My final time with you in 2022! I hope you have enjoyed our Wednesdays together. After 46 consecutive weeks, I’ll gladly fade into the background noise of the holidays, football and basketball to recharge the batteries. I hope you and yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll pop back in before Christmas to see if the fire needs another log or two.
The RSM Classic
Sea Island Resort Golf Club
Seaside Course (host)
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Horses for Courses – click here
Statistically Speaking – click here
Expert Picks – click here – Terrible week in Houston knocked me out of the top spot.
Pick ‘Em Live Preview – click here – Added Keith Mitchell at +400 for a top 10 before Round 4 to beat Rob again. Little victories, folks!
PGA TOUR Champions Power Ranking – season ended last week. My No. 1 Padraig Harrington ran away with the final event of the season. Steven Alker won the money title.
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,005|
|Greens:||7,200 square feet; TifEagle Bermuda.|
|Stimpmeter:||Approaching 13 feet.|
|Rough:||Tifway Bermuda at 2 inches.|
|Bunkers/Water Hazards/Holes in Play||47/14/13|
|Architects:||Colt & Alison (1929); Tom Fazio (1999).|
|Course Record (last):||60; Tyler McCumber, Round 4, 2022; Sebastian Munoz, Round 1, 2022.|
|Course Tournament Scoring Record:||260 (-22); Talor Gooch (not entered) last year; Kevin Kisner, 2016 season.|
|Facts of the Week:||Eighth consecutive season with both courses in play.|
|Purse:||$8.1 million; $1.476 million winner.|
- Field of 156
- Plantation is Par-72, 7,060 yards also with TifEagle Bermuda greens.
- All players get one round on Seaside and Plantation before the cut.
- 72 hole stroke play, top 65 and ties play the final two rounds.
Italics – not entered this week
|2021||Talor Gooch (-22)||Matched the tournament scoring record and was three shots clear of Mackenzie Hughes. First TOUR win.|
|2020||Robert Streb (-19)||Second win here. Second win here in a playoff (Kevin Kisner) Second win on TOUR.|
|2019||Tyler Duncan (-19)||Defeated Webb Simpson in a playoff for his first TOUR win.|
|2018||Charles Howell III (-19)||Knocked off Patrick Rodgers in a playoff after Rodgers closed 61-62.|
|2017||Austin Cook (-21)||Raised the trophy for the first time on TOUR as he won by four shots.|
|2016||Mackenzie Hughes (-17)||Won a five man playoff for his maiden victory on TOUR.|
|2015||Kevin Kisner (-22)||Won by six the first time two courses were used; first TOUR win.|
Back to birdies this week! The weather appears to be a bit cool and breezy but the wide fairways and large greens will still be warm and accommodating. The average winning score is almost 20-under over the previous seven seasons and I’d expect something close to that again this year.
Plenty of first timers, seven from 12 editions all time and only one multiple champion shows the essence of a shootout. EVERYBODY knows they have to make birdies this week. With both courses not even reaching 7,100 yards, the door is open mentally and physically for all.
Hit greens, hole birdies and save pars. Just like they had to do to get to this point! The last five winners have all been in their 30s though so something to be said for “old” guys.
This Week – The RSM Classic
Tony Finau, the highest ranked player in the field, is no longer in it. Can’t blame him starting the holidays early! The field is now WIDE OPEN so enjoy!
Brian Harman (+1800): Oh hey, you’re now the favorite! Sea Island resident rolls into his own bed off solo second in Mexico, T23 in South Carolina and T15 in Las Vegas. His last top 10 here was 2017 (T4) but he’s cashed in four of his last five. It’s turkey hunting season so I hope he’s not distracted!
Jason Day (+2200): Heater is T21 or better in the last four. Plenty of fairway to find and if he does that, I won’t worry about his putter.
Seamus Power (+2200): T4 best of the bunch here last year. Winner in Bermuda and T3 at Mayakoba in his last two. Convergence. Heat. Good combo.
Tom Hoge (+2200): T13 or better in four of five this fall. Literally one bad round, 73 at Mayakoba last time out (MC) is it. Saddle up.
Taylor Montgomery (+2500): This fall it’s 6-6 and he’s second in birdies. The step up to the big league hasn’t bothered him one bit. Only chalk player without a win but this week has a way of finding first-timers!
Keith Mitchell (+2800): Lovely fit this week, especially after his solid close in Houston.
Denny McCarthy (+3300): Another waiting for that first win loves Bermuda and he’s figuring it out here with a pair of top 10s in his last three visits.
