Venue: Sea Island Golf Club, Sea Island, Georgia
Date: November 15-18, 2018
Course stats: Par 70, 7,005 yards
Purse: $6.4 million (£4.9m)
Defending champion: Austin Cook (-21)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) – from 6.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) – from 6.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) – from 6.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) – from 6.30pm
RSM Classic preview
The RSM Classic is again the host of what is the final regular PGA Tour event of the calendar year; we still have the World Cup of Golf and Hero World Challenge to come, but following the conclusion of this week, the next time we’ll see a typical event will be in the New Year in Hawaii.
Webb Simpson is the headline act and I think that tells you the full picture of the strength of this field. Perhaps that’s being a little harsh on Simpson, who has elevated his game to a new level over the past twelve months, but all of the big names are absent, leaving the door wide open for a less established player to breakthrough on the PGA Tour, or indeed a more experienced player to return to the winner’s circle.
The Seaside course at the Sea Island Resort is a short par 70 where accuracy usually beats distance. Former winners include Austin Cook, Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk and Ben Crane – players that are considered precise from the tee rather than bombers. With the course being a seaside links, wind usually plays a factor, and the same can be said for the Plantation course which is used for one round over the opening two days before the cut is made.
RSM Classic betting tips
From the top of the market, I’m happy to side with Russell Henley (35/1, 8 places), who has a chance of breaking his poor run of form on a course that he has typically played very well.
The Georgia-born 29-year-old has seen two of his three PGA Tour successes come on courses near the sea at PGA National for the Honda Classic and Waialae Country Club in Hawaii, typically where wind players a big factor.
Henley has played here at Sea Island four times, with top-10 finishes in each of his last three attempts.
He enters the week with no top-10 to his name since the Greenbrier in July, but he broke a run of awful form last week when finishing 29th in Mexico where he ranked fifth in both greens in regulation and driving accuracy – both stats will be vitally important in determining the winner this week on a tight layout.
That’s our man’s top tip for the RSM Classic, but there are a couple of 100/1 shots he likes the look of. Find out on the next page…