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BlogRSM Classic Preview and Picks

RSM Classic

November 19th – 22nd, 2015

Seaside Course

Sea Island, Ga.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,005

Purse: $5.7 million

with 1,026,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Robert Streb

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

Sorry for being a day late, we got backed up with back to back Monday finishes:

The field includes 8 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings (17 of those in the top-100), with the highest rank player being #10 Zach Johnson.  The other top 50 players are #17 Matt Kuchar, #25 Kevin Kisner, #31 Justin Thomas, #33 Brandt Snedeker, #34 Chris Kirk, #37 Bill Haas and #40 Robert Streb,.

Last year there were only 5 top-ten players so it’s a gain of three

The field includes 11 of the Top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2016.  Those players are #2 Justin Thomas, #7 Graeme McDowell, #8 Kevin Kisner, #9 Peter Malnati, #12 Patrick Rodgers, #13 Patton Kizzier, #16 Alex Cejka, #17 Brett Stegmaier, #20 Tyrone Van Aswegen, #19 Spencer Levin and #21 Charles Howell III.

The field includes 12 players in the top 25 in this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #2 Justin Thomas, #7 Graeme McDowell, #8 Kevin Kisner, #9 Peter Malnati, #12 Patrick Rodgers, #13 Patton Kizzier, #16 Alex Cejka, #17 Brett Stegmaier, #20 Tyrone Van Aswegen, #23 Charles Howell III and #25 Brice Garnett.

The field includes all 5 of the 5 past champions: Robert Streb (2015), Chris Kirk (2014), Tommy Gainey (2012), Ben Crane and Heath Slocum (2010).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the RSM Classic field is our performance chart listed by average finish. Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at RSM Classic in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the RSM Classic.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

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We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the McGladrey Classic

Player Mayakoba BMW Masters WGC-HSBC Sanderson Farms CIMB Classic Turkish Open Shriners Hospitals Hong Kong Open Frys.com Open Portugal Masters British Masters Dunhill Links Tour Championship
Justin Thomas
(215 pts)
DNP DNP T27
(23)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graeme McDowell
(186 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(13)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
T19
(10.33)
DNP
Peter Malnati
(165.33 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(146.67 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Kisner
(140.67 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 28
(11)
Patrick Rodgers
(134.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Smylie Kaufman
(130.67 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Roberto Castro
(109.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brett Stegmaier
(101.67 pts)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP T15
(35)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jhonattan Vegas
(101.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brice Garnett
(100 pts)
7
(55)
DNP DNP 9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Charles Howell III
(95 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP 70
(0)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Spencer Levin
(91 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Alex Cejka
(89.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Johnson Wagner
(86.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Aaron Baddeley
(84 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(75.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP DQ
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Harold Varner III
(75.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP T39
(11)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Derek Fathauer
(67.67 pts)
4
(80)
DNP DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jim Herman
(66.33 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 72
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tyrone Van Aswegen
(64 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Brown
(63.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP T73
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(58.33 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chris Stroud
(58 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Andrew Loupe
(50 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the McGladrey Classic

Player Mayakoba BMW Masters WGC-HSBC Sanderson Farms CIMB Classic Turkish Open Shriners Hospitals Hong Kong Open Frys.com Open Portugal Masters British Masters Dunhill Links Tour Championship
Abraham Ancer
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Dicky Pride
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rhein Gibson
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jonas Blixt
(-25.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Robert Allenby
(-23.33 pts)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
D.A. Points
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nicholas Thompson
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Andrew Landry
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Martin Piller
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T62
(0)
DNP T81
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Mark Wilson
(-16.67 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The RSM Classic is an event in a small resort town or should we say island in Georgia which has been well received since it started in 2010.  Davis Love III got behind it and his charities are the benefactors of this event.  Love also gets behind the tournament to get his friends and fellow players to attend.  The event also has a great sponsor in McGladrey who is a tax and consulting firm.  The good thing is that folks like Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, who live in Sea Island are playing which helps.  But still in the future you just can’t have an east coast event followed by one in Asia, it’s too hard to get to Asia.

This year will see a change as the field has been increased to 156 and two courses will be used.  Each player will be on the Plantation course for one of the first two rounds.  The Plantation is the first course at Sea Island, it was a nine hole course which opened in 1928.  But by Walter Travis, it opened when ferry service was first introduced to bring people over to Sea Island.  A year later the Seaside course was built.  The land on which the course was built was a working plantation.  Some of the oak trees that are on the course were planted over two-hundred years ago.  In 1998 the ownership of Sea Island brought in Rees Jones to upgrade the original course.  The course was turned into a “parkland by the sea” course as it has views of the Atlantic but is parkland in nature.  It’s totally different than the Seaside Course which is links nature.  The Plantation course will play at 7,058, has a 74.8 rating with a slope rating of 138 and to a par of 72.  It does have wide open fairways but lakes come into play on 10 of the 18 holes so it will present a different challenge for players.

