Damien Kayat previews the 2022 edition of the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, taking place at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia.
2022/2023 US PGA Tour
Sea Island Resort (Seaside), Sea Island, Georgia
This is one of those increasingly rare weeks where the US PGA Tour plays second-fiddle to its European counterpart. The season-ending DP World Tour Championship will hog the golfing spotlight this week.
But I don’t think that the PGA professionals involved care too much. This is one of the more laidback events on tour. Many of the PGA professionals own property in the area and there is certainly an end-of-year feel to proceedings.
Davis Love III- one of the local residents- plays host to the event, and many of the proceeds for the week go to his foundation: the Davis Love Foundation. Still, this week does give some of the fringe Korn Ferry players and older heads a chance to prosper while the big dogs are away.
Formerly known as the McGladrey Classic, this event used to be exclusively staged at the Seaside Course. Seven years ago, the organizers decided to change it to a two-tournament event, sharing hosting duties between the Plantation Course and Seaside Course.
Sea Island Resort
The players will play the Plantation Course and Seaside Course in rotation over the first two days. They will switch to the Seaside Course for the entire weekend.
The Plantation Course was designed by Walter Travis and opened in 1926. Rees Jones tweaked it heavily in 1998. It was once again revamped by Love Golf Design in 2019.
It’s an interesting blend of parkland and coastal links. The tight fairways can prove treacherous in windy conditions. By contrast, the Seaside Course is very exposed to the elements, playing much more like a traditional links.
Designed by Harry Colt and Charles Alison, the host course plays firm and fast in the tradition of the Scottish links. Both courses feature Bermuda putting surfaces which will reward familiarity.
This is certainly a week that rewards precision over power. Curiously, six of the twelve editions of this event have ended in a playoff.
It’s kind of crazy to think that Tony Finau was once considered a perennial bridesmaid. He has now won four time in the last 15 months. He has just become absolutely ruthless in contention and he will feel confident of making it back-to-back wins this week.
Having said that, this isn’t really a course that suits his obvious qualities. Talor Gooch will obviously not be back to defend after joining the LIV experiment.
After Fianu- it’s really anyone’s guess. Seamus Power has been in excellent form and Brian Harman’s game should suit this course like a glove.
2021: Talor Gooch (-22)
2020: Robert Streb (-19) * playoff
2019: Tyler Duncan (-19) *playoff
2018: Charles Howell III (-19) *playoff
2017: Austin Cook (-21)
2016: Mackenzie Hughes (-17)
To Win Outright:
Tony Finau 17/2 | Brian Harman 22/1 | Jason Day 25/1 | Seamus Power 28/1 | Taylor Montgomery 30/1
Joel Dahmen- To Win 35/1 | To Place 15/2
Sure, Dahmen hasn’t exactly thrived in this event (though he did pick up a top-30 finish last year). But it should be an event in which he can compete. It is short and requires target golf skills. He also arrives in Georgia in some really excellent form. He has four top-20 finishes in his last five starts. These include consecutive top 10’s in his last two events (including a T3 at Mayakoba).
Webb Simpson- To Win 50/1 | To Place 11/1
Major champion Webb Simpson is a class act coming off a dreadful season. I don’t think it will be long before he finds himself again in contention. And this course suits him perfectly. His brilliant approach play has seen him reach two playoffs at the RSM. He also has three other top-10 finishes (including one last year). Just look at his stats on the main course here over the last 24 rounds. He is 1st in Total Strokes Gained and Ball-Striking.
The Man to Beat- Seamus Power- To Win 28/1 | To Place 6/1
He just seems a logical choice this week. He is a regular at Sea Island and is currently in terrific form. He actually currently sits top of the FedEx Cup standings. He won the Bermuda Championship prior to a T3 at Mayakoba. He plays brilliantly in the wind and should thrive if it gets gusty this week. He finished in a tie for 4th in last year’s edition, and you have to think he’s incredible value at 28/1.