PGA TOUR Golf Odds: 2023 RSM Classic Preview At Sea Island Resort
The PGA TOUR’s FedEx Fall Series has reached its final leg, with Sea Island Resort’s Seaside and Plantation courses next on tap to host the 2023 RSM Classic. Find PGA TOUR golf odds at the best betting sites to increase your potential RSM Classic payouts. Brian Harman, Cameron Young, and Russell Henley project as the top favorites for this upcoming tournament.
We’ve reached the end of the road in the inaugural FedEx Fall series. The PGA TOUR will make its final stop of the 2023 season in St. Simons Island, Georgia, for the RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort.
A very repeatable formula has prevailed for yearly contenders at the RSM Classic. Keep the ball in play off the tee, hit greens in regulation, and make putts. That’s the standard formula for most Fall Swing birdie fests. But, if Sea Island has a unique identity, it’s its exposure to the wind and removal of any real distance advantage. This week, I’m looking most closely at players who excel in Approach Proximity from 100-175 yards, Birdies or Better Gained, SG: TOT on Comp Short, Easy, Coastal Courses, and SG: P (Bermuda).
Now let’s get into the key facts and info about the Sea Island Resort Seaside and Plantation courses before betting RSM Classic odds.
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PGA TOUR Golf Odds: RSM CLASSIC FAVORITES
RSM CLASSIC FIELD AT A GLANCE
The FedEx Fall series ends with a grand finale (relatively speaking), as many top PGA TOUR players have come out the woodwork to chase one final victory in 2023. A stark contrast from the strength of field in the previous two international events, the RSM Classic will feature 11 players inside the OWGR top-50. All 11 players already fall inside the FedEx Cup top-50 standings and cannot improve their standing further. They are each here, presumably, because they like their chances to contend for a win on this course set up.
Open Champion, Brian Harman headlines as the lone OWGR top-10 player in this week’s field. Cameron Young, Russell Henley, Corey Conners, Denny McCarthy, and JT Poston round out the list of headliners coming to Sea Island.
Defending champion Adam Svensson will return for a title defense. He’s joined by a fairly long list of past RSM Classic champions in this field, including Robert Streb, Tyler Duncan, Austin Cook, Mackenzie Hughes, Kevin Kisner, and Chris Kirk.
INTRODUCTION TO SEA ISLAND
Sea Island Resort is a popular destination for both amateur and professional golfers alike, featuring two 18-hole courses. Both will be used in rotation for the RSM Classic. The field of 156 will rotate between the Seaside and Plantation course Thursday and Friday. After the first two days, the top-65 and ties will advance. All remaining players will play the weekend on the Seaside Course.
Players must capitalize on their one round on the Plantation Course this week. It plays to a scoring average of 1.6 under par, versus Seaside which averages 0.9 under par. Davis Love III led a renovation project in 2019 to help add a bit more bite to the Plantation Course. However, it still remains a layout upon which PGA TOUR players have continued to feast, generally protected from the coastal winds with four par 5s at just 7,060 yards in total.
The Seaside Course is the only one of the two equipped with ShotLink data, and three out of four rounds this week will be played there. So, we won’t focus much on Plantation, beyond the baseline understanding that players can attack aggressively and stockpile birdies in easy scoring conditions.
How It Breaks Down
The Seaside Course stands at 7,005 yards as a par 70 with two par 5s, four par 3s, and 12 par 4s. Of those par 4s, 10 will play under 450 yards, which has lead to a very repeatable track record from accurate players, particularly those who excel on Approach from the sweet spot of 100-175 yards.
Sea Island’s best defense is without a doubt the wind, with its exposure to the Atlantic coastline. Wind is the most unpredictable weather condition, so it’s difficult to say how much of an influence that will have on the tournament at this stage of the week. However, referencing ball-striking performance on comparable short coastal courses has proven a strong indicator of success at this event.
In short, Sea Island is a bona fide second shot course set-up and will favor players strongest on approach from 100-175 yards who can keep a hot putter on Bermuda greens over four days.
SEA ISLAND RESORT SEASIDE AND PLANTATION COURSE SPECS
- Yards (SS): 7,005
- Yards (P): 7,060
- Par (SS): 70 (4x 3s / 12x 4s / 2x 5s)
- Par (P): 72 (4x 3s / 10x 4s / 4x 5s)
- Greens (Both): Bermuda
- Architect (SS): Tom Fazio
- Architect (P): Davis Love III (2019 redesign)
- Historical Cut Line: -5
- Comp Courses: Waialae CC, Pebble Beach, El Camaleon, Port Royal, Sedgefield CC, Harbour Town, TPC Summerlin, Stadium Course
- Hole-by-hole Breakdown:
COURSE HISTORY AND COURSE COMPS
There are many course horses in the field this week with so many PGA TOUR members calling Sea Island home. Webb Simpson leads the way in this field, which is hardly surprising on this short Bermuda layout. He has six top-12 finishes over 10 career starts at this event, and is only three starts removed from a vintage T5 finish at the Wyndham Championship.
