The final event of the swing season takes place this week as the PGA Tour heads to St. Simons Island, Georgia, for the RSM Classic. With one of the larger fields of the 2021-22 season thus far, 156 players are set to take on a pair of golf courses at Sea Island Golf Club as they look for momentum to take into the relatively short offseason.
Last week’s winner, Jason Kokrak, was originally in the field but has since pulled out. Likely partaking in some celebrations, the Houston Open winner has found his footing after a slow start to his professional career, posting three victories in his last 27 starts on the PGA Tour. The 36-year-old will look to add yet another piece of hardware to his trophy case once the tour heads to Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.
Until then, we turn our attention to the betting odds at the RSM Classic. Unlike Memorial Park, the PGA Tour has been making stops at Sea Island Golf Club for quite some time. Last year, Robert Streb captured his second victory on the PGA Tour with his second RSM Classic title.
Getting the better of Kevin Kisner in a playoff, the former Kansas State Wildcat stuck his approach on the second playoff hole, converting the birdie opportunity to secure the victory. Before Streb, it was another unlikely winner in Tyler Duncan who came through in a playoff.
Long shots and playoffs tend to be a common theme in Sea Island, Georgia, at the RSM Classic. While Duncan was able to oust Webb Simpson, who is one of this week’s RSM Classic betting favorites, Charles Howell III did the same to Patrick Rodgers the previous year.
In each instance, the winning score came to 19 under and a playoff was required. Austin Cook made things a bit less dramatic in 2017 as he defeated J.J. Spaun for a stress-free four-stroke margin of victory. However, in 2016, the exact opposite occurred in Mackenzie Hughes’ victory.
Finishing at 17 under, the Canadian was able to defeat Blayne Barber, Billy Horschel, Henrik Norlander and Camilo Villegas in five-man playoff to capture his first PGA Tour title. Hughes is one of five players in the last 10 editions of this tournament to claim their maiden victory in Sea Island.
Looking to continue in the trend of first-time winners is RSM Classic betting favorite Scottie Scheffler. After squandering the 54-hole lead at the Houston Open, Scheffler returns to Sea Island for the second time in his career after finishing in a tie for fifth in 2019. At +1200 at BetOnline Sportsbook, our odds calculator gives Scheffler a 7.69 percent chance to capture his long-awaited first victory.
Odds To Win The RSM Classic
Odds as of November 15 at BetOnline Sportsbook
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Course And Analysis
Players will alternate the first two rounds between the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course at Sea Island Golf Club. Once the cut is established, the Seaside Course will host play over the weekend, as the Tom Fazio redesign typically does.
The Plantation Course, the more inland of the two, has played a bit more difficult in recent memory as it measures just over 7,000 yards and plays to a par 72. Davis Love III and his brother beefed up its defenses in 2019. It will be interesting if that remains true this year as before Love III took to the course, it had historically been easier. Despite smaller greens, calmer conditions and slower putting surfaces allow players to take advantage of their scoring opportunities.
Since 54 holes are on the more coastal, links-style golf course, that is where the bulk of our RSM Classic analysis will come from. A par 70 and featuring shot link data, we have a better understanding of what is needed on the Seaside Course.
With players such as Kisner, Duncan and Hughes coming through in the past, it is apparent length is not a prerequisite around here. The RSM Classic has instead had a way of turning into a putting contest of sorts.
While predicting who will be this week’s top putter is near impossible, something we can look to is the layout of the course itself, which has nine par 4s that measure between 400 and 450 yards. With only two par 5s, players will look to the par 4s as a possible avenue through which to separate themselves. In addition to strong iron play, that is the likely road we trek down as we look to dissect the RSM Classic betting odds.
RSM Classic Expert Picks
Harris English (+2500 To Win)
A member of the infamous “Sea Island Mafia,” English’s odds felt a touch too long when they opened at +3000 at some books. The former Georgia Bulldog has yet to find his footing during the swing season, but a home game may quickly change that. Making his 10th RSM Classic appearance, English has had a bit of a mixed bag but arrives this season as a completely different player.
