Introduction and Strategy
Written by @kendoVT
The PGA Tour heads to Saint Simons Island, Georgia for the final event of the 2017 calendar year. The RSM Classic will be played at two of Sea Island Resort’s Golf Clubs, the Seaside course and Plantation course. Golfers will be playing each of the two courses during the first two rounds, then finish the weekend at the Seaside course. The Tour does this so they can have a full 156 man field and still be able get all the golfers in before the early fall/winter sunset. The cut per usual is Top 70 and ties.
The RSM Classic used to be called the McGladrey’s Classic and all seven iterations of this tournament have been played at Sea Island. 2015 was the first year they went with the two course rotation so information/stats for the Plantation course is somewhat limited. Personally I will be focusing more on the Seaside course since three of the four rounds will be played there and it has seven years of course history.
Sea Island is home to many Tour golfers and many in the tournament have ties to the area including but not limited to Davis Love III, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Harris English, Patton Kizzire, Brian Harman, JT Poston, Tre Mullinax, and Hudson Swafford. Chris Kirk and Kevin Kisner are part time residents here and they both have victories at Sea Island but I wouldn’t get too enamored with the home course advantage angle as no full time resident has ever won here with the best finish being DL3’s 4th place in 2012. I might just use the home course angle as a tiebreaker this week if you have a couple of golfers with similar projections. Also, a lot of golfers who played college golf in the SEC have experience here as the SEC championship is usually played on this course.
Weather can play a large factor as the Seaside course is a links style course where the wind can play havoc for golfers. As of now the wind looks lighter on Thursday compared to Friday. I would consider rostering golfers who play the Plantation course on the windier day since it is more inland and has many more trees to block the wind from doing too much damage to the golf ball while in the air.
The winning score is usually in the mid teens under par except for 2015 when Kevin Kisner won at -22. That year was the first year with the Plantation course in play and you could surmise that because of the added course, the tournament played easier but I’m not sure if that’s the main reason. Now the Plantation course did play about a stroke under par easier compared to Seaside the last two years but the courses were soaked in 2015 and they played preferred lies for the first two rounds. I think this is the reason the winning score was so high (or low, depending on your perspective) because the fast firm fairways and greens here were slowed down by the rains making both courses play much easier. This week the weather looks dry so the courses should be playing to their normal difficulty.
If you are looking for correlated courses to Sea Island check out Harbour Town Golf Links (RBC Heritage) and Waialae Country Club (Sony Open) as they are both short coastal tracks. Five of the seven winners at Sea Island have had Top 5s or better on one of these two courses prior to their win here.
That’s it for this week. For more PGA DFS knowledge check out my Podcast. It’s called Fantasy Golf Degenerates and you can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud. Make sure you check out the other golf DFS tools on Albatrosser including Jaebberwock’s weekly cheat sheet and the Albatrosser spreadsheet, as it is the best in the business. Follow me on Twitter @KendoVT for more fantasy golf info! Good luck to everyone this week and hopefully you win big!