The Sanderson Farms Championship returns to the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, this week, continuing its stint as the state’s lone PGA Tour event.
From Presidents Cup standouts, to a Monday qualifier's musical prodigy brother, to the most controversial trophy on Tour, here’s five things you need to know about this year’s Sanderson Farms Championship:
No rest for the weary
Three players from last week's Presidents Cup are in the Sanderson field. That includes defending champion Sam Burns, the lone U.S. representative, as well as Internationals Sebastian Munoz and Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Burns' victory was his second-career Tour title and the first of three last season. His 22-under total was one shot clear of fellow cupper Cameron Young and Nick Watney.
Munoz has had success at this event as well, having earned his lone Tour victory here in 2019.
Meet the (almost) famous Furrs
If you haven’t heard of sponsor invite Wilson Furr, you might know his 15-year-old brother, Prentiss. An Alabama golf alum, Wilson is currently a member of the PGA Tour Canada and Latinoamerica circuits and will compete in this week’s tournament on a sponsor exemption. Playing Division I golf and ascending to the professional level is impressive, but the Furr family seems to be chock full of talent, as the younger Prentiss has a record deal with Cinematic Music Group and Justin Bieber as a fan. Prentiss taught himself to make music during the pandemic after years of editing YouTube videos. He’s been featured in GQ, Rolling Stone and The New York Times and has played shows in L.A., Nashville and Atlanta.
The story behind the iconic Rooster trophy
How a rooster at the Sanderson Farms Championship became the PGA Tour’s best trophy … Is the Sanderson Farms chicken trophy the Tour’s worst? These are just two of the contradicting headlines that pop up when you search the internet for more details on the Sanderson Farms Championship’s iconic rooster trophy. Well, that rooster has a name and a backstory: meet Reveille the Rooster, one of the most controversial trophies in sports. The creature adorned with a red wattle (or bronze in the case of the trophy) is an ode to Sanderson Farms’ chicken business, and Reveille is the finished product of an idea started by Joe Sanderson, the company’s CEO until it was acquired in 2022.
The cost of the Reveille trophies – the word means “wake up call” – is unclear, but its designer, Malcolm DeMille, told SB Nation in 2017 that perpetual trophies that stay with event organizers run from “$7,000 to $8,000 on the very low side, and they can go up to $25,000 to $30,000.” The annual champions trophies that are made, and the winner gets to keep, “might run $5,000 to $10,000 each.” Since its creation, Reveille has become an icon on the grounds of the tournament, with attendees clamoring for merch with the rooster’s silhouette.
The most unique tee markers on Tour
Reveille might be the star in Jackson, but the local children’s hospital patients give him a run for his money. One of the championship’s partner charities is the Friends of Children’s Hospital, which benefits Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. Each year, children at the hospital paint the tee markers for the week, resulting in colorful markers with unique designs that remind you of the heartwarming cause the event benefits. Here are some of the tee markers from previous years:
Sanderson Farms acquisition sparks questions about tournament’s future
The namesake of the Sanderson Farms Championship has a new owner and, with it, a new name. Wayne-Sanderson Farms was created after the sale of Sanderson Farms to Cargill and Continental Grain Co. was finalized in July. This week could prove crucial for the event’s long-term future, as the company’s new executives will be in attendance, according to The Clarion-Ledger. There are still five years left on the original contract with Sanderson Farms, but while the agreement runs through 2026, arising questions include whether the original sponsor contract is transferable to the new company. While that answer is not clear yet, the focus in the short term is on showcasing the event to new leadership, continuing to support charities across the state and sustaining its massive economic boost to the Jackson area.