Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the RSM Classic
2018 RSM Classic Fantasy Preview
You wait an age for a grizzled veteran to win an elite-level golf event, and then two come along at once!
Matt Kuchar won from wire-to-wire at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico last week on the PGA TOUR; putting an end to the cruel ‘choker’ jibes that have gone the way of one of the nicest men in world golf.
And over on the European Tour, Lee Westwood – another 40-something without a win in four years – showed the young guns how it was done in a Rolex Series event in South Africa.
For Kooch, it was a first PGA TOUR win since April 2014 and a first anywhere since the Fiji International in October 2015.
Matt Kuchar of the United States celebrates with the winner’s trophy on the 18th green after the final round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course on November 11, 2018 in… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
What a relief it must have been then, and while it wasn’t without its hiccups – he bogeyed 14 and 15 on Sunday to give his nearest chasers a sniff – Kuchar would ultimately get the job done. Could this spark the rise of Kooch 2.0!?
This week it’s the last ‘regular’ Tour event of the calendar year: the RSM Classic played at Sea Island GC, Georgia. After that, we’ve the World Cup of Golf, Tiger vs Phil, the 18-player Hero World Challenge and the team-based QBE Shootout.
So dry your eyes folks: unfortunately this is likely to be your last chance to play ‘proper’ DFS golf on the PGA TOUR in 2018. Let’s go out with a bang!
Last Week’s Fantasy Results
We grabbed a bunch of Top 25’s this week with our main picks, including our sleeper pick, Spaun, who finished solo second behind Kuchar at Mayakoba. Our horse pick, Fowler, fell to T16 but still managed to salvage a few good fantasy points; but ultimately not an ideal finish for him this week.
Lee Westwood of England poses with the trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player CC on November 11, 2018 in Sun City, South Africa. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Our top pick on the Euro Tour was Sergio Garcia who fell short to Westwood by one.
The 2018 RSM Classic Field
With the European Tour attracting a decent field for their version of the TOUR Championship, and that end-of-year feel to proceedings, it’s unsurprising that a fairly weak field will tee up on the island.
THE PLAYERS Championship and former US Open champion, Webb Simpson, is the headline maker, and he will be joined by formers winner of this event in Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk and the defending champion Austin Cook.
Kevin Kisner of the United States plays his shot from the 12th tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on September 7, 2018 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Cameron Champ, one of the standout performers of the season so far, will get his first look at Sea Island, while Padraig Harrington heads overseas to try his luck on US soil.
Local favorite Davis Love III will have plenty of home support alongside his son, Dru.
This Week’s Course Preview
The RSM Classic serves up one of the PGA TOUR’s rare ‘split course’ events, with Sea Island GC offering two properties.
The players will tee up for one of their first two rounds at the Seaside course, which also hosts the weekend.
They play their other opening round at the Plantation layout.
The Seaside course is, as the name suggests, the more coastal of the pair. Measuring 7,005 yards for its Par 70, this layout is Links-style in nature and can be buffeted by the winds sweeping in from the ocean, although the track itself is of an agreeable nature.
Aaron Wise of United States plays a shot from a bunker on the 13th hole during the final round of The RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club Seaside Course on November 19, 2017 in St Simons Island,… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
There are some tight driving lines in places, and the Bermuda greens are smaller than average. But these are typically very receptive, and run at a relatively sluggish pace on the stimpmeter.
Harry Colt initially designed the Seaside course way back in 1929, and it has since undergone renovation work from Tom Fazio.
The Plantation course has been given some TLC by Rees Jones, who took an original Walter Travis nine-hole design and combined it with his own work to create the second 18-hole layout used this week.
A Par 72 at 7,058 yards, Plantation is slightly further inland and is parklands in nature, with ancient oaks and long-leaf pines lining the expansive fairways. The greens are again small in stature and Bermuda in construction.
Weather Forecast for Sea Island, GA
It could be a wet and wild start to proceedings this week!
Heavy storms are predicted in the area on Monday and Tuesday, with further rain showers on Wednesday and into Thursday.
Happily, those look set to move away on Friday and leave the weekend set fair, although lower than normal temperatures (60 to 68 degrees) and the sea breeze could leave things feeling rather chilly.
Wind speeds aren’t expected above 11 mph, but remember these will be harsher at local level and on the exposed Seaside links.
Last Year’s Results from the RSM Classic
As is often the case in these Fall Season events, it was a player fresh from the Web.com Tour and full of confidence that took the spoils here 12 months ago.
Austin Cook’s, a previous guest on The Golf Podcast, posted a second round of 62 at the Seaside course that propelled him into the lead at the halfway mark, and the 27-year-old never looked back.
He followed up with 66 to hold a three-shot lead heading into the final round, and despite an early wobble showed no signs of nerves as he approached his maiden PGA TOUR title, birdieing 15, 17 and 18 to complete a comfortable four-shot victory over J.J. Spaun.
Brian Gay was solo third, while local favorites Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk and Brian Harman shared T4 with Andrew Landry.
Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the RSM Classic this Week
It’s quite possible that the RSM Classic will be the last chance you get to play some serious DFS golf in 2018, with a rather low-key selection of events left to follow. As such, this seems like a good time to go in hard!
- PGA $150k Drive the Green: There’s a $30k top prize up for grabs here, and the first 135 home will trouser a handy $50 from a $5 stake.
- PGA $12k Albatross: If you consider yourself to be a well-researched and highly competent DFS gamer – hopefully we’ve helped you on that score! – then a single-entry contest for a weak field tournament is one way in which you can really leverage your advantage.
This Week’s Fantasy Notes for the RSM Classic
Of all the narratives that inform our picks for the RSM Classic year in, year out, that local angle is one well worth pursuing.
Former champions Kisner and Kirk have both lived and practiced on Sea Island, while another local – Brian Harman – bagged a top-five finish last year.
Blayne Barber ranked inside the top-10 for Greens in Regulation last year, while Jonathan Byrd was T2 after the opening round in 2016 – an edition in which Barber would finish T2.
The 2012 winner, Tommy Gainey, is South Carolinan born and bred, while the 2010 victor Heath Slocum studied in Florida.
In short, there’s a real ‘local’ flavor on the leaderboards in the RSM Classic.
Correlating courses include the visually similar Waialae and Harbour Town, while Colonial – host of the Fort Worth Invitational – has seen Kirk and Kisner crowned victors, with David Toms a runner-up both there and on Sea Island.
As for what kind of player profile we need, that’s a lot trickier. All sorts of players have done well here over the years, and that’s no surprise given just how easy the fairways are to hit at these two courses. Scott Stallings ranked dead last for Driving Accuracy 12 months ago but still hit 50% of fairways, while Austin Cook, who ranked fourth for the same measure, found a whopping 85%.
To offer some context, K.J. Choi and Troy Merritt hit a staggering 93% of fairways all-tournament-long and finished T37 and T54 respectively.
Quite simply, this is a GIR contest but more importantly a putting shootout: that’s the only way to differentiate players on tracks with easy tee-to-green conditions.
Bermuda specialists, and those with a hot hand with the flat stick, are essential picks this week!
Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the RSM Classic
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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2018-2019)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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