Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing one of our Preview and Picks post that we publish each week. We also publish special Performance Charts for the tournaments, analyzing results over the past 8 years, a special DraftKings Picks Post, analyzing what picks are the best this week for the DraftKings games, and we do a weekly Key Fantasy Stats Post detailing what stats are most important for this weeks tournament and course, and which players excel in those stats. Very useful!
Our data is updated daily. To access all this info, and so much more, just CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for GOLFstats!

BlogThe RSM Classic Preview and Picks

The RSM Classic

November 19th – 22nd, 2020

Seaside Course

Sea Island, GA

Par: 70 / Yardage:

Purse: $6.6 million

with $1,188,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Tyler Duncan

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 42 of those in the top 100 and 20 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #6 Webb Simpson.  The other top-50 players are #10 Tyrrell Hatton, #16 Tommy Fleetwood, #18 Sungjae Im, #20 Louis Oosthuizen, #21 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #25 Jason Kokrak, #28 Justin Rose, #30 Shane Lowry, #32 Matt Kuchar, #34 Kevin Kisner, #36 Harris English, #39 Bernd Wiesberger, #42 Jason Day, #43 Joaquin Niemann, #45 Brendon Todd, #46 Lee Westwood, #47 Ian Poulter, #49 Mackenzie Hughes, #50 Chez Reavie.

Last year there were only 5 top-50 players.

The field includes 14 of the Top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2021.  Those players are #3 Stewart Cink, #5 Jason Kokrak, #10 Martin Laird, #12 Hudson Swafford, #14 Brian Gay, #15 Peter Malnati, #16 Sungjae Im, #19 Tyler McCumber, #20 Wyndham Clark, 21 Harry Higgs, #22 Russell Henley, #23 Louis Oosthuizen, #24 Mackenzie Hughes and #25 Austin Cook.

The field includes all 7 of the 10 past champions: Tyler Duncan (2020), Charles Howell III (2019), Austin Cook (2018), Mackenzie Hughes (2017), Kevin Kisner (2016), Robert Streb (2015) and Chris Kirk (2014).

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.

