2021 RSM Classic Picks: Trust English and Hughes at Sea Island

ST SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 20: A flagstick blows in the breeze during the second round of The RSM Classic at the Plantation Course at Sea Island Golf Club on November 20, 2020 in St Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
ST SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 20: A flagstick blows in the breeze during the second round of The RSM Classic at the Plantation Course at Sea Island Golf Club on November 20, 2020 in St Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The 2021 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia unofficially marks the end of the 2021 golfing swing season as a field of 156 makes the trip to St Simons Island.

The field for this week’s RSM Classic has attracted several big names with a handful of players residing in the area there is definitely a bit of a ‘hometown’ narrative this week. Scottie Scheffler, Webb Simpson, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Jason Day are just a handful of names that will make the trip to Georgia this week.

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Charles Howell III, Russell Henley, Harris English, Kevin Kisner, and Chris Kirk are just several of the names in the field this week that have either local or regional ties to the area.

The Courses at Sea Island Golf Club

Sea Island Golf Club is one of several stops on the PGA Tour that uses a rotation of courses over the four tournament rounds. This week the field will play the Plantation course on either Thursday or Friday and the other three rounds on the Seaside course.

The Plantation Course was re-designed by tournament host Davis Love III and brother Mark Love in 2019. It’s a PAR 72 that plays right around 7,000 yards in length and is generally considered the easier of the two courses as it features two additional PAR 5’s and is played slightly more inland than Sea Islands Seaside course.

The Seaside Course is a Tom Fazio re-design that also plays at around 7,000 yards. It’s a PAR 70 links-style course that sits alongside the coastline, as with any course by the sea the major defense of the course is greatly impacted by weather elements off the coast.

Previous Winners of The RSM Classic

2020: Robert Streb (-19)

2019: Tyler Duncan (-19)

2018: Charles Howell III (-19)

2017: Austin Cook (-21)

2016: Mackenzie Hughes (-17)

2015: Kevin Kisner (-22)

Favorites and Picks at The RSM Classic

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The odds used in this article are provided by WynnBet and are current at the time of the article, for up to the date odds for the 2021 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club be sure to check out WynnBet

Scottie Scheffler +1300 is top of the board this week after his runner-up finish in Houston last week. Scheffler was 4th in Mexico two starts ago as well so he clearly is coming into this week with his game in excellent shape, he finished 5th at this event last year.

Webb Simpson +1500 and Cameron Smith +1750 follow Scheffler to close out a small group listed below +2000 this week. Webb hasn’t played since the CJ Cup last month where he finished 14th. This is your typical Simpson track however and his history at this event reflects this as he has two top 5 finishes in his last three starts at The RSM Classic.

Cameron Smith will be making his Sea Island debut this week and much like Scheffler before him he comes into this event with some solid results of late, the Aussie has posted a 15th and 9th in his last two starts.

The Picks

Harris English (+3000)

There are two schools of thought when it comes to picking players to excel this week, the first is to look at recent form, it’s the what have you done for me lately approach, when examining Harris English this week he does not fall into that first school of thought. English has rarely played since the Ryder Cup in September and when he has it has not been pretty as he missed the cut at the Shriners before withdrawing from the CJ Cup in his next start.

Then there is the second school of thought that examines how a player has performed at an event in previous years, and more importantly how their game fits the course or course’s that will be played this week. This is my reasoning for siding with English this week at a very fair number. English had a very good 2021 that included two wins and several top 5’s and while he has struggled recently I am choosing to back the talent coming through in this spot.

The University of Georgia product who is local to the area finished 6th at the RSM Classic in 2020 and while he was dreadful with the putter in his last start he did gain with his irons. A glance at English’s long-term form indicates that he does two things very well that will be of great importance this week, he is a fairway finder and he can get hot with his putter on these Bermuda grass greens.

Mackenzie Hughes (+7500)

Hughes who won this event in 2016 comes into this week exhibiting some promising form in recent starts. Mackenzie has not missed a cut on tour dating back to June now and he has two top 25 finishes in two of his last four starts now, this includes a 4th place finish two starts ago at the ZOZO Championship.

The Canadian has an exceptional short game who can get very hot with the putter and while his iron play isn’t always the best he has improved in that area over the past couple of weeks. Hughes rates out third in the field in hitting greens in regulation recently and he also has found success finding the fairway off the tee as he comes in 7th in that department as well.

If Hughes can blend those two areas with his excellent short game he could surge towards the top this week, and at +7500 is well worth the shot that he does exactly that.

Adam Long (+10000)

This will be the first of two Adam’s that I target in the same range this week. Adam Long has been playing some really nice golf recently and he comes into this week fresh off an 11th place finish in Texas last week.

Long gained over five strokes from tee to green last week and overall he rates out 6th in my model for the week. Adam has had some solid finishes at the RSM Classic the past two year’s having made the cut on his way to finishes of 30th and 35th.

The ability to make putts in an event that has historically turned into a ‘birdie fest’ can not be overlooked this week and Adam has excelled on quick Bermuda greens throughout his career. Adam’s last win came in 2019 but did come close to a win in 2020 at the 3M Open on a course that has drawn some comparisons to what we will see this week and he is certainly worth a risk in the form he is in and at triple digits.

Adam Hadwin (+10000)

I’ll go back to Hadwin in this spot after backing him a couple of weeks ago in Mexico, the Canadian has been making cuts in recent months and while he has yet to piece it all together he did show signs of promise at the Shriners last month where he finished 6th.

Adam is extremely accurate off the tee and he rates out as one of the best in finding fairways, something that is highlighted as holding greater importance at Sea Island than on your average tour course per Data Golf.

Hadwin is also an excellent putter on Bermuda greens and even though he has not had much success at this event in the past it should set up well for his game. Even with his lack of success at Sea Island, he has exhibited strong performances on courses of a similar setup.

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Davis Thompson (+15000)

I’ll finish by taking a shot with promising young player Davis Thompson in this spot who is another University of Georgia product. Davis has made six of eight cuts on the PGA Tour since turning professional last Summer.

Thompson finished 35th at the Sanderson Farms in his last start and he produced a 23rd place finish at Sea Island back in 2019.  He should be plenty comfortable around Sea Island as his father is the Tournament Director for this event as well.