2022 Sanderson Farms Championship: Top 10 Power Rankings

Sanderson Farms Championship, Country Club Of Jackson,Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Sanderson Farms Championship, Country Club Of Jackson,Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sanderson Farms Championship, Country Club Of Jackson, PGA Tour, FedEx Cup, Sam Burns
Davis Riley, Sanderson Farms Championship, Syndication: JacksonMS /

Davis Riley’s second PGA Tour event, or third if you count the 2015 U.S. Open, came at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship. The Hattiesburg, Mississippi native was still a heralded collegian at Alabama at the time. He blended right in with the pros that week, carding rounds of 69-72-71-69 to finish T-39th.

That was a good learning ground for Riley, who earned his PGA Tour card the next season via the Korn Ferry Tour. Then in 2021-22, he gave it a good run at Rookie of the Year honors by nearly winning the Valspar Championship (2nd) and collecting five top-10s. Riley advanced to the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Riley’s other appearances at the Country Club of Jackson were missed cuts in 2020 and 2021. Last year, he posted a respectable 71-69 to miss the cut by a shot.

The 25-year-old ranked 41st on the PGA Tour last season in strokes gained off the tee per round (.312), blending a nice mix of distance and accuracy. Riley gained strokes in every category except for around the green, where he surrendered a measly .003 shots per round.

He was 16th in birdie average (4.15). Plenty of red numbers are necessary to win these fall events.

Riley can’t feel too snubbed at missing out on the Presidents Cup, but he was among the top names to be left off. Especially if Davis Love III would have preferred to give a young guy a shot over a trusted veteran like Kevin Kisner for the last captain’s pick.

If Riley continues to improve, his time to wear the red, white, and blue could come soon. Getting into the winner’s circle helps, and I think he’s got a great chance at it in his home state.

He just needs to pretend he’s back in his prep days at Presbyterian Christian School.

“I played it a bunch in high school, probably played it 10, 15 times,” Riley said of the Country Club of Jackson in 2021 per an ASAP Sports transcription. “So I’m very familiar with it and had some success, I won a few high school tournaments out here. So that was really nice.”