Sanderson Farms Championship
|Course(s)||Country Club of Jackson|
|Length||7,284 yards (6,660 m)|
|Prize fund||$3.0 million|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||263 Dan Halldorson (1986)|
|To par||−24 Scott Stallings (2012)|
The tournament has been part of the PGA Tour schedule since 1968. This event has raised more than $7.3 million for statewide charities.
The Sanderson Farms Championship is sponsored by Sanderson Farms, one of the nation's leading food corporations and based in Laurel, Mississippi. The tournament's host organization, Century Club Charities, is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is promoting the game of golf for the benefit of charity. The Sanderson Farms Championship's primary charity is Friends of Children's Hospital, a 501(c)(3) benefitting the Blair E. Batson Hospital for children.
The Country Club of Jackson dates back to 1914. It is a private club with 27 championship holes, 18 of which were re-designed by John Fought in 2008 and measure 7,284 yards from the Championship Tees. Fought's layout incorporates classic Donald Ross flavor – parkland style routing with smallish, tricky greens – which range in size at CC of Jackson from approximately 5,000 to 8,500 square feet.
Known as the Magnolia State Classic from 1968 through 1985 with notable winners including Roger Maltbie, Craig Stadler, and Payne Stewart, the tournament was renamed the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic in 1986. From 1999 to 2006, it was known as the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, from 2007 to 2011 as the Viking Classic, and in 2012 as the True South Classic.
In the past, this tournament was generally played opposite of a major or limited field tournament (officially termed an "alternate event" by the PGA Tour). It later became part of the Fall Series, a group of events held after The Tour Championship, before returning to its former status as an alternate event in 2011. In either case, the leading players in men's professional golf rarely participate. Until 1994, it was played opposite The Masters and then opposite the British Open in the mid-90s. More recently, it played opposite various World Golf Championships and The Tour Championship. From 2007 to 2010, it generally played opposite the major team events involving PGA Tour players, namely the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. In 2011, it returned to the PGA Tour regular season opposite the British Open in July.
It has been an official money event on the PGA Tour since 1994. Prior to that, it was a satellite event with the money counting but the wins counting as unofficial.
From 2007 to 2010, it was part of the Fall Series. Because the FedEx Cup season championship is already determined by that time, elite players generally pass on Fall Series events; most players in the tournament are trying to either make the Top 125 on the money list and retain their tour cards, or earn a quick two-year exemption by winning. The 2007 event was played in the same week as the Presidents Cup; most of the top Tour players played in that event instead of the Viking Classic. The situation was similar in 2008, with the tournament being scheduled opposite the Ryder Cup. The 2009 purse was due to be $3,700,000, with $666,000 going to the winner. That year's event was also to be the first in the tournament's recent history to be the sole event on the PGA Tour schedule for that week, as it had been moved to the end of October with a scheduled finish on November 1. However, the tournament was cancelled on October 31, due to unplayable conditions at the Annandale Golf Club. The event was not rescheduled. The 2010 event was again held opposite the Ryder Cup. This would be the tournament's last fall edition, as it would move into the regular season the following year. In 2013, the title sponsor changed to Sanderson Farms. The tournament was not held in the 2013–14 season because of the new PGA Tour wraparound season; the 2014 tournament, which will be part of the 2014–15 season, will move to late October and be played opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions.
As an alternate event, the winner does not earn a trip to the Masters. He still earns a trip to the PGA Championship as a Tour winner, a two-year PGA Tour exemption, 24 OWGR points, and 300 FedEx Cup points.
Sanderson Farms Championship
True South Classic
Southern Farm Bureau Classic
Magnolia State Classic
Three men have won this tournament twice:
- Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum ("Viking Classic Exhibit")
- Viking Classic cancelled due to course conditions
- "Sanderson Farms becomes 2013 title sponsor for former True South Classic". PGA Tour. March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "Sanderson Farms renews title sponsorship of PGA Tour tournament". PGA Tour. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Jones wins Magnolia event