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

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

Player Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Sanderson Farms Shriners Hospitals Corales U.S. Open Safeway Open Tour Champ. BMW Champ. Northern Trust
Sungjae Im
(256.83 pts)
T2
(200)
T50
(1)
DNP T41
(6)
T45
(3.33)
T28
(7.33)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP 11
(19.5)
T56
(0)
CUT
(-5)
Sebastian Munoz
(206.33 pts)
T19
(62)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
9
(30)
T23
(9)
T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(25)
T8
(25)
T18
(16)
Russell Henley
(187.17 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T3
(60)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T8
(25)
Webb Simpson
(175.67 pts)
T10
(80)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
DNP T6
(30)
Corey Conners
(168 pts)
T10
(80)
T24
(26)
DNP T8
(33.33)
T61
(0)
T17
(11)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
T25
(12.5)
Dylan Frittelli
(166.83 pts)
T5
(140)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T11
(26)
T69
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
CUT
(-5)
Tyrrell Hatton
(166.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T7
(55)
DNP T28
(14.67)
T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 7
(27.5)
T16
(17)
T25
(12.5)
Mackenzie Hughes
(147.5 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T41
(6)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP DNP 14
(18)
T10
(20)
T13
(18.5)
Talor Gooch
(147 pts)
DNP 4
(80)
DNP T35
(10)
5
(46.67)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T65
(0)
T18
(16)
Joaquin Niemann
(138.17 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
6
(40)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(11.5)
T3
(45)
CUT
(-5)
Jason Kokrak
(131.83 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
Win
(88)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
T13
(18.5)
Stewart Cink
(126.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(124.17 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T26
(16)
T28
(14.67)
T37
(4.33)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
T11
(19.5)
C.T. Pan
(122.67 pts)
T7
(110)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
T52
(0)
T61
(0)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Wyndham Clark
(121.83 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
2
(100)
DNP DNP 66
(0)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T29
(10.5)
Sepp Straka
(113 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(4.67)
T33
(5.67)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Denny McCarthy
(112.17 pts)
DNP T38
(12)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
57
(0)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T49
(0.5)
Peter Malnati
(108.67 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
T5
(46.67)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Harris English
(108.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
10
(26.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
T40
(5)
2
(50)
Louis Oosthuizen
(107 pts)
T23
(54)
DNP DNP DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T13
(18.5)
Doc Redman
(105.67 pts)
DNP T61
(0)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Shane Lowry
(95.33 pts)
T25
(50)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Austin Cook
(89.33 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Jones
(88.67 pts)
DNP 63
(0)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T52
(0)
T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 69
(0)
Justin Rose
(88.5 pts)
T23
(54)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
James Hahn
(82.67 pts)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
T6
(20)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP
Martin Laird
(82 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Win
(88)
T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Scott Piercy
(81.83 pts)
DNP T32
(18)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP T57
(0)
T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T29
(10.5)
Ian Poulter
(80.83 pts)
T25
(50)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T39
(5.5)
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(74.33 pts)
T46
(8)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
CUT
(-5)
Russell Knox
(74 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP
Chez Reavie
(73.83 pts)
T29
(42)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
63
(0)
DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP T49
(0.5)
Kevin Kisner
(73.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 23
(13.5)
T25
(12.5)
T4
(40)
Michael Gligic
(67.33 pts)
DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T27
(15.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP
Harry Higgs
(65.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T56
(0)
T11
(19.5)
Tommy Fleetwood
(65 pts)
T19
(62)
DNP DNP T57
(0)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(3)
Maverick McNealy
(65 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T40
(5)
T61
(0)
Aaron Wise
(64 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
T26
(24)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
J.T. Poston
(60.83 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP 51
(0)
3
(30)
T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
T39
(5.5)
Adam Long
(59.5 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP T66
(0)
74
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 5
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
T49
(0.5)
Patton Kizzire
(56 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
T24
(17.33)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(54.83 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(12)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP T13
(18.5)
David Hearn
(54.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP
Doug Ghim
(53.67 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP
Kramer Hickok
(53 pts)
DNP T58
(0)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Sanderson Farms Shriners Hospitals Corales U.S. Open Safeway Open Tour Champ. BMW Champ. Northern Trust
Lucas Glover
(-38.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Michael Kim
(-36.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Bo Van Pelt
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bo Hoag
(-31.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Kevin Stadler
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Henrik Stenson
(-28.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Ryder
(-28.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Martin Trainer
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Bronson Burgoon
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ted Potter, Jr.
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The Masters, the winners, and the losers

So the big question is, did Augusta National make the right decision to play in November?  I personally thought the course wasn’t the same as it is in April, it was soft, and the speed was taken out of it.  We didn’t see many shots into the greens bounce over, and we saw a lot of shots that landed on the greens and dug in a lot like a dart would do when thrown at a Dart Board.  But the big thing missing this week were the crowds, sorry Augusta Patrons.  The Masters is simply not the Masters without the roar of the patrons.  They bring the excitement of the competition, which helps drive the players, in some cases, to good things while for others to defeat.  We saw the same at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which couldn’t have that New York crowd, which makes sporting events in the New York area so special.  I have to wonder if, at the end of the day, if we would have had crowds at Harding Park, would Collin Morikawa win the PGA Championship.  The same with Bryce DeChameau at Winged Foot.

I also have to wonder if Bobby Jones or Clifford Roberts were alive, if the Masters would have happened.  I have a funny feeling that they wouldn’t have played a November Masters.  But on the other end of the spectrum, playing the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open, and the Masters has helped the golfing world.  Yes, crowd less golf sucks, but the world has had so many things taken away from us in this pandemic, and having sporting events like the Masters helps us for a few hours not realize how crummy our world is right now.  So instead of playing Monday quarterbacking on this, we should be happy to have these events.  Yes, we lost the Ryder Cup, but better heads realized you couldn’t have a Ryder Cup without the fans and the screaming.  Normally I would say that if crowds and fans are tightly lining the fairways and greens, who knows if the outcomes would have been the same.  Rory McIlroy has said having no crowds has affected his game and who knows the outcome of the 20 or so PGA Tour events that have been played since June.  I feel that the results of 80% of the events played would be different.  Still, it was fair for all, and we applaud the winners.