Mackenzie Hughes (+3300): Not sure how I didn’t fit him in my EXPERTS PICK line up. Might have to adjust that after his solo second last year.
Matthew NeSmith (+3300): I love it. Flashed last week. Break out this week.
Davis Riley (+4000): He’ll hit all of the GIR. Make a putt or two to get #Involved.
Matt Kuchar (+4000): T29 or better in three starts this fall. Home game.
Webb Simpson (+5000): I’m more curious to see if he builds on his 68 Round 4 at Congaree rather than his final position on the leaderboard. Just his third start of the fall.
JT Poston (+6600): Oh hey, gotta hole putts on Bermuda? Sedgefield magician won’t mind racking up birdies.
Longer Shots/Funny Money
Ben Griffin (+10000): Five on the bounce includes a Sunday lead at Butterfield and three T24 or better. Big targets off the tee and into the greens will help.
Davis Thompson (+10000): Go read Pick ‘Em Preview above. Or scroll down. #Choices.
Robby Shelton (+12500): Saw evidence with 63 in Las Vegas and 63 in his following event in Bermuda.
Chris Gotterup (+15000): T3 at KFT Q School. Next year is taken care of for 12 events on KFT. Should be free this week to go for it.
Andrew Novak (+25000): Coastal golfer extraordinaire. Top 20.
Cole Hammer (+35000): Can’t abandon ship after T27 last week. Fit him in.
Ryan Armour (+10000): Late edition. Top 20.
Last Week – Cadence Bank Houston Open
Scottie Scheffler (+550): I don’t think anyone will argue he’s the favorite this week but for that price it’s hard to get involved. Monster finish at Mayakoba combined with his 54 hole lead here last year (plus course record) suggests he’s the man to beat. Hasn’t won since the Masters if you’re wondering. Talent exemplified as he had nothing close to resembling his best stuff and still ground out T9. Fantastic player.
Sam Burns (+1200): Won at Colonial in his last visit to the Lone Star state on a course that also isn’t a pushover. Love him on Bermuda and in this part of the world. A pair of T7 paydays here suggests he likes it as well. Bet. Loss. Bogeyed eight of his first 15 holes on Thursday. WD when the weather hit.
Aaron Wise (+1600): Seems like he’s in this part of the column weekly! Only non top 15 finish in his last five was in his backyard in Las Vegas so go figure. The others have been either T15 or T6. Another top 10 wouldn’t be surprising this week. Opened with 65 to put a charge into things but played his final 54 holes 1-over for T22. Super season regardless.
Tony Finau (+1800): Rust bust last week in Mayakoba but with the Presidents Cup and two wins behind him since the 4th of July, not sure what the motivation is this week. Rust was busted. Motivation was winning again. Noted. WIN.
Jason Day (+2200): Anytime my Aussie buddy/boss Ben Everill gets on the JDAY TRAIN, look out! I’ll have a nibble just to tell him I was listening! Makes sense as he hits it a mile and will putt the dimples off. Posted four more rounds in the 60s for T16.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2200): Debut event at Memorial Park was T3 with a 63. Back again two years later tells me what I need to know. WD – neck.
Russell Henley (+2200): Last win before last week was in Houston but not at Memorial Park five years ago. I’ll let him enjoy the return to the winner’s circle.MC
Maverick McNealy (+2500): T18 or better in four straight but nothing inside T10. Doesn’t hit as many GIR as he would like but big ones this week plus being a super putter has my attention again. T27 is his “worst” finish of the fall. He’s off this week .
Players NOT LISTED in previous articles this week
Joel Dahmen (+4000): T3 last week T5 last year. Converging. Coverged. T9. Imagine if he made any putts!
Si Woo Kim (+5000): Bermuda, yes. Blew a tire on Sunday with 73 to drop all the way to T35.
Davis Thompson (+7500): No value but interesting. T43. He’s +10000 this week on a course he’s played 10000 times. More interesting.
Dylan Frittelli (+15000): Wind won’t bother him. Yes it did. MC.
Longer Shots/Funny Money
Ryan Palmer (+17500): Top 20. MC
MJ Daffue (+17500): Sneaky tee to green. MC
David Lingmerth (+20000): Rolls in T11, T8 last two weeks. Heat at 200-1. MC
Brent Grant (+40000): Ball-Striking machine. MC
Cole Hammer (+75000): Didn’t get it done at KFT Q-School. Should be relishing this chance. T27 with 65 and 68.