Following last week’s event in Houston, the PGA Tour moves on to Georgia, where the fall schedule will come to a close at Sea Island Resort in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
RSM Classic General Information:
- Date: November 18-21, 2021
- TV-Time: Golf Channel, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Sea Island Resort
- Location: St. Simons Island, Georgia
- Prize Money: $7,200,000 ($1,125,000 1st Place)
- Winner last year: Robert Streb
Tournament, Conditions & Course Info
The PGA Tour fall schedule draws to a close this week, meaning that those involved have one last chance to impress before taking some time out. Once again, the idyllic setting of Sea Island Resort will host the RSM Classic, won last season by Robert Streb, who claimed this honour for the second time, having previously come out on top back in 2014.
Featuring a links-style set-up, with the course hugging the coastline, Sea Island Resort is among the easier tasks that PGA Tour players will face, and scoring here is usually low. The Par 5’s are gettable and can be rewarding to those that attack, though risk is certainly attached. Those that get dialled in with their irons early in the piece are likely to thrive, though the greens aren’t easy to navigate, while they tend to be on the quick side, so measured putting will certainly be required.
Expert Pick #1 – Corey Conners Top 10 Finish @+450
Corey Conners has made a steady start to the season, making the cut in two out of two, posting respectable finishes of T40 and T17. More importantly, he has some solid course form at Sea Island Resort, finishing 10th here last season.
Currently T8 on tour for greens in regulation, the Canadian ranks as the ninth-best player in this field for strokes gained: total at this venue in the last five seasons. Moreover, he’s the number two player in the field for strokes gained: tee-to-green, as well as the fourth-best for strokes gained: approach, which is particularly eye-catching given how important approach play has been here in recent renewals of the RSM Classic. At an attractive price of +450, the 29-year-old, who was something of a high-finishing machine last season, rates as a solid top-ten option.
Fedex Cup Rank: 115 | Fedex Cup Points: 58 | OWGR: 36
Expert Pick #2 – Kevin Kisner Top 20 Finish @+250
Lover of this event, Kevin Kisner is a man to side with this week. The world number 38 played his college golf in Georgia, which may be why he relishes a trip to Sea Island Resort each year.
The winner of the RSM Classic back in 2015, Kisner has posted five top-ten finishes here, including a near-miss second last year. If we look at strokes gained data on this track in the last five seasons, then the man from South Carolina rates as the second-best in the line-up, gaining an average of 1.73 strokes per round.
Recent winners of this tournament have proven that hitting plenty of greens in regulation helps, so it bodes well that Kisner arrives here as the second-best player on tour this season in terms of GIR percentage. Couple this with everything above and it’s impossible to see anything other than odds of +250 on a top-20 finish as value for money.
Fedex Cup Rank: 197 | Fedex Cup Points: 6 | OWGR: 38
Expert Pick #3 – Alex Noren Top 20 Finish @+230
Never a winner on the PGA Tour, which is something of a tragedy, Alex Noren, is another player who seemingly likes it at Sea Island, and in recent seasons the RSM Classic has been a happy hunting ground for the Swede, who in 2019 and 2020 finished T10 and T18 respectively. We haven’t exactly seen Noren scale the heights during the early part of the season, though he has made three out of three cuts, a T18 finish at the ZOZO being the highlight.
If we look at the strokes gained data on this track in the last five seasons, the 11-time professional winner is painted in a very favourable light, ranking third for strokes gained: around-the-green, not to mention fifth for strokes gained: total, picking up an average of 1.34 strokes per round. Such numbers are impressive, so much so that odds of +230 on a top-20 finish are hard to ignore.
Fedex Cup Rank: 117 | Fedex Cup Points: 56 | OWGR: 61
2021 RSM Classic Odds
*Odds as of Monday at 12:00 p.m.
2021 RSM Classic Additional Picks
One player to finish top-five.
Louis Oosthuizen (+300)
Few players are fancied more than Louis Oosthuzien in the top-five market ahead of this week, and it’s easy to see why. The South African currently ranks as the best player on tour for greens in regulation, hitting 79.17% of putting surfaces when he should, and since GIR will be critical this week, he’s easy to support.
If you’re looking for a top-tier player who should come to the fore on a course that can certainly be got at, then take Oosthuizen, who previously finished fourth at Sea Island.
One player to finish top-10.
Webb Simpson (+180)
If a player with extensive course form is your sort of thing, then look no further than Webb Simpson as a top-ten candidate. The North Carolina man clearly likes it at this venue, and although a win here is missing from his CV, he has four top-ten-finishes to his name, including two seconds and a third, while he’s yet to miss the cut in nine attempts.
One player to finish top-20.
Chris Kirk (+300)
Perhaps not a name that will be on the tip on people’s tongues as much as Webb Simpson or Louis Oosthuizen, but four-time PGA Tour winner Chris Kirk should be no back number at Sea Island, where he has continuously played some strong golf.
Not only did the Tennessee man win this event back in 2013, but he also finished T4 in both 2014 and 2017, finishing inside the top 20 in both 2015 and 2020 as well, so it’s fair to say that the RSM Classic is a tournament that the 36-year-old likes.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Webb Simpson (+2500)
As mentioned above, Webb Simpson, who is one of the highest ranked players in this event, loves it at Sea Island, and not only does he have a string of high finishes to his name, but he often gets off to a flying start. In one of his nine appearances at this venue, the one-time major winner has led the field after round one, but he’s also been in the top five on three other occasions after round one, which is more than any other player in the field.
The Big Hero
Underdog with chances to win.
Mathew NeSmith (+15000)
If a huge-price is your sort of angle, then look no further than Mathew NeSmith, who really is too big in the outright market. The 28-year-old has registered 14th and 15th place finishes in two recent appearances at the RSM and has been very close to being right there at the head of the leaderboard on both occasions. As the third-best in this field in terms of strokes gained: total (on this track), he’s a great outside bet.
As is often the case with resort courses, the scoring should be low this week. Sea Island Resort, which doesn’t rank as one of the toughest tests on the schedule, presents PGA Tour players with the opportunity to play attack-minded, risk-reward golf, so it would be no surprise if the winner went especially low. Plenty of players in this field have thrived here in the past, including previous winner Kevin Kisner, who for several reasons, is one of a handful that looks primed for another big week.