Talking about the difference, the results would have been, no matter what would have happened this week, would Dustin Johnson not won.  In the post-Tiger Woods era, it’s easy to say that Dustin Johnson has been the best player in the world period.  Yes, Rory was great from 2010 to his 2015 WGC Match Play title, he cumulated four major wins plus a couple of WGC victories along with the BMW PGA Championship.  Since then, he has won the FedExCup Playoffs and a Race to Dubai win, along with the 2019 Players Championship but nothing on the consistency that Dustin Johnson has shown.  With his victory in the Masters, which is under the 2021 PGA Tour season, that means that Johnson has won at least one event in 14 straight seasons on the PGA Tour, which ties Tiger.  He is just three years away from tying the 17 straight years that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have won.  But what makes Dustin really great is that when he is healthy, it seems that he is in contention in every event he plays in.  In his last seven events since getting healthy at the PGA Championship, Dustin’s worst finish was T-6th at the U.S. Open, and he had a good week.  In his other six starts, he has three wins, two seconds, and a 3rd.  But with Johnson, we now see a new way about him.  He has always had problems in the final lead of a major championship.  We saw it at the PGA Championship at Harding Park, in which he had the lead going into the final round and just wasn’t able to bring home the championship.  He went into the final round of the Masters with the lead, but this time did what he needed to do to win.  At the age of 36, he is just three years older than Phil Mickelson was when he won his first major at the 2004 Masters.  Since Mickelson was 33 when he won the 2004 Masters, he won five majors and 22 times.  Going a step further, Vijay Singh was 37 when he won his first major at the 2000 Masters.  Since that win, he added a second major at age 41 at the PGA Championship, but the remarkable figure is that since turning 40 in 2003, he won 22 times.  Both Mickelson and Singh showed a new maturity after age 33 and onward, and you have to wonder what the future for Johnson could hold?  After his win at the Masters, Johnson told the media that he wants to go hard for ten more years and then retire.  If he follows what happened to both Vijay and Phil, it’s not out of the question that if he stays healthy, he could win three or four majors and at least 20 more PGA Tour events.  That would place him tied with Mickelson at 44 wins, and both would be 9th on the PGA Tour list of most wins.  Have to say it’s going to be an interesting next couple of years as we see if Dustin Johnson could be what Tiger Woods was between 1999 and 2002 when he dominated the game.  Still, he will have many challenges ahead, will he have the drive to exceed week in and week out.  In a way, that drive was driven out of Tiger Woods after drove into the fire hydrant in November of 2009, and even though he won 11 times afterward, he isn’t the same player he was before 2010.

Other winners…

Have to say Sungjae Im showed up a lot at the Masters.  People tend to forget that Im is just 22 years old.  Since his first start at the age of 19 in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour, he has been playing golf in America.  He turned pro at 17, playing two years on the Japanese Tour.  At the end of his second year on the Japan Tour, in which he finished 12th on their money list, Im took a chance and went through the Korn Ferry Qualifying tournament.  He was able to make it through, finishing 2nd in the finals just a month before his first Korn Ferry start.  He has a remarkable year, winning twice and finishing runner-up three times.  He earned $534,326 and was off to the PGA Tour at age 20.  It may seem hard to believe that Im is just 22 and already played in 70 PGA Tour events.  Tiger Woods was 24 before he played in 70 PGA Tour events.  Right before the pandemic interrupted the 2020 season, Im won the Honda Classic and was 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  In his first 14 events of the year, he had five top-ten finishes and went into the break first in the FedExCup standings.  For the first time in his teen and adult life, Im was able to relax, he found fishing, and with his parents joining him on Tour, felt it was time to put some roots down.  Since the break, he has bought a house in Atlanta at TPC Sugarland and is happy.  But when he returned from break, he finished T-10th at the Charles Schwab Challenge but struggled the rest of the way.  He finished T-9th at the Wyndham and played in all three FedExCup Playoff events finishing 11th in the rankings.  Still going into the Masters, his game was inconsistent, he just couldn’t put together four good rounds, always stumbling in one of them.  But that didn’t happen at the Masters as he shot 66-70-68-69 to finish T-2nd.  His 15 under par, 273 total would have won 76 of the 84 Masters played, but it was five shots back of winner Dustin Johnson.  Still, for Im it’s his first top-40 finish in six majors, and we have to think he will play great in the last two PGA Tour events of the calendar year.

