Fantasy Golf: RSM Classic Preview

11-15-16

The Tour heads to the Golden Isles for the final stop of the 2016 portion of the 2016-17 season for the RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Two courses are in play this week (Seaside and Plantation) with a full field of 156.

Trendspotting

With the new season underway, I will keep these historical numbers up until Thanksgiving so we can look back to forecast ahead.

2016-17 Winners (at time of victory)

Brendan Steele (Safeway), 33
Justin Thomas (CIMB), 23
Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), 24
Cody Gribble (SFC), 26*
Rod Pampling (Shriners), 47
Pat Perez (OHL Mayakoba), 40

*Rookie, first-time winner

2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)

Youngsters

In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20’s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.

In 2015-16, there were 13 players who accounted for 19 victories over 47 events.

Under-30 Winners

multiple winners in bold

Emiliano Grillo, 23; Frys.com
Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC, DEAN & DELUCA at Colonial
Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
Jason Day, 28; API, WGC-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS
Danny Willett, 28; Masters
Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
Daniel Berger, 23; FESJC
Si Woo Kim, 21; Wyndham
Patrick Reed, 26; Barclays
Rory McIlroy, 27; DBC, The TOUR Championship

Prime-Time Players

The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events in 2014-15.

Last year, 22 players accounted for 26 wins in this category.

Winners, 30-39

Russell Knox, 31; HSBC Champions, Travelers
Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
Sergio Garcia, 36; AT&T Byron Nelson
William McGirt, 36; Memorial
Dustin Johnson, 31; U.S. Open, WGC-BI, BMW
Billy Hurley, III, 34; Quicken Loans National
Aaron Baddeley, 35; Barbasol Championship
Jhonattan Vegas, 31; RBC Canadian Open
Jimmy Walker, 37; PGA Championship
Ryan Moore, 33; John Deere Classic

Old Guard

There were only four winners in 2014-15 from 47 events (Jim Furyk, Alex Cejka, Davis Love III and Padraig Harrington).

Winners, 40-plus

Greg Chalmers, 42; Barracuda Championship
Henrik Stenson, 40; The Open Championship

This is a stark reminder that the “name” doesn’t automatically translate in fantasy golf.

No wins from top 100 OWGR players Mickelson, Furyk, Westwood, Stricker or Kelly.

Rookies

In 2014-15 the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor.

In 2015-16, that number doubled after the first two events of the season yet didn’t add one until the final regular season event, the Wyndham Championship, when reclassified rookie Si Woo Kim won.

Emiliano Grillo; Frys.com
Smylie Kaufman; Shriners
Si Woo Kim; Wyndham

Rookies in the FEC

In 2015-16, six players made the leap.

Smylie Kaufman
Emiliano Grillo*
Patton Kizzire
Harold Varner, III
Brett Stegmaier
Michael Kim

*Only Grillo advanced to East Lake

Remember, 2014 was the only year a rookie has NOT found a spot in The Tour Championship.

My thought on rookies is quite simple. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Grillo had won on multiple Tours around the world and has done his time. That could be a clue in finding diamonds in the rough to begin the new season.

First-Time Winners

Rookies, journeymen, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.

2013: 12
2014: 10
2015: 11
2016: 16

Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com)
Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
Justin Thomas (CIMB)
Peter Malnati (SFC)
Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
Kevin Kisner (RSM)
Tony Finau (PRO)
Jim Herman (SHO)
Danny Willett (Masters)
Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
William McGirt (Memorial)
Daniel Berger (FESJC)
Billy Hurley, III (QLN)
Greg Chalmers (Barracuda) in his 386th event!
Si Woo Kim (Wyndham)

Interesting to note that almost one third of the events last season were won by first-timers. The history above points out that this is NOT a normal occurrence but should not be dismissed. With the help of technology, trainers, analysts, psychologists and the rest, there have never been so many with so much.

This Week — Seaside and Plantation

That’s right, two tracks to accommodate the full field of 156 for the second year in a row. With a year of experience doled on on the Plantation last year, I would expect easier scoring conditions to deteriorate even more. The biggest defense for these two courses is not their length, size of fairways or rough. Their biggest defense is non-prevailing wind which will put doubt in the club and line selection of the pros this week. The forecast looks absolutely perfect with sunshine and minimal wind. Until the weekend where it will blow 15-20 mph from a non-prevailing direction as of Monday’s forecast.

 

Top Finishers  from 2015

1 Kevin Kisner
2 Kevin Chappell
4 Jon Curran
T6 Russell Henley
T9 Chad Campbell
T9 Lucas Glover
T9 David Hearn
T9 Tom Hoge
T9 Charles Howell III
T9 John Huh
T9 Jamie Lovemark
T9 Scott Stallings
T18 Mark Hubbard
T18 Scott Brown
T18 Jim Herman
T18 Si Woo Kim
T18 Chris Kirk
T18 Boo Weekley
T25 Ricky Barnes
T25 Harris English
T25 Matt Kuchar
T25 Trey Mullinax
T25 Robert Streb
T25 Brian Stuard
T25 Mark Wilson

Head to the Preview for more details!

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