Horses for Courses: The RSM Classic

The Seaside Course on lovely Sea Island will host three of the four rounds this week as a full field of 156 wraps up the fall portion of the 2021-22 PGATOUR Schedule.

And just like that.

Poof.

It’s gone.

The ninth and final event of the fall portion of the 2021-2022 season wraps up on the Golden Isles of Georgia. Sea Island’s Seaside Course will serve as host as it has done since 2010. This will be the seventh consecutive event with a full field and 156 players thanks to the introduction of the Plantation Course for the 2016 season edition.

The Seaside Course is a Tom Fazio redesign and the TOUR has experienced plenty of his work in the recent months. Slick TifEagle Bermuda greens averaging 7,200 square feet and running at 12 feet are the main defense of the Par-70 track. At just 7,005 yards with just two inches of Tifway Bermuda rough it’s not surprising that 19-under or better is usually the annual winning score. The introduction of the Plantation Course gives the field one really good shot at posting a low number as Davis and Mark Love’s redesign has four Par-5 holes and doesn’t reach 7,100 yards. The greens at Seaside, according to their director of golf, are the oldest TifEagle greens on TOUR so returning players should be more than familiar with how these greens roll.

The tenor of this event is celebratory as the first part of the season is ending and the holidays are right around the corner. Davis Love and the other TOUR pros who call the island home are welcoming hosts and provide the laid-back atmosphere. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the players with the most top 10s all have connections to the island or this part of the country.

It should come as a surprise that five of the last seven winners have been first-time TOUR winners even though this event dates back to 2010. A deeper look shows two of the last three are not but they all are 30-somethings.

Shootouts open the door to the masses as everyone is accustomed to making tons of birdies. Find guys who score in the 60s for fun, keep their cards clean and keep the ball out of the water. The more fairways and greens found, the more birdie opportunities to be had!

The highest winning score since the addition of Plantation is 17-under while Kevin Kisner set the scoring record in the first addition in 2015 with 22-under. While the course record on Seaside is 60 (set by Tommy Gainey in 2012), there has been a 61 posted the last three years. Only Robert Streb has won this event twice and he returns to defend his title and add to his two previous trophies.

First place will enjoy a very nice Thanksgiving holiday. The purse is $7.2 million with the winner taking $1.296 and 500 FedExCup points plus a trip to the Masters, Sentry Tournament of Champions and all of the perks of victory on TOUR.

Recent Event Winners Stats

Season202120202019
Year202020192018
WinnerRobert StrebTyler DuncanCharles Howell III
    
Score263 (-19)263 (-19)263 (-19)
MOVPlayoffPlayoffPlayoff
Age333039
    
All Drives35T427
AccuracyT366T12
GIRT7T4 1
Ball-StrikingT3041
Proximity58111
Putting: Birdie or Better %17T466
    
SG: Off-the-Tee312138
SG: Approach-the-Green36317
SG: Around-the-Green273840
SG: Putting91424
SG: Tee-to-Green35219
    
Scrambling51T70
Bogey Avoidance21T9
Par-3 ScoringT41T5
Par-4 ScoringT10T10T7 
Par-5 ScoringT12T26T25

Recent Winners

2020 – Robert Streb (-19, 263)

Birdied second playoff hole to win this event for the second time. … Led by three after 54 holes, tying the tournament record. … Became the fifth consecutive player to post 128 after 36 holes, another shared record. … Became the fifth consecutive winner to share or lead alone after 36 holes. … Posted 63 (-9) on Plantation in Round 2. … Only squared two bogeys for the week against 21 birdies. … Did not lead the field in any major statistical category. … Only two-time winner and won both in a playoff. … Entered the event T55-MC-T21. … Wins for the second time on TOUR in start No. 214 at age 33.

Notables in the field this week:

2015 champ Kevin Kisner (P2) posted ONE bogey for the week to lead the field and did not win. … Andrew Landry (T4) closed 65-64 for his second top five in five starts. … Resident Harris English (T6) shared the low round on Sunday with 62. … Zach Johnson (T6) was T2 after 54 holes but a triple on Sunday killed his chances. … Kyle Stanley (T6) T2 GIR and has never MC. … Camilo Villegas (T6) shared the first round lead after 64. … Corey Conners (T10) only made one Bogey on the weekend and led the field GIR. … Patton Kizzire (T10) led the field in Birdies with 26 and Putting. … Bronson Burgoon (T15) played in the final three-some and shot 71. … Defending champion Tyler Duncan (MC) missed for the first time in four attempts. … Matt Wallace (T37) shared the first round lead. …   Joel Dahmen (T50) posted 61 in Round 2 but didn’t break 70 in any other round. … Cut was 3-under. … Top 36 players were 10-under or better. … 42 bogey-free rounds. … Only four OVER PAR rounds from the top 22 players. … Scoring average was 68.637.