Cameron Smith is also a winner at the Masters.  He has shown us that he can play well at Augusta National, in 2018 he was T-5th and for the third time in a major contender.  He came down the stretch in his first major at the 2015 U.S. Open to finish T-4th.  Smith is one of these players we don’t think much of, but makes a great living winning twice and in 134 PGA Tour starts has 20 top-ten finishes.  Smith may not have won at Augusta, finishing five shots back of Johnson, but Smith will be an important part of Masters folklore for many years.  That is because Smith’s scores of 67-68-69-69 make him the very first and only player in the history of the Masters to shoot four rounds in the 60s.  This is a record that has been a big part of the Masters, in the 84 times it was played, Smith became the 14th person to go into the final round with a chance of achieving the record.  The first to try it was Gary Player in the 1961 Masters shot 69-68-69 before a final round 74.  Some great players have had a chance to accomplish the record. Arnold Palmer in 1964 shot 70 in the final round to miss the record by a shot.  In 1980 Seve Ballesteros had a chance to win and didn’t do it, same with Fred Couples in 1992, Trevor Immelman in 2008, Angel Cabrera in 2009, and Patrick Reed in 2018.  I don’t think it’s going to take 83 Masters before some other player joins Smith, but for now, he has five months to enjoy being the only player to achieve this.

The losers…

Again, Rory McIlroy grows a year older and is frustrated again at the Masters. For the second year in a row, Rory knocked himself out of contention in the first round, this year with his 75.  He was great after that, playing his last 54 holes in 14 under par, but it wasn’t enough to catch Johnson as Rory finished T-5th.  He will take the next six weeks off and has time to figure out how to regain his game.  For one, I wonder if he can ever find the same game he had between 2010 and 2015 when he was the most dominating golfer on the planet.  But around 2015, and now, he was struck with something that may have affected his game, sure happiness.  Life couldn’t be better for Rory, he has more money than he can spend and is happily married with a three-month-old baby girl  Things couldn’t be better for Rory, but his game is very inconsistent, and we wonder if you can find that consistency again.  We have seen this before with other players but have to think that with him being only 31 and about to hit his prime, maybe something can shake out, and he finds his game.  I bet you that no matter what Rory will tell you, he is inching to win that Masters title and claim the grand slam.

And then well have Bryson DeChambeau…

The buzz in golf is how far he can hit it, and the big advantage he has over the field.  On paper, he looked like the player to beat at the Masters, but Augusta National beat Bryson down at the end of the day.  We have seen this play before with John Daly when he won the 1991 PGA Championship.  We thought he would dominate the game with his long ball game for years, but that never happened. Daly was able to win another major but could never achieve the dream of being one of the best.  Since DeChambeau showed up at the Charles Schwab with his new body and the ability to hit 340-yard drives regularly, the golfing world had a new hero.  DeChambeau finished T-3rd in the Charles Schwab, but three weeks later, he dominated the Rocket Mortgage Classic to win it by three shots.  He had the lead after 61 holes at the PGA Championship, but again we saw that the premise of hitting it long and playing well didn’t work as he played his final 11 holes in even par.  Bryson struggled through the FedExCup Playoffs, but at the U.S. Open made everyone think that he could be unbeatable.  Yes, he drove it longer than everyone else at Winged Foot and was the fifth-best in greens hit, but Bryson was 3rd in scrambling and 18th in Strokes Gained Putting in his win of the U.S. Open.  He put a fright into the golfing world that there was no way to beat DeChambeau, which is a new reality if things go well for Bryson.  But we have seen some weakness in his golfing armor in which there are courses that DeChambeau’s long game may not fit the course.  It looks like Augusta National could be one of them as DeChambeau struggled over 72 holes.  Yes, he caught a terrible break in the second round when he lost a ball in the rough on the third hole, which led to a triple bogey.  You don’t win at the Masters with high numbers, and along with that triple bogey, Bryson made two double bogies, which helped do him in.  But at the end of the day, Bryson’s biggest sin was his play on the par 5s.  Earlier in the week, he declared par at Augusta being 67 for him, which meant he needed to be 16 under on the par 5s.  For the week, Bryson was just 9 under, which doesn’t cut it.  He made an eagle on 13 in the final round but made double on the hole in the first round, so the holes he has to dominate, he didn’t.  But let’s put aside his T-34th finish.  How much is Bryson going to dominate in the future?  He is very bright and willing to make changes to help him.  He is taking every ounce of science and human physical strength to give him an advantage.  The biggest problem that the USGA and the R&A have is controlling the length, and it would be a shame if they reacted because of what Bryson is doing.  He is making the game fun to watch and is not doing it with souped-up Technology, he is doing it with his mind and imagination in figuring out how he can get another yard or two advantage.  But at the end of the day, he better realize that this hit it far and chase it attitude is going to work on some courses, and it may have worked this year at Winged Foot, but it didn’t work at Harding Park or Augusta National.

