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BlogRSM Classic Preview and Picks

The RSM Classic

November 15th – 18th, 2018

Seaside Course

Sea Island, GA

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,005

Purse: $6.4 Million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Austin Cook

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 14 of those in the top 100 and 6 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #20 Webb Simpson.  The other top-100 players are #34 Kevin Kisner, #45 Brian Harman, #59 Luke List, #60 Chesson Hadley, #63 Zach Johnson, #75 Peter Uihlein, #78 Russell Henley, #81 Stewart Cink and #84 Charles Howell III.

Last year there were only 6 top-50 players.

The field includes 6 of the Top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are #9 Cameron Champ, #13 Sam Ryder, #14 Chesson Hadley, #16 J.J. Spaun, #22 Richy Werenski and #23 Bronson Burgoon.

The field includes all 7 of the 8 past champions: Austin Cook (2018), Mac Hughes (2017), Kevin Kisner (2016), Robert Streb (2015), Chris Kirk (2014), Tommy Gainey (2012) and Ben Crane (2011).

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 the 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.

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

Who’s Hot in the field for the The RSM Classic

Player Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals WGC-HSBC Champions Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open Tour Champ. Web Tour Champ. BMW Champ. Dell Tech. Northern Trust Wyndham Champ.
Cameron Champ
(207.33 pts)
T10
(40)
T28
(22)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
C.T. Pan
(172.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T23
(18)
T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(6)
T4
(40)
T60
(0)
T2
(33.33)
Sam Ryder
(160.67 pts)
54
(0)
3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(11)
T45
(1.67)
J.J. Spaun
(160.17 pts)
T3
(90)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
T72
(0)
T41
(6)
DNP DNP T45
(2.5)
T66
(0)
T60
(0)
DNP
Webb Simpson
(149.83 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(40)
DNP T6
(30)
T49
(0.5)
T28
(11)
T2
(33.33)
Lucas Glover
(146.33 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Denny McCarthy
(141 pts)
T41
(9)
T15
(35)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
Richy Werenski
(123.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T23
(27)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T53
(0)
Harold Varner III
(114 pts)
T6
(60)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T40
(5)
T53
(0)
Chesson Hadley
(111.67 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T73
(0)
T2
(66.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-5)
T56
(0)
T45
(1.67)
Brice Garnett
(104.83 pts)
5
(70)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(7.5)
T12
(19)
CUT
(-5)
T20
(10)
Anders Albertson
(91.67 pts)
T55
(0)
T28
(22)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T31
(6.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Adam Schenk
(84.33 pts)
T48
(2)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Robert Streb
(84 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T4
(80)
DNP T26
(24)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Ryan Armour
(78.5 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
T29
(14)
T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
T35
(7.5)
T78
(0)
T8
(16.67)
Jim Furyk
(76.67 pts)
T6
(60)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Sungjae Im
(74.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T41
(6)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bronson Burgoon
(72.83 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
T11
(19.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
Seth Reeves
(72.67 pts)
T29
(21)
73
(0)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Corey Conners
(71.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
Roberto Castro
(70 pts)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Stephan Jaeger
(70 pts)
T16
(34)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T70
(0)
Carlos Ortiz
(70 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bill Haas
(64.33 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
Bud Cauley
(63.67 pts)
T29
(21)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Burns
(63.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Rodgers
(60.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T41
(9)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
Keith Mitchell
(58.17 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T14
(24)
T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(2.5)
20
(15)
CUT
(-5)
T41
(3)
Whee Kim
(58 pts)
T10
(40)
T41
(9)
DNP DNP 72
(0)
T59
(0)
T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP 75
(0)
T48
(1)
CUT
(-3.33)
Joaquin Niemann
(55 pts)
T60
(0)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T83
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
Nick Watney
(53.5 pts)
DNP T28
(22)
DNP DNP T48
(1.33)
T19
(20.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
T11
(19.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
Aaron Baddeley
(48.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
Nate Lashley
(48.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kramer Hickok
(48 pts)
T29
(21)
T23
(27)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Hudson Swafford
(46 pts)
T55
(0)
T28
(22)
DNP T26
(24)
DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T66
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the The RSM Classic

Player Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals WGC-HSBC Champions Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open Tour Champ. Web Tour Champ. BMW Champ. Dell Tech. Northern Trust Wyndham Champ.
John Huh
(-45 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-3.33)
Cody Gribble
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Wesley Bryan
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Max Homa
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Martin Trainer
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP DQ
(-1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jim Herman
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP 74
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-5)
T57
(0)
Sangmoon Bae
(-25 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
Kyle Jones
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T75
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Alex Cejka
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The RSM Classic is an event in a small resort town or should we say an 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 RSM who is a tax and consulting firm.  The good thing is that folks like Zach Johnson, Harris English, Chris Kirk, Kevin Kisner, and Brian Harman, who live in Sea Island are playing which helps.  This event has been held at different times during the fall swing and it seems that it’s found it’s spot, the last event on the fall swing.  Another thing three years ago the field was increased from 132 players to 156 as another course (the Plantation) is used in the first two rounds, so players are on the Seaside Course for three rounds.

