The Sanderson Farms Championship, Mississippi’s stop on the PGA Tour, received welcomed news Wednesday on the day of its annual pro-am event.

Allen Exploration, the Dallas-based presenting sponsor for the pro-am, signed on to sponsor the Wednesday pro-am through 2026, which matches Sanderson Farms’ 10-year commitment to the $4.1 million PGA tournament.

“As long as Joe (Sanderson) is involved, we will be, too,” said Carl Allen of Allen Exploration.

Allen Exploration pursues and funds a wide range of ventures including emerging technologies in life sciences, agriculture, rare mineral mining, virtual reality and neural engineering.

“We are ecstatic that Carl has stepped up with a generous show of support of the championship and our philanthropic endeavors,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and Chairman of the Board of Sanderson Farms. “We appreciate his commitment to both our state and its children.”

Allen Exploration’s 10-year commitment to sponsor the pro-am is unprecedented in the nearly half-century history of Mississippi’s only PGA Tour tournament.


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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.