About the rest of the year.

We only have two events left on the calendar year, this week’s RSM Classic and the Mayakoba Golf Classic.  There is an off week between the RSM and Mayakoba for Thanksgiving, but for marquee names, they are off resting on some sunny beach.  The RSM Classic caught a big break to be scheduled after the Masters as they will have their best field ever with 42 top-100 players.  Still, we are going into a quiet period in the game, and there will be very little interest between now and the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the first week of January.  As for us, we are taking some time off after a busy last four months.  As you can see, we are adding some new stuff to GOLFstats like the head to head feather and our player handbook.  We are going to upgrade the notebook with a feather that helps fantasy golf players see which course a player does well on, what kind of grasses does he play the best on, which part of the country does he do well in, and what time of year is best for him playing well.  We are hoping to have that feature by Kapalua.

Other than that, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

The RSM Classic

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 Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Harris English, Chris Kirk, Kevin Kisner, Hudson Swafford, and Brian Harman, who live in Sea Island, are playing helps.  This event has been held at different times during the fall swing, and it seems that it falls after the Masters is a big help.  Five 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.

Seaside Course information:
  • Sea Island, Ga.
  • 7,005 yards     Par 35-35–70

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.

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.

Plantation Course informational
  • Sea Island, Ga.
  • 7,060 yards     Par 36-36–72

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 7,060, 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.

 

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 RSM Classic home 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 and windy conditions that give the players something that isn’t experienced much on the PGA Tour. 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 68.90 average score (a full shot under its par 70) and was the T-25th toughest course of the 41 courses used last year. (the plantation course, used for one round, played to a 70.44 average, but since it’s a par 72, it was a shot and a half under par and was the 34th hardest course) The wind is an important factor on if the course will play tough or not, last year the wind blew 6 to 12mph on Thursday and Friday but blew between 10 to 15 mph over the weekend. In 2019 when the course played to a 68.84 average, the wind blew the same 5 to 10 mph average. In 2018 the course played to a 69.24 average, and the winds blew 10 to 15 mph. 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. In 2014 when the wind blew, the course played to a 70.25 scoring average, the hardest it has ever played. This week’s conditions are calling for windy conditions each day, it being 13 mph Thursday through Saturday and calmer to 9 mph on Sunday. Weather will be close to perfect in the mid-70s each day, chance of showers last Thursday and early morning on Sunday.

This course is a lot like British Open rota courses. Like at Royal Portrush a year and a half ago, each day had wind of 10 to 18 mph, which made the course play tougher. But the summer before at Carnoustie, the wind was up but not bad, and the year 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 many birdies are made on a course that only has two par 5s. In looking at the ten winners of this event, one thing is striking, before 2019 winner Charles Howell III the previous eight winners weren’t long hitters, and last year’s winner Tyler Duncan is also a short hitter. An example of that is last year’s winner Tyler Duncan, for 2020, he was T-87th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee as he ranked 173rd in driving distance and 6th in fairway accuracy The same for shotmaking. Of the ten past champions, only 2019 winner Charles Howell III is the only great ball striker. Basically, the course allows a person to hit it short and is an average shotmaker to win. But in looking at the stats, the thing that does strikeout is that scrambling and putting is what has made most of the champions at the RSM Classic.
We think that this is still important, so below is a look at the last seven 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
2019 – Charles Howell III was T-70th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was 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
2019 – Charles Howell was 24th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was 14th

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
2019 – Charles Howell was T-54th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was T-10th

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
2019 – Charles Howell was T-45th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was T-34th

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
2019 – Charles Howell was T-53rd
2020 – Tyler Duncan was T-20th

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
2019 – Charles Howell was 17th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was 45th

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
2019 – Charles Howell was T-13th
2020 – Tyler Duncan was 1st

So we see that Howell has broken things up a bit, but that happens in golf, and you have to believe that what has happened so many times in the past will happen again this year, the good scrambler and putter will be the guy to pick this week.

