PGA Tour: RSM Classic Preview

Golfer lines up shot

We take a look at this week's PGA Tour event, the RSM Classic which is set to take place at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia. 

The RSM Classic was formerly known as the McGladry Classic, and this event was first played as recently as 2010. The eighth renewal takes place at Sea Island Resort, where the event will curiously be played over two courses in the first two rounds.

The players will alternate between the Plantation Course and Seaside Course over the first two rounds before switching to Seaside for the weekend. In many ways this represents the winding down of the PGA Tour year, with this really representing the last chance for real FedEx Cup points. With Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero Challenge looming, who can momentarily steal the headlines?

The RSM Classic | 16 November - 19 November | Sea Island Resort, Georgia

The two courses are vastly different, with the Plantation Course resembling a parkland style course that won’t be as affected by wind- although the weather predictions seem to suggest a mild affair. The Seaside Course was originally two nine-hole courses before Tom Fazio decided to combine them. Both of the courses are slightly over 7,000 yards, which will give the slightly smaller hitters a greater chance of success.

Brian Harmon leads the market while former champion Kevin Kisner follows close behind. Both players are perfectly suited to the course: they are deadly accurate and decisive on the greens- mitigating their relative lack of length off the tee. This area of Georgia holds a special place in the heart of the Tour Professionals, with many of the players actually owning real estate in the area. As head of the so called “Sea Island Mafia”, Davis Love III will almost act as a spiritual host of an event that has a celebratory, pre-Christmas feel.

Past Winners
2016: Mackenzie Hughes (-17)*playoff
2015: Kevin Kisner (-22)
2014: Robert Streb (-14)*playoff
2013: Chris Kirk (-14)*playoff
2012: Tommy Gainey (-16)

To Win Outright
Brian Harman 16/1 | Kevin Kisner 18/1 | Webb Simpson 18/1 | Brandt Snedeker 22/1 | Matt Kuchar 22/1

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Value Bets

Jamie Lovemark- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
Jamie Lovemark is a name that I proffered a few weeks back only to be left disappointed, though his T5 in the CJ Cup certainly shows that he has the capacity to contend this week. He has two top 10 finishes in as many starts here: he finished T9 in 2015 before finishing T6 here last season- note the progression. Additionally, his performance in the CJ Cup shows his ability to manipulate the ball when the wind gets up. Though the forecast seems fairly benign this week, those temperamental Georgian winds could lift and Lovemark would be well suited to combat that.

Scott Brown- To Win 50/1, To Place 11/1
I would have thought that the Georgia native’s price would have been a lot shorter after such an encouraging start to the season. Hopefully this oversight can work to my gain this week. Brown is in splendid form, with top six finishes in two of his last three starts. He also has three top 20 finishes in three visits to Sea-Island. Brown is a short hitter who tends to play his best golf in this swing of the season, with smaller coastal courses the order of the day. He finished 4th here in 2013 and his current form suggests another strong finish.

Kevin Streelman- To Win 60/1, To Place 13/1
Seeking his 3thid PGA Tour title, Streelman has had an interesting start to the season. While three consecutive top 20 finishes represent a good return, he will be frustrated that he hasn’t really looked like challenging at any point. In Mexico he only conceded one bogey over the first three rounds, highlighting how consistently he is currently playing. He looks a decent price considering the fact that he has some history here: he finished 6th here in 2011 in one of only three visits.

The Man to Beat- Brian Harman- To Win 16/1, To Place 7/2
This is certainly out of character to me, but these less illustrious events certainly offer more value in the upper stratosphere of the markets. The 2017 US Open runner-up has had an extremely impressive opening to the 2017/2018 campaign. He had a top five finish in Korea before finishing in eighth place in China, wrapping up an extremely successful Asian Swing. Furthermore, the solid lefty is a Sea-Island resident –although his course form is somewhat concerning. His best appearance in five attempts here is 10th, with some missed cuts thrown in. But his 2017 form has been exemplary and I expect him to rectify that anomaly this weekend.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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