2019 – Tyler Duncan (19-under, 263)

Birdied second playoff hole to win for the first time on TOUR. … Birdied the last hole and three of the last four to reach playoff. … Led the field in Proximity, Scrambling and Bogey Avoidance plus Par-3 scoring. … Hit sixth most Fairways and T6 GIR. … Trailed by four after 54 holes. … Led by two after 36 holes after posting the best round of the week, 61. … Opened with 67 (-5) on Plantation in Round 1. … Only squared ONE bogey for the week against 18 birdies and 1 eagle. … Became the fifth first time winner in the last six events. … Wins for the first time on TOUR in start No. 68 at age 30. … T74 and T25 the previous two visits included rounds of 66 and 64. … Made three of six cuts entering including T48 and T18 the previous two weeks.

Notables in the field this week:

First round leader Webb Simpson (P2) stormed home 63-67 from the final threesome to pick up his fifth top 15 in eight starts. … Only Simpson made more birdies (25) than Sebastian Munoz (3rd) and his 22. … Brendon Todd (4th) shot 62 in Round 3 and led after 54 holes but closed with 72. … Henrik Norlander (T5) was third GIR and picked up his second top five in his last four. … Scottie Scheffler (T5) circled 20 birdies and posted a 63 on debut. … Denny McCarthy (T8) posted 62 in Round 2 and was T7 GIR. … DJ Trahan (T8) third T11 or better in five starts career. …  Alex Noren (T10) on debut. … Vaughn Taylor (T10) cashed his second top 10 in his last three. … Brian Stuard (T10) finished in the top 10 in Fairways and Putting. … Defending champion Charles Howell III (T30) couldn’t add to his top 10 count. … Cut was 4-under. … Top 29 players were 10-under or better. … 37 bogey free rounds. … Just five OVER PAR rounds from the top 22 players. … Scoring average 68.899.

2018 – Charles Howell, III (19-under, 263)

Birdied the second playoff hole for his third victory on TOUR. … Led wire-to-wire. … Opened with 64 (-8) on Plantation and followed with 64 (-6) on Seaside. … Led by three shots after 36 holes, a new record. … First time converting a 54-hole lead in six attempts. … Only winner in the last five with a previous TOUR victory. … Only winner to this day (2 course era) to lead the field in Ball-Striking and GIR. … Circled 25 birdies. … Went 333 events between wins. … Wins in start No. 529 at age 39. … Victory comes in ninth attempt (fourth top 10). … MC-T61-T5 leading into the week.

Notables in the field this week:

Patrick Rodgers (P2) played the final 36 holes 61-62, setting an event and TOUR record, and circled the most birdies with 26. … Hey, look! Webb Simpson (3rd)…. Luke List (T4) closed 63-65. … Zach Johnson (T7) posts back-to-back top 10 finishes after seven starts without. … 2015 winner Kevin Kisner (T7) made only three bogeys. … Defending champ Austin Cook (T11) squared just four bogeys, all in Round 2. …. … Cut was 2-under. … Top 45 players were 10-under or better. … 53 bogey free rounds. … Scoring average 68.843.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Strokes-Gained: Approach the Green 
RankPlayer
  
4Keegan Bradley
6Russell Henley
9Corey Conners
11Matthew NeSmith
12Emiliano Grillo
18Kyle Stanley
20Russell Knox
21Doug Ghim
22Chez Reavie
27Henrik Norlander
29Louis Oosthuizen
31Matt Wallace
32Talor Gooch
33Kevin Streelman
34Stewart Cink
37Lanto Griffin
38Webb Simpson
38Seamus Power
40Max Homa
  
