The PGA TOUR’s next stop is The RSM Classic down in Sea Island, Ga. The tournament will be on two courses for the first two days: The Plantation and the Seaside Course. After Friday’s cut, golfers will compete on Seaside to finish the tournament, which will play as a par 70, measuring 7,005 yards. The Sea Island Resort (Plantation) measures around 7,060 yards and will play as a par 72. Both courses will be putt on Bermuda greens.
The 156-man field will include some local Sea Island and St. Simon, Ga., residents like Harris English (+2500; $10,100), Brian Harman (+8000; $7,800), Zach Johnson (+13000; $6,900), Keith Mitchell (+13000; $7,200) and Hudson Swafford (+14000; $6,600). Other golfers include Webb Simpson (+1200; $10,700), Adam Scott (+3500; $9,000), Scottie Scheffler (+1000; $10,900) and Cameron Smith (+1400; $10,300) in hopes of getting an early victory in their respective seasons.
We should be focusing on the Seaside course this week, with golfers who make the weekend having to play the course three out of their four rounds. The Seaside course has registered an average of 71% in Fairways hit in Regulation rate and 74% in Greens in Regulation rate over the previous five years, which means rostering golfers who are ball-strikers this week is critical (nothing new). Aside from overall ball-striking, par 4 scoring average should be at the top of our list when considering who to roster; more specifically, par 4 scoring average on holes between 400 to 450, with nine holes on Seaside measuring within this distance range. We should also be looking at golfers who do well with their wedges; 20% of all approach shots came from 125 to 150 yards. As always, Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green will be the most crucial statistic to prioritize when building our lineups; golfers who’ve finished inside the top five gained twice the amount with their irons as they did in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
Louis Oosthuizen (+1600 to Win, $10,400 on DraftKings)
Both Scheffler and Simpson will garner a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Still, I’m gravitating toward the South African this week with how well he sets up here. Over the previous 24 rounds, Louis ranks ninth in approach, eighth in opportunities gained and 19th in SG: par 4. He did miss the cut in 2020, but Charles Howell III and Robert Streb both had MCs before their wins. It wasn’t too long ago when Louis finished runner up in three of five tournaments between May to July. If we’re chasing ball-strikers, Corey Conners (+2200, $9,900) also has to be in consideration. Even though Russell Henley (see below) is also worth rostering in this range, consider Conners if his projected roster percentage is low. Bermuda grass is by far his preferred putting surface, and he showed this in Vegas, gaining 5.4 strokes at the Shriners earlier this month, his second-highest strokes gained putting since 2013. He has solid finishes here, at Harbour Town (RBC Heritage) and Sedgefield CC (Wyndham) and is seven for seven in made cuts since July.
Mito Pereira (+6000 to Win, $8,300 on DraftKings)
No one has been better with their irons than Mito, ranking first over the previous 24 rounds. We’ve seen this tournament provide golfers with their first win, and Pereira has the talent to get that done on a course that sets up well for him. His par 3 and par 4 scoring are top 35 and top 18, respectively, over the past two dozen rounds, and he’s already finished with a top three this season at the Fortinet Championship. I worry a little about his putting and that he doesn’t have a ton of experience playing in this part of the country, but not enough to take me off the rising star from Chile. Russell Henley (+2500, $9,600) is my favorite if you’re looking for a golfer with Sea Island ties. He’s a little more expensive but is worth it this week. Henley gained 3.7 strokes putting last week and just over three strokes with his irons.
Denny McCarthy (+13000 to Win, $7,000 on DraftKings)
Let’s go back to McCarthy this week in a field that’s not as strong as Houston, where he finished 11th. Denny’s now finished T15 in Mayakoba and just outside the top 10 in his last two starts. McCarthy also has solid finishes at the Wyndham Championship, the RBC Heritage and here at the RSM Classic with an eighth-place finish in 2019. Much of his success comes from the flat stick, but his ball-striking was good last weekend, gaining 1.34 strokes with his irons and 0.08 Off-the-Tee. He also finished 10th in SG: tee-to-Green over the weekend. McCarthy is trending up and gets to a course he can play well on that fits his game. Henrik Norlander (+11000, $7,300) is also worth consideration in this range. Norlander played his college golf at Augusta University and currently lives in Augusta, Ga., which could be why he plays well here, finishing top five in 2019 and runner up in 2016. If Norlander’s projected roster percentage starts to inflate, I’ll pivot more shares to McCarthy and vice versa.
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