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RSM Classic
PGA Wagers 0

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Posted Wednesday, November 17 at 1:30 PM EST. 

Cutoff time for this event is November 18 at 9:30 AM EST. 

Streaming Subscribers: Watch on Golf Channel.

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RSM Classic

There’s plenty of water to pass under the bridge until the next jaunt to Augusta, but we stay in Georgia this week with the RSM Classic. St Simons Island is something of a favourite with many on the PGA TOUR who have set up home there, and the easy going, laidback feel is matched by one of the easier tests around. Fairways are narrow but can be missed without too much penalty, and the large Bermuda greens ensure this becomes something of a putting contest in the end.

We should mention that the event is played at two courses, with one of the opening rounds taken by the Plantation layout. This is tree-lined and so benefits from more cover from the wind, and as you might expect from a layout measuring barely 7,000 yards for its Par of 72, Plantation is there for the taking. The Seaside course is more of a test. A more exposed, Links style test, when the wind whips up it can be a much tougher assignment with just two Par 5s on offer. Tom Fazio doesn’t mind sticking it to the players in his designs, and that is very much the case here

What We’re Looking For This Week

A trophy adorned with names like Kevin Kisner, Austin Cook and Mackenzie Hughes, it is pretty clear that length is no great advantage this week. Indeed, Tyler Duncan averaged just 280 yards off the peg here last season, making Sea Island one of the most open layouts to win at on the PGA TOUR. The fairways are quite narrow and the greens on the Seaside track are large, so hitting approaches from the short grass – to ensure premium proximity to the pin where possible – is probably a good idea.

Although the TOUR stays in Georgia, the action switches to Bermuda – remember that in your DFS, and be aware of a possible Masters hangover for guys like Sungjae Im, who was emotionally invested throughout the four days. That can take a lot out of a player; even someone like Im, who just seems to love playing golf anywhere, anytime. There is a bit of a crapshoot feel this week (Which is what we like) and you certainly want to be trying to ‘pre-empt’ a hot putter – that has been the trend at Sea Island in recent years.

As for the prospect of a longshot crossing the finish line first, well, Mackenzie Hughes was a mighty 250-1 shot here in 2016 when he lifted the trophy, Austin Cook was 90/1 in 2017 and, even last year, Tyler Duncan was a bankroll boosting 150/1. This year, we can also factor in the possibility of a Masters hangover for many in the field, and that will surely aid the quest of those at juicier prices to land themselves a bank-enhancing paycheck. In that spirit, who has made our shortlist of sleeper picks for the RSM Classic 2020?

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To Win Outright: These are played at BET365 because of their cashout option.

Sam Burns – 70-1

Note that BET365 forgot Burns on the “To Win Outright” section. He’s listed everywhere else at around 70-1 so for now, we’ll post him at 70-1.

A genuine contender at the Houston Open, Sam Burns fell away from the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. Still, the price on Burns here represents huge value for a player who struck the ball beautifully there, and in a slightly weaker field this week he has to be on the shortlist. When Burns gets hot, he’s one to be reckoned with. Burns’ approach play and scrambling has been above his baseline lately, and one thing that has remained is his excellent putting stroke – he ranks 27th on Tour for SG: Putting. Top 10s in the wind at the RBC Heritage and on the east coast in the Honda Classic suggest Burns can thrive at Sea Island (Risking 0.2 units to win 14). 

Joel Dahmen 80-1

With stacks of top-10s on the PGA TOUR, we’re still waiting for Joel Dahmen to make his breakthrough into the winner’s enclosure. If he is going to, Sea Island might be the place where he gets it done. Okay, so his form in this event is middling, but a player who thrives in the wind, on less-than-driver courses and on Bermuda should enjoy life here. A return to form came at the ZOZO Championship (T8), and a player that tends to string good performances together has to be on the radar this week (Risking 0.2 units to win 16).

Davis Thompson 225-1

Get ‘em before they get noticed. Davis Thompson is still a long ways away from being a household name but one would be hard pressed to find a golfer that is looking more forward to this event than this guy. First, he’s a senior at the University of Georgia. Second, he just soared to the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings after a pair of top fives in collegiate action since qualifying for the U.S. Open by virtue of a special category carved out for the best amateurs. His first career PGA TOUR start occurred in The RSM Classic last year and all he did was lead the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (for the three lasered rounds at Seaside) and rank third in scrambling and T5 in par-5 scoring. Thompson is just 21-years old. He catches many pros off an Augusta hangover. He lives on Saint Simons Island so he’s likely played this course dozens and dozens of time. He probably won’t win but at this price, he’s with a bet. (Risking 0.2 units to win 45 units).