The Plantation is the first course at Sea Island, it was a nine-hole course which opened in 1928.  Built 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.

A bad week for a golf tournament

Wonder why this week’s field is weak, it’s a combination of being up against the DP World in Dubai, which is the final event on the European Tour’s 2018 season.  That one is not the real problem, also played this week is the Australian Open, which has moved up its event by two weeks.  Guys like Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Brendan Steele, Anirban Lahiri and Abraham Ancer, players who have played in the past at the RSM are playing in Australia.  But another problem is that this event hasn’t been able to attract marquee names like the Safeway, Shriners, and Mayakoba have been able to do, probably because of the course which could be the problem.  Still, the most important thing is the sponsor and RSM really likes what they get out of the event so that is what really matters.

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 play 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 marshlands 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 the average size of 7,000 square feet.  The course has bermudagrass all through it with a 72.3 rating and a slope of 137.  Last year the course played to a 69.239 average score and was the 35th toughest course of the 51 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.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at the Sea Island Resort

This is based on the most vital stats from the Seaside course at the Sea Island Resort based on data from last year’s RSM Classic and using data from all the players in the field with stats from this year.
The Seaside Course at the Sea Island Resort has been the home of the RSM Classic since the tournament was started in 2010. It’s one of those gems that has been around since the early 1930s and renovated in 1999. It’s a true Scottish Links that is close to the Atlantic with plenty of ocean views along with windy conditions that give the players something that isn’t experienced much on the PGA Tour. In order to get a full field of 156 players with limited daylight this time of year, in 2016 the tournament used the neighboring Plantation Course for one of the four rounds, so 54 of the 72 holes are played on the Seaside Course. For this statistical look, we will use just stats from the Seaside course. The course has bermudagrass all through it with a 72.3 rating and a slope of 137. Last year the course played to a 69.239 average score (just three-quarters of shot under its par 70) and was the 35th toughest course of the 51 courses used last year. (the plantation course, used for one round played to a 70.542 average but since it’s a par 72, it was a shot and a half under par and was the 43rd hardest course) Wind is an important factor on if the course will play tough or not, in 2017 the course played to a 68.89 average, the lowest the course has ever played, one of the reasons is the benign conditions due to the lack of wind. Conditions for this week are calling for very little wind over the weekend, but between 9 and 11 mph on Thursday and Friday so conditions will be about the same as they were last year.

To be frank this course is a lot like British Open rota courses. Just like at Carnoustie over the summer, each day had wind of 10 to 18 mph which made the course play tougher. But the summer before at Royal Birkdale, lack of wind helps make the course a bit of a pushover for players since the fairways are very generous with very little rough. So with the yardage being short, the greens are easy targets as a lot of birdies are made on a course that only has two par 5s. In looking at the eight winners of this event one thing is striking, there is not one long hitter that has won this event and the eight winners aren’t very straight off the tee. Example of this is last year’s winner Austin Cook, he was 88th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee as he ranked 130th in driving distance and 22nd in fairway accuracy The same for shotmaking, of the eight past champions there isn’t one that you can say is repeatedly a great ball striker. The stats that do stick out of the champions are around and on the greens, so below is a look at the last five winners and how they ranked in those key stats on or around the greens for the week:

Scrambling
2014 – Chris Kirk was 5th
2015 – Robert Streb was 25th
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
2017 – Mac Hughes was 2nd
2018 – Austin Cook was T-1st

Strokes gained putting
2014 – Chris Kirk was 11th
2015 – Robert Streb was 2nd
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
2017 – Mac Hughes was 3rd
2018 – Austin Cook was 13th

Overall putting average
2014 – Chris Kirk was 10th
2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
2018 – Austin Cook was T-12th

One-putts
2014 – Chris Kirk was T-27th
2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
2018 – Austin Cook was T-8th

Putting inside 10 feet
2014 – Chris Kirk was T-33rd
2015 – Robert Streb was T-6th
2016 – Kevin Kisner was T-8th
2017 – Mac Hughes was 26th
2018 – Austin Cook was T-34th

The average distance of putts made
2014 – Chris Kirk was 10th
2015 – Robert Streb was 3rd
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 5th
2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
2018 – Austin Cook was T-17th