Rounds in the 60s 
RankPlayer
  
2Joaquin Niemann
3Patton Kizzire
5Corey Conners
6Brian Harman
6Sebastian Munoz
10Cameron Smith
10Harris English
15Emiliano Grillo
15Scottie Scheffler
18Brian Stuard
23Russell Henley
23Cam Davis
28Kevin Streelman
28Matt Jones
32Webb Simpson
32Sepp Straka
35Brice Garnett
35Chris Kirk
35Keegan Bradley
  
Birdie Average 
RankPlayer
  
4Cameron Smith
7Scottie Scheffler
8Webb Simpson
14Harris English
16Patton Kizzire
22Cam Davis
24Joaquin Niemann
25Doug Ghim
28Emiliano Grillo
29Sebastian Munoz
32Jhonattan Vegas
33Harry Higgs
35Anirban Lahiri
36Adam Scott
40Corey Conners
  
Scrambling 
RankPlayer
  
2Seamus Power
3Charles Howell III
5Webb Simpson
7Hank Lebioda
10Harris English
11Chris Kirk
12Russell Henley
13Louis Oosthuizen
14Brian Harman
17Talor Gooch
19Andrew Putnam
23Doug Ghim
24Scott Stallings
25Brice Garnett
26Bill Haas
27Vaughn Taylor
28Cameron Smith
31Doc Redman
35Robert Streb
39Jason Day
40Russell Knox

Horses for Courses: The RSM Classic

Player (Starts/Cuts Made)Top 10sTop 25sMost Recent (calendar year)Notes
     
Robert Streb (5/7)23Win (2020)2014 champ on debut; Only multiple winner
Kevin Kisner (7/10)56P2 (2020)2016 champ; Worst finish is T26; T4 twice; 67.56
Andrew Landry (4/5)22T4 (2020)T4 2017; T59 other
Zach Johnson (8/11)35T6 (2020)T8, T7 and T6 in 3 of the last 4; Cashed 4 straight
Camilo Villegas (6/7)23T6 (2020)Lost in 5-man playoff 2016; Opened 64-66 last year
Harris English (5/9)13T6 (2020)Closed with 62; T15 2012 next best
Kyle Stanley (6/6)12T6 (2020)Best of six straight last year; 68.50
Patton Kizzire (5/7)12T10 (2020)Last year the best of 4 straight
Corey Conners (3/3)12T10 (2020)T10-T23-T37; #Trending 67.67 
     
Tyler Duncan (3/4)12Win (2019)5 of 14 rounds 66 or better with a 61; MC defense no surprise
Webb Simpson (9/9)45P2 (2019)3rd 2018; P2 2011; Twice defeated in a playoff; 67.35
Sebastian Munoz (1/4)113 (2019)22 birdies 2019
Brendon Todd (6/7)124 (2019)6 straight
Scottie Scheffler (1/1)11T5 (2019)63 Round 3
Henrik Norlander (4/5)22T5 (2019)Part of 5-man playoff 2016; 4 straight paydays
Denny McCarthy (2/4)11T8 (2019)62 Round 2
Vaughn Taylor (4/8)22T10 (2019)T30, T10, MC and T8 last four years
Brian Stuard (5/9)14T10 (2019)T50 last year first outside top 25
Alex Noren (2/2)12T10 (2019)T18 last year; 25-under aggregate
     
Charles Howell III (9/11)45Win (2018)T30-MC last two; MC before Win; 68.15
Patrick Rodgers (3/6)22P2 (2018)Closed 61-62; MC before and 2 after
Luke List (3/5)12T4 (2018)T13 2016 previous; MC-T53 last two
     
Austin Cook (3/4)12Win (2017)Debut winner; 3 top 11s; MC-T61 last two
JJ Spaun (4/5)112 (2017)4 back on 17-under; Next best is T37
Brian Gay (5/8)233 (2017)T4 2013; 
Chris Kirk (8/11)36T4 (2017)2013 champ; T4 defense; 68.05
Brian Harman (6/9)23T4 (2017)T10 2013; 3 straight busted last year
     
Mackenzie Hughes (2/5)11Win (2016)First round was 61, won a playoff; MC 3 of last 4
CT Pan (2/4)12T6 (2016)T13 2017; MC last 2
Russell Henley (5/7)33T10 (2016)Last of 3 straight inside T10; T30-MC-MC last 3
Stewart Cink (6/10)12T10 (2016)MC-T43-MC last 3

One thought on “Horses for Courses: The RSM Classic

  1. Pingback: Horses for Courses: The RSM Classic - Have Stix Will Travel

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