By Billy Watkins

​Sebastian Munoz has the trophy from last year’s Sanderson Farms Championship strategically placed in the  front portion of his home.

​“As soon as you walk in, you can see it,” he said.

​Don’t rule out his chances of winning another. Munoz, the 27-year-old golfer from Bogota, Colombia, shot an 8-under par 64 Thursday in the opening round at the Country Club of Jackson. 

​He is tied with three others: 2016 PGA champion Jimmy Walker, Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell.

​Two of the biggest names in the field aren’t too far behind.  Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters winner, shot a 4-under 68 and 2017 British Open champ Henrik Stenson fired a 2-under 70.

​Sungjae Im, who lost to Munoz in a 2019 playoff here, finished 1-under.

​The tournament runs through Sunday but without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

​Munoz followed his victory in Jackson with four more Top 10 finishes during the 2019-20 season. He finished tied for 8th in FedEx Cup points with Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed.

​Asked why he seems to play so well in Jackson, Munoz answered: “I don’t know, the energy of the place … I really like it. I kinda thrive in it.”

​Munoz managed the pressure of being defending champion with a simple mind game.

​“I just kinda tricked myself into thinking that I was not the defending champion, maybe — just thinking that I was at another tournament that I really like,” he said. “It’s been working so far, so I’ll just keep doing that.”

​The tournament is being televised live each day by the Golf Channel.