One other stat that we feel is important is something that is rarely looked at but should on this course, Strokes Gained Total which basically looks at all the number of strokes for the player on the same course and event
2014 – Chris Kirk was 1st
2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
2016 – Kevin Kisner was 1st
2017 – Mac Hughes was T-2nd
2018 – Austin Cook was 1st

So in looking at our four categories, we are putting a lot of efficiencies in those stats around and on the greens. Would love to use average distance of putts made, but that and all of the Strokes Gained stats are incomplete since half the courses played this year didn’t have full stats. So we are sticking with some conventional stats for this week, our first stat is overall putting average because this is the most important stat that everyone has figures on showing who is putting the best. Our 2nd stat is scrambling because again the past winners showed the importance of this stat. The third category that we are using is greens hit, this shows the importance of making sure to hit greens. Our last category is birdie average because it’s important to make a lot of them last year the Seaside course averaged 3.65 birdies per round.

*Overall putting average: Average number of putts when you divide total putts by total holes played.

*Scrambling: Who gets it up and down the most of anyone in the field

*Greens in Regulation: How many greens are hit from the fairway.

*Birdie Average: Who averages the most birdies per round

131 of the 156 Players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

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

Here is a link to the other 121 players in the RSM Classic.

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Webb Simpson – $11,800
  • Cameron Champ $10,900
  • J.J. Spaun – $10,400
  • Chesson Hadley – $10,100
  • Lucas Glover – $9,900
  • C.T. Pan – $9,700
  • Russell Henley – $9,500
  • Austin Cook – $9,400
  • Kevin Kisner – $9,300
  • Luke List – $9,200
  • Charles Howell III- $9,100
  • Zach Johnson – $9,000

Frankly, I don’t like tournaments that don’t have many really good players.  I would spend more time playing Dubai than I would in this game.  Yes in a normal event you would be interested in Webb Simpson and Cameron Champ, but with Simpson at $11,800 and Champ at $10,900, I would say these guys are too high.  Simpson hasn’t played well in this event in years, he was T-7th in 2014 and runner-up in 2011.  As for Champ, he missed the cut last year and frankly I would say no to him for this week, don’t think the course suits him.  J.J. Spaun is $10,400 which is ridiculous for what you normally would think, but he was runner-up last year, was T-3rd last week in Mexico and T-15th at the Shriners and T-10th in Korea.  So I would say that Spaun is worth the high price, yes I know it’s hard to trust a guy like him but again remember, each of the winners of this event wasn’t household names and had the same type of credentials that Spaun has.  Next is Chesson Hadley at $10,100 and even though he was T-2nd at the CIMB Classic last month, T-7th at the Shriners I say no just because he doesn’t have that great of a record on the Seaside Resort courses.  Lucas Glover is $9,900 and does hit lot’s of greens and scramble well, he was T7th at the Shriners and T-14th at the Sanderson Farms.  But his record is just OK at Sea Island and I would say it’s just not good enough to pick him at this big price tag.  Now C.T. Pan at $9,700 is a very good choice, for this season he has been ok and finished in the top-25 in 3 of his 4 starts, but he was T-13th last year and T-6th last year giving him a big edge.  Russell Henley at $9,500 is worth the money.  He made his first cut of the year in Mexico last week but we like him because he was T-10th in 2017, T-6th in 2016 and T-4th in 2015.  Defending champion Austin Cook is at $9,400 and he hasn’t shown much good play this year so I say no on him.  Another past champion Kevin Kisner is $9,300 and I say yes because he has been good at Sea Island with a T-4th last year and in 2015.  Luke List is at $9,200 and frankly, he is a toss-up.  Was T-4th at the Safeway but missed the cut at the Mayakoba, he was T-13th last year at Sea Island, if you ask me I would say no.  As for Charles Howell III at $9,100 and Zach Johnson at $9,000 I say no there is no upside on any of them.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

I like Harold Varner III at $8,800, his stat numbers are good and he has played good in 2019 including a T-6th last week in Mexico.  I also like the numbers of Sam Ryder at $8,600, he has played good this month and I see it carrying over to big numbers at Seaside Resort.  Whee Kim is at $8,400 and I would say yes to him, he played great last week in Mexico and I think it will carry over.  One guy I expect some good things from is Jim Furyk at $8,200.  He was T-6th last week in Mexico but I like him for his good play in the RSM including a T-6th last year and a 3rd in 2012.  He has played in 12 rounds at the Seaside Resort and has been in the 60s all 12 rounds.  Now Brian Harman at $8,000 hasn’t played great this fall but was T-4th last year, that may be enough to sway you or me into picking him.  Richy Werenski is at $7,800 and is a toss-up.  Not a good record at Seaside, but was T-3rd in Mexico and may be worth the low price.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the RSM Classic