Richy Werenski – 200-1

An excellent short game propelled Richy Werenski to his maiden PGA TOUR title in 2020 and a run through to the BMW Championship of the FedEx Cup playoffs, and his class in the scoring phase of the game figures to stand him in excellent stead this week. Werenski ranked 57th for Birdie Average in the season just gone, and that is perhaps why he was able to win the Barracuda Championship under stableford conditions – going under par is a regular occurrence for him. That also explains why his best performances come on golf courses that are there for the taking – T3 at TPC Twin Cities (3M Open) and The Old White (Greenbrier Classic) are testament to that. Werenski should enjoy the scoring opportunities on offer this weekend and it would surprise us not if he’s on the leaderboard sometime over the weekend. (Risking 0.2 units to win 40 units)

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Head-to-head Matchups for the RSM Classic.

Unless otherwise stated, the head-to-head match-up will be bet at Pinnacle, BET 365, Coolbet or 5DIMES

HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCHUP below is for 72 holes:

H2H

Henrik Norlander +109 over Adam Hadwin (Pinny)

Adam Hadwin missed the cut at the Masters. His form is middling at best and it’s not like he’s thrived at this course. Hadwin finished 68th here last season after shooting a less than pedestrian -2 over four days. We’re pretty sure that was his only appearance at this course. In fact, the only reason he likely chose to play in this event was because he knew he would be playing at Augusta last week and therefore he would have the luxury of staying in Georgia for consecutive events. He is not improving but everyone else around him is. Hadwin’s ranking from top to bottom, Driving Distance (ranks 155th), (Green in Regulation (220th), Birdie Average (168th), Scoring Average (145th), etc, are below average.

Meanwhile, Henrik Norlander has top five finishes in two of the last three years here but very few experts have even mentioned his name this week. His fondness for this course gives Norlander a strong presence this week. Additionally, he’s 31st in strokes gained off the tee, 31st in driving accuracy and 16th in greens in regulation. This course offers up some real opportunities and Norlander ranks 6th in Eagles while Hadwin ranks 118th in Eagles. The reason that Norlander is off everyone’s radar is because he’s missed the cut in back-to-back events but he chose this event (he did not play in the Masters) because he likes it while Hadwin chose it as more of a convenience (Risking 2 units to win 2.18).

Shane Lowry -106 over Jason Day (Pinny)

We’re not even sure why Jason Day signed up for this event. Day played in the Masters last week and missed the cut. He is rarely at a 100% and he rarely, if ever even plays this time of year. Although this year is not like other years, Day usually takes off from September or early October until February or March. He’s not used to playing in the fall and it matters. Aside from that, he’s fragile and not in good form.

Shane Lowry is in good form and he’s a steal at this price. Some will point out that it’s Lowry’s first start at this track but Day hasn’t played here for years and it might be his first start here too. Regardless, he’s a bargain over Day. The T25 at the Masters was nice and it was his third top 25 worldwide in four starts. His T11 at Memorial Park, where he was one of just three pros who signed for a red number after every round, was even more impressive. He did it with a strong game on approach, and then repeated the drill at Augusta National last week. Shane Lowry is feeling very good these days while Jason Day is not (Risking 2.12 units to win 2)

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Others to Consider for DFS or to Win Outright

David Hearn 200-1

With two missed cuts to his name and two top-10 finishes, Hearn’s had a solid start to this season. Putting is his bread and butter (19th in strokes gained) but he’s also 44th in driving accuracy. He has finished in the top 30 here each of the last two years.

Hank Lebioda 250-1

Keep an eye on Lebioda. Dude is expecting for the first time, a boy no less, and therefore his priorities change. The 26-year-old is due to become a first-time father and of a boy, so it’s not surprising in the least that he’s off and running this season. The lefty already has two top 25s on the board thanks to a crisper short game. Whether he can sustain it over time is the question, but his priorities are changing by the day and he’s embarking on his third straight season with a TOUR card, so the learning curve is beginning to flatten. He also has a solid chance of extending the bump at Sea Island where he’s 2-for-2.

Austin Cook 80-1

Good times in abundance for Austin Cook at Sea Island, where he followed his career breakthrough victory with a solid T11 in his title defense. We know that Cook is comfortable in the wind because he lost out in a play-off at Shriners just a matter of weeks ago, and his ability to pick his way around a tighter golf course like those at Sea Island certainly holds him in good stead. T2 at Shriners and T24 at the Houston Open, Cook brings the magic recipe of current and course form to Georgia. 

Ryan Armour 225-1

Only one golfer has top 40 finishes each of the last three years at the RSM Classic. Armour has missed the cut in four out of six tournaments this year but he did finish 8th at the Bermuda Classic just a few weeks ago. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in accuracy (35th in driving accuracy, 50th in sand save percentage and 8th in approach shots from 125-150 yards). He likes this course ---a lot ----- and has a great chance to make the cut and score points in DFS.

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Total units wagered: 4.92 We will update the results at the conclusion of this event.

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Our Pick

PGA Wagers 0 (Risking 4.92 units - To Win: 0.00)