With three top-30 finishes to go along with his career-best T-6 last season, English has the look of someone who is ready to get back into the winner’s circle. A two-time winner last season on the PGA Tour, the 32-year-old found himself in contention more often than not, boasting strong finishes at the Palmetto Championship, U.S. Open and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
After missing the cut at the Shriners Children’s Open and withdrawing during the final round of the CJ Cup at Summit, this is a spot to get right for English. He has not been striking the ball poorly so far this season, it just has not all gone right for him yet. A strong par-4 player, he should be in contention come Sunday if he can get the putter to cooperate.
Kevin Kisner (+3300 To Win)
It was hard to look away when +3300 was released next to Kisner’s name. With the second-best scoring average at the RSM Classic among those who have appeared at least three times, Kisner trails only Simpson in that category. To the tune of 67.56 over his 10 outings in Sea Island, the four-time winner on the PGA Tour is always a threat at the RSM Classic.
With three top-10 finishes, a playoff loss last season and a victory in 2015, Kisner has clearly taken to the coastal course in the state where he went to college. A South Carolina native, the 37-year-old has done some of his best work in this part of the country on tracks similar to both the Plantation and Seaside courses.
A recent winner of the Wyndham Championship, Kisner also holds playoff losses at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, courses where accuracy and precision reign supreme. The same should ring true this week and thus makes Kisner deserving of consideration.
Matt Kuchar (+7500 To Win)
He was unable to come through for us at Mayakoba, but Sea Island is similar to Mexico with respect to it being one of the few stops on the tour where Kuchar can contend. Perhaps going a bit under the radar this swing season, he has been playing some splendid golf and should once again this week at the RSM Classic. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, 3-for-3 in weekend appearances, arrives with the entirety of his bag cooperating.
As a previous winner at Waialae Country Club, El Camaleon Golf Course, Harbour Town Golf Links and TPC Sawgrass, Sea Island should be right up his alley. He’s 8-for-10 on making the cut in Georgia with five top-25 finishes. A top-10 in 2013 was his best effort to date, but given the current trajectory of his play, I am willing to wager he improves on such a result this time around.
Henrik Norlander (+11000 To Win)
A playoff loser to Hughes in 2016, Norlander is set to make his sixth start at the RSM Classic. Possessing a career scoring average of 68.17, the big Swede is coming off an ugly missed cut at the Houston Open. Despite this, the Augusta State standout should continue to thrive at Sea Island, having finished in a tie for fifth in his last appearance in 2019.
He’s shown the ability to rebound off a missed weekend with recent finishes of T-4 at the Sanderson Farms, T-25 at the Palmetto Championship and T-50 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Able to effectively navigate his way around Sea Island in the past, Norlander’s lack of length poses no issue for him. Clearly comfortable on and around these greens, if he is able to have a peak-like iron performance, he should once again contend at the RSM Classic.
Tyler Duncan (+12500 To Win)
We’ve seen course history reign supreme at Sea Island before and this year could be no different. Looking to join Streb as a two-time winner, Duncan is in the midst of some of his very best golf. The former Purdue Boilermaker, playing in the last season of his two-year victory exemption on the PGA Tour, has looked fantastic this fall with a T-14 at the Sanderson Farms, T-45 at Mayakoba and T-29 at the Houston Open on the shoulders of a strong tee-to-green presence..
I am willing to overlook a missed cut in last year’s defense effort as his current form and overall course fit make him a viable option for this week’s RSM Classic.
Golf is unique for many reasons, but one of them is the significant number of betting props available at weekly tournaments. The RSM Classic is no different.
Sportsbooks are offering odds on things like whether there will be a hole-in-one, OVER/UNDERs on the winning score for the eventual champion and odds on which players from specific countries will have the lowest score, to name a few.
Like other sports, betting on props is a fun and unique way to enhance your golf gambling experience.
Live Betting is arguably one of the most exciting ways to bet on golf. If the player you placed a pre-tournament bet on is out of the running at any point during the RSM Classic, you can bet on another golfer as the days go by and have another stake in the game.
If there are only a few men in the hunt on the final day, the odds likely won’t be significantly high, but your chances of winning are. We’ve seen this happen multiple times in the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, as multiple tournaments have gone to a playoff.
These helpful pages will assist you in handicapping your golf wagers: