The RSM Classic is the final PGA Tour event of the year at the idyllic seaside setting of Sea Island Resort in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Robert Streb returns to defend last year’s win, the second of his career and second at Sea Island.
But he’ll have to fend off a top-notch field to collect The RSM hat trick, including plenty of Sea Island residents who are full of local knowledge and hungry to win in front of a home crowd.
Course: Sea Island Resort (Seaside)
Length: 7005 yards (Par 70)
Architect: Colt & Allison, redesigned by Tom Fazio in 1998
As usual, this tournament is played on two courses – the Plantation Course (1 round) and The Seaside Course (3 rounds).
For obvious reasons we will focus mostly on The Seaside course, but besides the fact that the Plantation Course is a parkland track, the two courses share the same characteristics.
As is alluded to in the name, The Seaside course is a seaside links-style course that is vulnerable to the weather and with some moderate winds in the forecast, wind management should play a part.
This is a course that awards precision over length with tight undulating fairways and a lot of short Par 4s that will see players club down off the tee.
The Bermuda greens are large, undulated, and fast with shaved run-off areas to protect them. Over the past few years, the winning score has hovered around -20 and with Kisner, Streb (x2), Duncan and Howell among the past winners, it tells me that good iron play and a hot putter are important success criterias around this course.
Ten of the twelve par 4s measure between 390-460 yards, three of the par 3s clocks in at over 200 yards and the course only has two par 5s that both are reachable by most golfers.
Here are some of the things I will be looking out for:
- Strokes gained approach
- Bermuda putting
- Par 4 scoring 400-450 yards
- Proximity 125-175 yards
- Birdies or better gained
- Wind management
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: +170.92 units
Wagered: 20 units
Won: 23.68 units
Result: 3.68 units
Everything seems to line up for the long-haired Aussie to pick up his second PGA tour victory this week. Statistically he rates out second in my model over the past 36 rounds where he ranks in the top 15 in the field in putting, birdies or better gained and proximity from both 125-150 and 150-175 yards.
The windy forecast should play into one of the best on tour when it’s blowing while still being a birdie machine so the somewhat shoot-out format this tournament usually develops into should be right in his wheelhouse.
The one time we have seen Smith this fall saw him gain off the tee, on approach and putting on his way to a top 10 finish at the CJ Cup doesn’t hurt ether.
After starting the 21/22 season with a disappointing T68 at the CJ Cup where he couldn’t putt to save his life, the two-time tour winner bounced back with an impressive T7 at the Zozo.
This was his 4th top seven finish in his last eight start reaching back to last season including a playoff loss at Wyndham another short par 70 course with Bermuda greens, the winner there was Kevin Kisner who as noted has also won this tournament.
Stats-wise, he ranks 16th in my model and with the weather forecast which he should handle well and his impressive form I see some great value at this number this week for the South African.
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