Date: November 22nd
Course: Sea Island Golf Club
Purse: $6.6MM ($1.3MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Tyler Duncan (-19)
Seaside Course (used on just Saturday and Sunday) and Plantation Course. At 7,005 and 7,058 yards respectively these courses will play much different. Seaside has a slope of 131 and a rating of 73.1 while Plantation has a slope of 135 and a rating of 73.9. Seaside is a Tom Fazio design and it will test you with a variety of features, the bunkers lay throughout like craters blasted into the course. The water and canals run in and out and the rough varies from desert dust to thick brush to marshes. Plantation was designed by Walter Davis and Mark Love, it is more generous with spacious fairways and fewer water and bunkers. It will require proactive vision and planning of shots to circumnavigate.
My Starting 4
Ryan Armour (first selection this year) — Only one golfer has top 40 finishes each of the last three years at the RSM Classic. Armour has missed the cut in four out of six tournaments this year but he did finish 8th at the Bermuda Classic just a few weeks ago. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in accuracy (35th in driving accuracy, 50th in sand save percentage and 8th in approach shots from 125-150 yards).
Russell Knox (first selection this year) — Knox finished in the top 40 the last two years here. He missed two cuts this season but in the three where he made the cut he finished in the top 20 so it’s a very wide range. He’s 89th in driving accuracy, 5th in greens in regulation, and 61st in shots gained tee to green.
Stewart Cink (first selection this year) — Cink missed his first cut of the season two weeks ago at Houston. Prior to that he had three top 15 finishes in four tournaments to start this season. He comes to RSM where he finished 10th three years ago, 25th two years ago and 43rd last year. He’s 6th on the tour in greens in regulation.
Henrik Norlander (first selection this year) — Top five finishes in two of the last three years here gives Norlander a strong presence. Additionally, he’s 31st in strokes gained off the tee, 31st in driving accuracy 16th in greens in regulation and 6th in eagles.
My Bench 2
David Hearn (second selection this year) — With two missed cuts to his name and two top ten finishes, Hearn’s had a solid start to this season. Putting is his bread and butter (19th in strokes gained) but he’s also 44th in driving accuracy. He has finished in the top 30 here each of the last two years.
C.T. Pan (first selection this year) — Pan finished 6th here three years ago and 13th here last year (he did not participate last year). He’s made all cuts this season (six starts) but two top 20 finishes. My concern here is the accuracy 111th and his 228th strokes gained off the tee. He’s the safe bet in terms of making the cut but I could see a finish in the 50s.
Fun Fact: Typically this event caps off the final PGA event of the calendar year but this year the Mayakoba Golf Classic will be the last.
Starting 4: avg finish 37th (30th percent)
Bench 2: avg finish 57th (45th percent)