I have liked Keith Mitchell all fall because of his cheap price, $7,500 this week but because he makes a lot of under-par numbers.  So I will continue taking Mitchell this week.  Also, think that Talor Gooch at $7,300 is worth it.  Has great stat numbers for this year that work at the Seaside Resort, he may have missed the cut last year but in his only 2019 start was T-14th at the Sanderson Farms.  Last I like Stephan Jaeger at $6,800.  He has good stats for the week, was T-29th at the RSM last year and was T-14th at the Sanderson Farms and T-16th last week in Mexico.

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 from the fringe stat, while 2014 winner Chris Kirk was 5th in scrambling, the 2015 winner Robert Streb was 25th, 2016 winner Kevin Kisner was 3rd, 2017 winner Mac Hughes was 2nd in scrambling and 1st in scrambling from the fringe and last year Austin Cook was T-1st in Scrambling so this is an important stat  So go to this page on PGA Tour.Com, it’s the leaders from this year’s scrambling category.  Look, and you will see guys like Talor Gooch and Tom Lovelady in the top ten, who are not household names and playing this week, they could be sleeper picks for 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 eight 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 in 2015 Robert Streb was T-47th in greens hit but 2nd in Strokes Gained-Putting.  In 2016 Kevin Kisner was T-9th in Greens hit and 4th in Strokes Gained-putting while Mac Hughes was T-11th in greens hit and 3rd in Strokes Gained-putting in 2017.  Last year’s champion Austin Cook was T-2nd in Greens hit and 13th in Strokes Gained-putting  So you can see what is important to win this week.
  • All eight 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 closest was 11 under and in 2012 Gainey was 12 under the next closet was 11 under.  In 2014 Chris Kirk was 6 under, in 2015 Robert Streb was 7 under the best for the week was 8 under.  In 2016 Kevin Kisner was 15 under (the best of anyone in the history of the event), in 2018 Mac Hughes was 9 under on the par 4s and last year Austin Cook was 11 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 48th, in 2017 44th, in 2016 it was 47th, in 2015 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 was 6th last year, 7th in 2017 and 4th in 2016, 2015 and 2014.  It was 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 Austin Cook was from Arkansas, so he was used to Bermuda. Of course, Mac Hughes, who is from Canada and lives in Charlotte ruined this stat but in the other years, it was very interesting.  In 2016 Kevin Kisner won and he was from up the road in Aiken, South Carolina and knows how to play on Bermuda. Robert Streb won in 2015 and he is from Kansas, which has bermudagrasses.  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.  Of course, Mac Hughes ruined the trend last year but you have to think that someone born or raised in the North or Midwest has very little chance of winning.
  • Lastly, have to talk about the weather.  It’s going to be great this week with mild temperatures and no rain, the wind will no be a factor so look for good scoring this week.

 

Who to watch for at the The RSM Classic

Best Bets:

Jim Furyk

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T6 3 T11

No this is not a mistake, just think that he has a great record at the Seaside Resort including breaking par in all 12 of his rounds and seems to be playing well.

J.J. Spaun

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
2 T57

Fits the mold of past champions, someone you may never have heard much about but is playing well.

Kevin Kisner

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T4 CUT Win T4 T20 CUT T26

Good record at Seaside Resort.

Best of the rest:

Lucas Glover

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T36 T9 T73 T40 T15 CUT

Good stats in scrambling and greens hit has played good this year.

C.T. Pan

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T13 T6

Good record at Seaside resort and for 2019.

Russell Henley

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T10 T6 T4 T65

Has the best overall record at the Seaside resort.

Sam Ryder

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T61

Good play in 2019

Marquee names that should do well but probably won’t

Webb Simpson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
WD T36 T41 T7 2 T12

Has not played at Seaside resort in years.

Cameron Champ

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT

Sorry but this is not his type of course, but you don’t see him here ever again.

Zach Johnson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T8 CUT T75 CUT T16 T49 CUT T12

Has not played well in this event even though he lives in the area.

Austin Cook

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
Win

Yes he is the defender but hasn’t played great in 2019.

Long shots that could come through:

Harold Varner III

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T68

Played well last week in Mexico and has all the stats to play well this week.

Talor Gooch

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT

Has really great stat numbers for the year that make sense for him playing well this week.

Stephan Jaeger

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T29

Just like Varner and Gooch has the good numbers in key stats to play well, was T-29th last year at RSM and was T-16th last week in Mexico.

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