The RSM Classic is the last full-field, regular PGA Tour event for 2022. Looking ahead to the schedule for the fall of 2023, there are currently many unknowns, but Davis Love III, host of this week’s tournament is getting clarity on 2023 and 2024 for his event.
Harris English, now a resident of St. Simons who lives across the street from the Sea Island Resort where the RSM is played, said when he joined the PGA Tour, the schedule was different than it has been recently.
“My first year, in 2012, was the last time they had the old season, which, it ended at the Tour Championship,” he explained.
"“You still had the tournaments in the fall, but it didn’t count towards the FedEx. It was just guys who didn’t make enough money trying to keep their card, so if you wanted to play, you could play.”"
He liked it that way. He was new to the Tour, was one who wanted to make additional money and go to some golf courses he hadn’t seen or played.
"“The consequences are almost, you know, life and death. Guys are trying to keep their card. Guys are trying to make the top 30, 70. Everyone’s really serious that week.” – Brian Harman"
“I wish it would go back to some sort of that,” he added. “It kind of limits the guys of, hey, if you play well, you make the Tour Championship. If you don’t want to play the fall, you don’t have to play it.”
Harris is one of 16 Sea Island/ St. Simons Island PGA Tour pros who are in the RSM Classic this week.
Right now, he’s looking at another number: top 50 in the world.
"“I know top 50 at the end of the year is huge and gets you in Augusta,” he said. “It’sso special for us Georgia guys to be able to play it, but yeah it’s not going to really be in my mind teeing off on Thursday.”"
Brian Harman is another Sea Island/ St. Simons resident. He thinks the change in the schedule could make a big difference in who plays in the tournament because, at least right now, it is the last tournament on the calendar.
"“My caddie and I talk about it all the time, how like Greensboro (Wyndham Championship) always feels like one of the most interesting events of the year because everyone in the field’s kind of playing for something,” Harman said. “The consequences are almost, you know, life and death. Guys are trying to keep their card. Guys are trying to make the top 30, 70. Everyone’s really serious that week.”"
Wyndham has been the last tournament before the FedEx Cup Playoffs start, and next year, the number who advance beyond that week is reduced to the top 70 in FedEx Cup points. No more top 125.
Then the playoffs reduce the field for the BMW Championship to the top 50 and, finally, for the Tour Championship, the top 30.
Those who have finished in the top 70 in FedEx Cup points as of the Tour Championship will be exempt for the next season. Everybody else will have to scramble to get into the top 125, and that means the fall tournaments could be massively important. Those in the 125 number will have playing opportunities at most regular events.
Davis Love III has already started planning for the RSM Classic next fall and the year after, so that may mean that many of the tournaments that have been held in the fall in previous years will continue to be held.
"“We know our dates for ’23, we think we know them for ’24, so we’re happy andRSM’s happy,” Love insisted. “As long as we have this event at The Cloister with Tour pros, everybody’s going to be pretty happy around here.”"
Although Love wasn’t specific on the week for the next RSM Classic tournaments, because he played a pro-am round with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, his sources on that topic are probably pretty good.