Seaside Course information:

  • The Seaside course is part of the three courses at Sea Island Golf Club.  The Seaside course which is the venue of the McGladreys is a classic Harry Colt and Charles Alison design dating from 1929. Tom Fazio completed a renovation in 1999. It’s another of those hidden gems that not many people know about, it’s a true Scottish links course near the Atlantic with ocean views that plays fast and firm.
  • The main challenges could be in the greens, which are nearly impossible to read. The layout features other notable challenges like the bunkering which is old fashion and truly memorable. They offer a variety in size and shape but they are all strategically placed to deliver a formidable test for even the most experienced players.
  • The first nine goes out and back in a counterclockwise fashion while the second nine follows a clockwise direction. Each of the four par-3s faces its unique direction which is unique for any course, so players get a different feel on each par 3 when it’s windy that is always the case at Sea Island.
  • The course meanders through marsh lands and lakes with water or marshes coming in play on most of the holes.  There are only 40 sand bunkers on the course, but they are all in strategic spots to catch drives and wayward shots to the greens that are average size of 7,000 square feet.  The course has bermudagrass all through it with a 72.3 rating and a slope of 137.  In 2015 the course played to a 69.422 average score (.578 under par) and was the 28th toughest course of the 52 courses used.
  • It’s been the venue for some significant amateur competitions over the years including the US Senior Amateur and the US Senior Women’s Amateur.
  • This year three of the four rounds will be played on the Seaside Course.

COURSE KEYS

A new item to help gauge how a player needs to play a course and then look at his yearly stats to help us find the players with the best totals.

Each course has historical stats for different stats catagories and ranks them with the other courses on the PGA Tour for that year.  So we are going to take the four stat catagories that are tough for the week and then take the players in the field, look for their ranking for those stats compared to all the other players.  We add up their rankings for the four different catagories and figure out which players are top for the week.  We are still working on the format but here is a taste of what we are working on, giving out the top-20 in this year’s field off of our list:

Key for playing well at Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort:

This is based on the most important stats for Seaside Course at Sea Island Resorts, based on data from last years RSM Classic, and using data from all the players for with stats from 2016.

*Greens in Regulation: Lots of greens were hit last year as the Seaside Course ranked 48th hardest of the 52 courses. 73.64% of the greens were hit so players that do well in this stat will have an easier time this week.
*Scrambling: Since lot’s of greens are hit that means that for those that miss the greens, you have to get up and down. Especially this year with high winds, getting it up and down will be very important for the week. Last year the Seaside Course was the 14th hardest scrambling course as 55.29% of the shots that miss the green got up and down.
*Strokes Gained Putting: A formula that is based on average putts made from different lengths, this is a barometer to show how players are putting. Last year the Seaside Course was the 4th hardest course in overall putting average and 10th in putting average
*Par 4 average: The 12 par 4s were the T-30th hardest on the PGA Tour last year. The 442 yard 14th hole played the hardest at 4.218. Last year’s winner Robert Streb found the par 4s to his liking as he was 7 under on them, the best for the week was 8 under.

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is the link to all the players in the RSM Classic field with stats for 2016

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at The RSM Classic:

Key stat for the winner:

This is a true links course so players will have to be able to play firm fast fairways and be good in the wind.  Hitting into the greens tend to be very tricky and for those that miss the greens getting it up and down is a key.  In looking at the first three winners they aren’t among the leaders in scrambling, Slocum in 2010 was T20th, Crane in 2011 was T41st and Gainey was T35th in 2012.  But the three have one big stat in common, and that is they all led the scrambling for the fringe stat, while 2014 winner Chris Kirk was 5th in scrambling and last year’s winner Robert Streb was 25th, so this is an important stat  So go to this page on PGA Tour.Com to see who it’s the leaders from this year’s scrambling category, look, and you will see guys like Vaughn Taylor, Michael Putnam and Tim Wilkinson who are on top and playing this week, they should be players that do well this week.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

One of two stats is key, you either have to hit a lot of greens or putt really well.  Look at the five winners, Slocum in 2010 was T7th in greens hit and 39th in strokes gained putting.  Crane in 2011 was T26th in greens hit but 2nd in Strokes gained putting while Gainey in 2012 was T23rd in greens hit but 3rd in strokes gained putting.  In 2014 Chris Kirk was T15th in greens hit, and T11th in strokes gained putting, while last year Robert Streb was T-47th in greens hit but 2nd in strokes gained putting.  So you can see what is important to win this week.

