The PGA Tour returns to St. Simons Island this week for the final full-field event of 2022.
The final regular Tour event of the PGA’s fall swing will take place this week at Sea Island Golf Club as the 156-man field descends upon St. Simons Island for the 13th edition of the RSM Classic. Apart from a couple of limited-field events next month, this will be it until the Tour returns to Hawaii to kick off the new year.
Sea Island Golf Club and Resort has been hosting the PGA since the 2010 RSM Classic, formerly known as the McGladrey Classic.
The event implements the use of two courses over four tournament rounds. The Seaside Course, which players will see in three of their four rounds, and The Plantation Course, which will come into play on either Thursday or Friday for the field.
Sea Island’s Plantation Course was re-designed back in 2019 by brothers Davis and Mark Love. It is generally considered to be the easier of the two courses as it is a Par 72 which plays to 7,060 yards and is slightly more inland than Seaside’s exposed layout.
The Seaside Course, which will host three of the four rounds this week, is a Tom Fazio redesign. The Par 70 layout also plays at right around 7,000 yards, but unlike the Plantation Course, it is at the mercy of natural elements as a traditional ocean-side links layout.
As the final regular event on the 2022 calendar, this week’s RSM Classic field is not the strongest that we have seen in recent months. Last week’s Cadence Bank Houston Open winner, Tony Finau, was the lone top 20 OWGR-ranked player who was scheduled to tee it up.
But the strength of this week’s field took another significant hit on Tuesday after Finau’s unfortunate withdrawal from the 2022 RSM Classic. As a result, odds plummeted across betting markets, and it is Brian Harman who has been marked as the new favorite heading into the final full-field event of the year.
Here is a look at how the rest of this week’s favorites for the 2022 RSM Classic shake out over on WynnBet.
2022 RSM Classic Favorites
(All odds courtesy of Wynnbet. ***Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.***)
- Brian Harman (+2000)
- Jason Day (+2200)
- Seamus Power (+2500)
- Tom Hoge (+2500)
- Taylor Montgomery (+2800)
- Keith Mitchell (+3000)
- Matthew NeSmith (+3300)
- Denny McCarthy (+3500)
- Joel Dahmen (+3500)
- Mackenzie Hughes (+3500)
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Pick to Top 10: Matthew NeSmith (+360)
Aside from last week at the Cadence Bank Houston Open (52nd), NeSmith has had quite the start to the new PGA season with three consecutive top-10 finishes prior to last week’s trip to The Lone Star state.
The South Carolina native ranks 27th on Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach this season and he has gained with his irons in three consecutive measured starts coming into this week’s RSM Classic. NeSmith has yet to record a top-10 finish at Sea Island, but he has finished inside the top 15 in two of his previous three starts here.
I’m willing to overlook Matthew’s result last week on a difficult track and instead trust his recent form in the three events prior.
Pick to Win: Brendon Todd (+5500)
The RSM Classic has produced some surprising winners throughout its history, as such I’m inclined to steer away from the top of the board this week and focus on a couple of potential winners in the mid-tier range instead.
University of Georgia product, Brendon Todd, has had mixed results at this event over the years. Todd’s best finish came in 2019 when he finished 4th here, and generally, it is a layout that should suit him well.
The three-time PGA Tour winner already has two top-10 finishes during the fall swing, so he comes into this week in relatively good form. So far this season, Brendon ranks 30th in SG: Approach and 17th in Birdie Average, two areas that will be crucial to success this week. He also rates 9th from the key 100-125 proximity range and has historically been one of the best putters on Tour.
The Georgia Bulldog already has a win on a coastal track with Bermuda greens (2019 Bermuda Championship); I like his chances of adding another this week in a familiar setting.
Pick to Win: Justin Rose (+4000)
Following a missed cut in his first event of the new PGA season, Justin Rose rebounded nicely last week in Houston en route to a 9th-place finish. It was the Englishman’s best result since the RBC Canadian Open (4th) in the summer.
Plenty of approach shots will come from the 125-175 yard range this week, that was an area that the 10-time PGA Tour winner ranked 16th and 5th in respectively last season.
The 2013 U.S. Open winner had his irons and putter dialed in last week in Texas and if he can carry that over into this week he could find himself in contention once again at an event where he finished 12th last year.
I’ll take a chance with Rose at a decent number in a field that is lacking some of the game’s bigger hitters up top.