But maybe the most interesting aspect to the Sanderson Farms becoming a standalone event on the Tour calendar next season is that the winner of the event will now receive an invite to the Masters.
This annually-held tournament in Mississippi has had an interesting history with the first major of the season. From the tournament’s inaugural year in 1968 until 1993, it was held as an opposite event from the Masters on the second weekend of April before it was moved to July starting in 1994. During its time as an event held during the same week as the Masters, the Sanderson Farms Championship was called the Magnolia State Classic and Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic.
Even when it was moved off Masters week, it remained as an alternate event to other tournaments. As a result, winners of the event were not entitled to invitations to the Masters.
Most recently held as an alternate event to the WGC-HSBC Champions over the last five seasons, the Sanderson Farms Championship winner had received an invite to the PGA Championship, a two-year PGA Tour exemption, a minimum of 24 OWGR points, and 300 FedEx Cup points.
Now, winners of the event will receive one of those beautiful invitations to compete at Augusta National in April and 500 FedEx Cup points. The purse at the Sanderson Farms Championship will also see a 50 percent increase next season from $4.4 million to $6.6 million.
The event, which has been held in October the last three seasons, will now be held following the Greenbrier Classic during the second week of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season in September. The exact dates are Sept. 19-22.
Unfortunately for Cameron Champ, the most recent victor of the Sanderson Farms Championship, his win at the Country Club of Jackson this past fall will not qualify him for the Masters.
With its own week during the Tour schedule next season and an increased purse, the Sanderson Farms Championship is hopeful to attract a better field. Handing out an invite now to Augusta National to the winner should certainly help.