All five winners had one thing in common, and that was the ability of playing the par 4s.  In 2010 Slocum was 11 under on them, the next closest player was 9 under.  In 2011, Crane was 12 under, the next closet was 11 under and in 2012 Gainey was 12 under the next closet was 11 under.  In 2014 Chris Kirk was 6 under, while last year Robert Streb was 7 under the best for the week was 8 under.  So if it’s Sunday and you’re looking for someone with the edge look at that stat.

Driving accuracy means nothing on this course that makes sense since it’s a resort course.  Last year it was 43rd while in 2014 it was 42nd, in 2012 it was 44th in driving accuracy, while it was T43rd in 2011 and 38th in 2010 so poor drivers could do well this week

Most people disregard putts per round, but this is something of importance on this course.  As you don’t have to drive the ball straight on this course to succeed, you do have to take the least amount of putts.  In the putts per round category Seaside has been 4th last year and in 2014, 2nd in 2012 and 2011, 3rd in 2010.  In a way, this is because it’s a resort course but still putting is important.

Look for a good mix of players from Sea Island, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to be in the field, a bit of local knowledge.

We find a course that is completely Bermuda and that is important because it takes a special player to win on Bermuda grass. Last year Robert Streb won and he is from Kansas, which has bermuda grasses.  But previously Chris Kirk (born and lives in Atlanta), Gainey (born and lives in South Carolina) and Slocum (born in Louisiana and lives in Georgia) are southern boys that have been around Bermuda all of their lives.  Ben Crane was born in Portland and went to school in Portland, Oregon which isn’t a place to learn Bermuda, but look at Crane’s wins, three of the four have come on courses with Bermuda and he does live in Texas today.  The point is, look for a player that does well on Bermuda courses.  Also, I can’t see a player that was born, raised and lives in the North and Midwest winning.

Lastly have to talk about the weather.  it’s been a main point as the last two events have not finished till Monday.  Those rain clouds have seemed to live in the suitcases of the players as on Thursday look for heavy rain and thunderstorms, 100% chance of rain.  But the forecast gets better in the rain department as it will be dry for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  But high winds will hinder the players, look for winds in the 15 to 20 mph range which will make for an interesting week.

 

 

Who to watch for at the McGladrey Classic

Best Bets:

Patrick Rodgers

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Good scrambler and another young stud that is close to winning. In four starts this year has four top-20 finishes including T-10th last week in Mexico. Playing in this event for the first time but It’s tailor made for him.

Brendon de Jonge

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T16 T4 T60 T15

Leads total putting but has the most consistent record in this event with a runner-up last year and a T-4th in 2012.

Kevin Kisner

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 T20 CUT T26

Finished T-4th last year, was runner-up in his last start in China he will do very well this year.

Best of the rest:

Patton Kizzire

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T54

Ranks 8th in strokes gained putting, he had one slip-up in Mexico but I see him playing great this week.

Graeme McDowell

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT

Don’t worry if his only start was a missed cut, that was back in 2011. He showed a lot in Mexico and I can see the good play carrying over to this week.

Chris Kirk

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 Win T64 CUT T15

Good record in this event including a win and T-4th last year. Look for him to do very well.

Zach Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT T16 T49 CUT T12

Lives on St. Simons Island and knows the course, has played a lot in this event but hasn’t shown any past magic. Hey he played lot’s of British Opens before showing the magic in winning this year so anything is possible.

Solid contenders

Justin Thomas

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
71 CUT

Is high up our course keys sheet with hitting lot’s of greens and making putts. But his best stat was playing the best on par 4s.

Matt Kuchar

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T22 T7 T20 T25

I see the inclusion of the Plantation Course as an added plus for him and gives him a bit of an advantage.

Charles Howell III

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T73 T27 T7 T32 T6

A pair of top-tens shows that he can play well in this event. Has solid stats in our course key, was T-17th in Mexico.

Michael Putnam

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T48

Good guy to watch, in his only start finished T-15th in Mississippi. Course could be very favorable for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Brice Garnett

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T73 T36

Watch this guy who has two top-ten finishes in a row. Has played this event twice before, one thing that is a good indicator for a good week is he is 3rd in our course key review.

Brian Harman

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T41 T10 T27

Has been consistent and has a good record in this event.

Roberto Castro

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T69 T27

Been very consisted in 2016, good scrambler and putts well.

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