After Simpson, there is a long list of players with sticky course history. The rest of the top 10 in total strokes gained at Sea Island in this week’s field is rounded out by Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, Corey Conners, Brian Harman, Robert Streb, Mackenzie Hughes, Matthew NeSmith, JJ Spaun, and Billy Horschel.
Any time we travel to a sub-7,200 yard course, we tend to see the same usual suspects rise to the top of leaderboards. It’s always a good idea to start the weekly research by referencing performances on other recent short courses.
In my opinion, Waialae CC is the clear top comp course to Sea Island Resort. Unlike the other short courses, Waialae CC is the only one that shares all the same characteristics of Bermuda grass throughout, easy scoring conditions, open exposure to coastal winds and high overlap of crossover performance.
In addition to Waialae CC, I’m looking to Harbour Town, Sedgefield CC and Stadium Course as short Bermuda comps. From a short and coastal/windy perspective, I’ll also look to Pebble Beach, El Camaleon, Port Royal and TPC Summerlin.
Combine performance across this list and the top-10 players in Comp Course History here are Russell Henley, Corey Conners, JT Poston, Maverick McNealy, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar, Taylor Montgomery, Brendon Todd, and Thomas Detry.
KEY STATS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BETTING PGA TOUR Golf ODDS
- SG: APP
- Prox: 100-175
- Fairways Gained
- GIRs Gained
- Birdies or Better Gained
- Par 4 Scoring / P4: 400-450
- SG: P (Fast Bermuda)
- SG: TOT (Easy Scoring Conditions)
- SG: T2G (<7,200 Yard Courses)
- Course & Comp Course History
It’s a fairly simple formula for repeated success at the RSM Classic, so the ideal player pool I’m looking to hone in on should rank above-average in Course & Comp Course History, SG: APP, Birdies or Better Gained, SG: TOT (Easy Scoring Conditions), Prox: 100-175 and Weighted Putting. Eight players fit that criteria: Russell Henley, Eric Cole, Brian Harman, Brendon Todd, Chesson Hadley, Adam Svensson, Nate Lashley, and Doc Redman.
Looking at the correlated stats with success at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort, SG: P and 3-Putt Avoidance make significant jumps inside the top 10. The lone exception compared to a typical birdie-fest is the de-prioritization of Par-5 Scoring, considering there are only two par 5s on the Seaside course. Both are reachable in two for a majority of the field.
Eleven players in the field rank above average in each of the above 10 key stat categories: Russell Henley, Eric Cole, JT Poston, Billy Horschel, Denny McCarthy, Alex Noren, Kelly Kraft, Harris English, Adam Schenk, Ludvig Aberg, and Chesson Hadley.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Chesson hadley
We’ve reached the end of the longest wraparound season in PGA TOUR history, and not once over that time have I felt compelled to wager on Chesson Hadley. I’m still not overly enthusiastic about his win equity against a more competitive field this week, but the presence of so many other top-50 golfers leads me to believe we won’t be forced to buy too high on Hadley’s recent form.
Fresh off of back-to-back T7 finishes at the Shriners Open and WWT Championship, Hadley has caught fire at the right time. That strong recent play has helped safely elevate him inside the top-125 of the FedEx Cup Standings to secure his card through next season, which should allow him to play more freely in this final event.
A second shot course which emphasizes approach play with short irons and Bermuda putting should be music to Hadley’s ears, as he ranks top-5 in Weighted Putting and No. 1 in Prox: 125-150. Still in search of his first PGA TOUR win since 2014, Hadley may draw inspiration from Camilo Villegas who just overcame the same draught in Bermuda. No. 6 overall in my model, I’ll follow the numbers for a bet on Hadley if the odds drift beyond 75-1.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT THE 2023 RSM CLASSIC
With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early toward the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the PGA TOUR golf odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings.
In my model, I’m emphasizing SG: APP, SG: TOT (Easy Scoring Conditions), Birdies or Better Gained and Comp Course History, followed by a more balanced mix of Par-4: 400-450, Prox: 100-175, SG: T2G (<7,200 Yard Courses), Good Drives Gained and SG: P (L36 + Bermuda).
The new age Webb Simpson, it’s Russell Henley’s name who inevitably finds the top spot in my model at any given short, positional, Bermuda layout. Henley is a standout on these types of courses and ranks No. 1 in Comp Course History, Par 4: 400-450, and SG: APP. He’ll kick off some rust this week, making his first start since the TOUR Championship in August, but has a decorated history at the RSM Classic with three career top-10 finishes.
After Henley, the rest of my model’s top 10 features Eric Cole, Brian Harman, Brendon Todd, JT Poston, Chesson Hadley, Sam Ryder, Billy Horschel, Adam Svensson, and Doug Ghim.
When the odds open, I’ll look to target Brian Harman, Russell Henley, or JT Poston at the top of the board, along with Chesson Hadley, Davis Thompson, and Webb Simpson in consideration amongst longshots. You can always get immediate notifications when I make a bet in our free Discord.
Check back in later this week for more updates, and best of luck betting RSM Classic odds!
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