So in looking at our four categories, we are putting a lot of efficiencies in those stats around and on the greens. I would love to use the average distance of putts made, but 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. Last year on the Seaside Course, it ranked T-6th on the PGA Tour. Our 2nd stat is scrambling because, again, the past winners showed the importance of this stat, and it ranked 17th best on the PGA Tour last year. The third category that we are using is greens hit, this shows the importance of making sure to hit greens, it ranked 43rd last year. Our last category is birdie average because it was important to make a lot of them last year, the Seaside course averaged 3.77 birdies per round and ranked T-28th last year.

*Strokes Gained Putting: A way to see how many strokes gained or lost putting

*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.

*Par Breakers: Who has the lowest average in making under par totals on holes

149 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.

To link to the full 149 players with stats

DraftKings tips

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

  • Webb Simpson – $11,200
  • Sungjae Im – $11,000
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $10,700
  • Tyrrell Hatton- $10,400
  • Russell Henley – $10,100
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – $9,900
  • Harris English – $9,700
  • Jason Day – $9,500
  • Louis Oosthuizen – $9,300
  • Shane Lowry – $9,200
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,100
  • Sebastian Munoz – $9,000

Good field and a lot of players that didn’t play at Augusta that are playing well, have to be careful with our picks.  First is Webb Simpson at $11,200.  He is playing well enough to be worth the money and was runner-up last year and 3rd the year before.  So yes a very good pick.  Another good pick is Sungjae Im at $11,000, he was good at the Masters and looks like his game is coming around.  I would be careful with Tommy Fleetwood at $10,700, he is playing ok but didn’t finish strong at the Masters shotting 71-74.  Playing for the first time in this event, best to stay away from him.  Tyrrell Hatton at $10,400 is another first timer to this event, he is a mixed bag of playing well but did miss the cut at the Masters.  I say he is a toss-up pick, you can go either direction on him.  Russell Henley at $10,100 is a big yes and I will telling you why.  He did miss the cut at the RSM last year and the year before but was T-10th in 2017, T-6th in 2016 and T-4th in 2015.  Think he is ready to go.  Matthew Fitzpatrick at $9,900 is another first timer and frankly his game has gone in the opposite direction to make him a pick.  Harris English at $9,700 is a toss-up pick, yes he was playing well before the Masters but in 8 starts at the RSM has never done much which is worrisome. Jason Day at $9,500 is an easy no, he played terrible at the Masters missing the cut, only played this event once eight years ago he is best to forget, especially since we don’t know the true status of his back/neck.  Louis Oosthuizen at $9,300 is an interesting choice, he played once at the RSM and was T-4th in 2011.  He has made cuts but can he play good enough to make picking him worthwhile, I think he can.  Don’t like Shane Lowry at $9,200, he is a rookie in this event and despite making cuts his finishes and birdies made our not enough to pick him.  Joaquin Niemann is $9,100 and I think not, he is coming back from having tested positive for COVID, so best to avoid him.  Do like Sebastian Munoz at $9,000, he was 3rd last year and has played well of late.

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

Dylan Frittelli at $8,800 is a good choice, has played well and was contending at the Masters finishing T-5th with a poor final round 72.  Kevin Kisner at $8,600 is a past winner and can play well on this course.  Did miss the cut at the Masters but that is a different course than this one.  Brian Harman at $8,500 should be considered, has played ok at the RSM and been making cuts of late and playing ok.  Ian Poulter at $8,300, he does play courses like Sea Island well and has played good of late.  Mackenzie Hughes at $8,100 is good choice, he won this event in 2017 and was T-7th in his last start at Houston.  Doc Redman at $8,000 is a toss-up bet, was T-23rd in his only RSM start and played well of late, he is a cheap price for someone that can put points on the board.  Lee Westwood at $7,800 is worth the money, never played before at RSM but should be ok on these courses.  Was ok at the Masters, started strongly with a 68 but dropped off with rounds of 74-71-74.  Remember that these two courses are good for good putters and Denny McCarthy at $7,700 is a great putter and someone that should do well. He was T-8th last year and was T-4th this year at Bermuda.  Also like Alex Noren at $7,600, he was T-10th last year and has some top-t20 finishes of late.  Now the best bargain is probably Austin Cook at $7,500.  He won the event in 2018 and has played well of late, was runner-up in Las Vegas.

