After years as an opposite-field event — be it in the middle of the summer or late fall — the Sanderson Farms Championship is now a full-fledged PGA Tour event.
Event organizers announced Wednesday the Jackson, Miss., event will no longer be played opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions in the fall portion of the PGA Tour wraparound schedule, where it had been slotted since 2014.
Rather, the tournament will be played on its own week of the schedule, offering a full allocation of FedEx Cup points (including 500 points to the winner) and a Masters invite that comes with being a full-field PGA Tour event. In addition, the Sanderson Farms Championship purse will increase from $4.4 million in 2018 to $6.6 million in 2019.
Previously, Sanderson Farms winners earned invitations to The Players Championship and the PGA Championship, but a Masters invite was not on the line.
The 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship will be played Sept. 16-22, the date that had been reportedly offered to the proposed PGA Tour event involving Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in the Bay Area in California. Instead, the Country Club of Jackson will host a full field of players as part of a greatly expanded fall portion of the wraparound schedule. With the PGA Tour ending its season in August, the month of September will now be reserved for events to kick off a new campaign. Now there will be in the area of 10 tournaments in the fall portion of the schedule, with more events, including the revamped Houston Open, announcing dates in the coming weeks.
Cameron Champ will be back to defend his first PGA Tour title, won last year over Corey Conners.