons Boise Open in the year of their win. I’ll be looking along these lines for the winner this week as none of the PGA Tour regulars make much appeal.
It’s difficult to say no to 60/1 about Ben Martin in this field but there are others that I like more at bigger prices. Cody Gribble, Seamus Power, JT Poston and Dominic Bozzelli were another four that I liked a lot but just left out.
MacKenzie Hughes is up first at 125/1. The Hotel Fitness Championship was cancelled after last year’s event but Hughes excelled in the other two events mentioned. The 25-year-old won at the Price Cutter Charity Championship and was tied for 5th at the Albertsons Boise Open.
The Canadian finished a very respectable T13 at the Safeway Open two weeks ago. If he can replicate that form this week then he should find himself in contention. By far my favourite in this field at the prices on offer.
Brandon Hagy is next up at 125/1. Another 25-year-old, another 125/1 shot, another recent Web.com Tour grad. The bomber seems destined for success on the PGA Tour. Hagy also achieved Top 25 finishes at both of the aforementioned events. His best PGA Tour finish came in the form of a Top 20 at the Puerto Rico Open, identical to Peter Malnati.
Xander Schauffele makes it three 125/1 shots. I backed Schauffele at the Safeway Open and he was in great shape until a poor round on Sunday. Another man that had plenty of success at the two noted events, the 23-year-old was T4 in Missouri and T18 in Boise. Just think the price is a bit big in this field.
Finally, I’ll take Jonathan Randolph at 200/1. There probably isn’t anyone that knows the Country Club of Jackson better than Randolph. The 28-year-old grew up less than twenty minutes from the course. The Ole Miss graduate finished the Web.com season strong including good showings in Boise and Missouri. He’s been poor in his last two starts but in a weak field at 200/1, I’m more than happy to risk it.