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

Danny Willett at $7,400 is a good player, yes never played at the RSM but still should make the cut and get some points for you.  Charl Schwartzel at $7,300 is the same boat, hasn’t played in this event but still should make the cut and get you some points.  Wyndham Clark at $7,200 is a good choice, played once at RSM and was T-65th in 2019. I like that he was 2nd at Bermuda, another course on the Atlantic and effected by wind.  Peter Malnati is $7,100 and a good price.  But look at his record at the RSM and is dim, missing four of five cuts.  But he is a great putter and his stats say he should do good, so he could be a dark horse.  Harry Higgs is $6,900 and a good price, was T-35th last year at the RSM and was 2nd at the Safeway.  Now looking for that one really low price guy that could break out?  Try Michael Gligic at $6,400, he makes a lot of cuts but look at the stats he is a good putter so should have a good week.

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

The 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 2018 winner Austin Cook was T-1st in Scrambling so this is an important stat.  Last year Tyler Duncan was 1st in scrambling so that is a good stat to look at.  In going to the page on PGA Tour.Com it’s the leaders from this year’s scrambling category.  Look, and you will see guys like Russell Henley, Scott Stallings, Talor Gooch and Hank Lebioda 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 ten 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.  2018 champion Austin Cook was T-2nd in Greens hit and 13th in Strokes Gained putting, while last year’s winner Charles Howell III was 1st in Greens hit and 24th in Strokes Gained putting  So you can see what is important to win this week.
  • All ten 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, 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, in 2019 Austin Cook was 11 under and 2019 Charles Howell was 9 under. Last year Tyler Duncan was 7 under on the Par 4s. So if it’s Sunday and you’re looking for someone with the edge look at that stat.
  • Driving accuracy means nothing on the Seaside Course that makes sense since it’s a resort course.  Last year it was 40th while in 2019 to as 47th. In 2018 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 was4th last year, T-6th in 2019, 6th in 2018,  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 Tyler Duncan was a Florida guy living in Ponte Vedra Beach so we can see he plays a lot on Bermuda.  The same with 2019 winner Charles Howell III, who was from Orlando (via Augusta, Ga), in 2018 Austin Cook was from Arkansas, so both were 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 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.  Of course Mac Hughes ruined the trend in 2017 but you have to think that someone born or raised in the North or Midwest has very little chance of winning.

Who to watch for at the The RSM Classic

Best Bets:

Webb Simpson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2 3 WD T36 T41 T7 2 T12

Great record on this course, is 38 under in his last 8 rounds.

Sungjae Im

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T37

Guy was on a roll before the pandemic hit in March, has struggled since the return, but it looks like things are back to normal.

Russell Henley

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT CUT T10 T6 T4 T65

Of those that didn’t play, the Masters was the hottest player. May not of played well in the last two RSM, but it was a factor in the other visits.

Best of the rest:

Sebastian Munoz

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
3 CUT CUT

Has been playing great of late, was 3rd last year at RSM.

Denny McCarthy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T8 T46 CUT

This is an event in which putters and scramblers do well on, he is the best putter on the PGA Tour, so he could do some damage.

Jason Kokrak

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T45 CUT T66 T10 T27

Is putting well makes lots of birdies; his game has been sharp since the break.

Dylan Frittelli

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T35

Could his good play from the Masters’ spill over to this week.

Solid contenders

Lee Westwood

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has played solidly all year, this course is short and could be to his liking.

Tyrrell Hatton

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has played well the last three months, and his good putting could play a key role.

Austin Cook

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T61 T11 Win

Past champion came close to winning in Las Vegas.

Tommy Fleetwood

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Never played the course, but these are the type of events he seems to win.

Long shots that could come through:

Talor Gooch

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T23 CUT CUT

Watch him, great scrambler, and was 4th in his last start at Houston.

James Hahn

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T17 T48

Has had a great start to the 2021 season.

Peter Malnati

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT CUT CUT CUT T75

A excellent putter that could find the course to his liking.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.