The Back 9: RSM Classic Preview & Picks

NOVEMBER 14: Shane Lowry of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 17th hole during the continuation of the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 14, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Welcome back golf fans. This week’s tournament is the RSM Classic, hosted in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. Typically, this event attracts a pretty weak field but thanks to its proximity to the 2020 Masters, we have a couple of Major winners and a group of top Euro Tour players to make things interesting.

The course: The RSM Classic is played on two courses. For the first two days of the tournament, golfers will play the Plantation Course and the Seaside Course once each. After the cut, the tournament completely transitions to the Seaside course for the weekend. The Plantation course is a par 72 and measures 7,058 yards long. The Seaside course is a par 70 Scottish links course that is 7,005 yards long. Both courses have Bermudagrass greens. So, what kind of player are we looking for? Ideally, someone who is straight, but not necessarily long off the tee, and can hit solid wedges in close.

Outrights:

JANUARY 16: Brian Harman tees off on the first hole during the first round of The American Express tournament at La Quinta Country Club on January 16, 2020 in La Quinta, California.
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Shane Lowry (+3300)

The Irishman is in some great form of late, finishing T25, T11, T28, and T43 in his last four starts on tour. Furthermore, Lowry ranks 10th in greens in regulation and 19th in good drives gained in this field over the past 12 rounds per Fantasynational.com. This solid shot-to-shot play coupled with his clear love for links style courses (see 2019 British Open) should set up well for this week.

Brian Harman (+5000)

Harman has both narrative and statistics going for him this week. For starters, he is a former Georgia Bulldog and current resident of Sea Island, Georgia. That proximity to the course is reflected in his three T15 finishes at the RSM. Statistically, Harman excels on Bermudagrass greens and in his last five outings, has gained over 1.6 on approach. It could be time for the local.

J.T. Poston (+8000)

Poston earned a lot of hype going into the Masters last week and rightfully so. Prior to missing the cut at Augusta, the native North Carolinian had been playing some great golf (T20, 51, T27, 3). After getting the weekend off, I’m going back to Poston in a rebound spot. J.T. has played well at several comparable courses, including a win at the Wyndham in 2019 and a solid T8 showing at Harbour Town earlier this year. Here’s to hoping he regains his form.

Longshot/Cheek of the Week:

Russell Knox of Scotland plays his shot from the first tee during the third round of the Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 07, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Russell Knox (+10000)

For this week’s Cheek of the Week, we turn to a European player gaining a bit of momentum. Knox, much like Lowry, is another links style player who is rounding into form, finishing T15 and T16 in his last two outings. Over the last 12 rounds played, Knox ranks 6th in this field in greens in regulation and 4th in good drives gained per Fantasynational.com. It’s also reassuring that he’s made four of his last five cuts at this event. If the wind picks up a little over the weekend, like it’s supposed to, we could have a longshot in contention going into Sunday.

All odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook

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