Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The RSM Classic
Once the festivities wrap up in Mexico and a champion is crowned at the rain-soaked Mayakoba Golf Classic, the PGA Tour will pivot to its first rotation event of the 2019-20 season at the RSM Classic.
Sea Island Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia is the host with golfers splitting their first two rounds between the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course before playing the weekend rounds at Seaside. Plantation is more inland and does not get quite as much wind as its counterpart, but it is still somewhat susceptible to gusts and is actually freshly redesigned by Davis Love III and his brother Mark Love heading into this year's event.
Seaside, as the name suggests, is along the coast and relies largely on breezes off the Atlantic to prevent the world's best from rolling over it with ease. The weather is even more important than normal this week when building DFS lineups or eyeing up the options for outright wagers. Golfers who get the worst of Seaside over the first two days will have a much harder time finding the podium, and those playing one-round matchups or daily fantasy contests are best advised to target golfers on the Plantation Course.
The early forecast looks clear of rain at least, so be sure to monitor the wind predictions all the way up to lock.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Sea Island Golf Club - Seaside Course
Distance: 7,005 yards
Fairways/Rough: Tifway Bermuda overseeded with perennial ryegrass / rough includes native areas
Greens: Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivalis
|Season||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
Course: Sea Island Golf Club - Plantation Course
Distance: 6,907 yards
Fairways/Rough: Tifway Bermuda overseeded with perennial ryegrass
Greens: TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivalis
|Season||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
Seaside was a tale of two halves last year, with the first two days being far more difficult than an average RSM Classic or even an average Tour event, before giving up the goods over the weekend. The Round 1 scoring average last year was the 7th-highest all season, Round 2 was 21st-highest, and Rounds 3 and 4 were both 42nd-highest. The first round played, on average, more than a stroke over par. Plantation was also harder on Thursday, with a Round 1 average of 71.05 (21st) and a Round 2 average of 69.83 (45th).
As far as comparisons go, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am rotation comes to mind due to the variety of courses and the coastal nature of the primary layout. The Desert Classic rotation features scoring-friendly conditions sans wind, as well as overseeded greens. We mentioned the RSM rotation last week with regard to the El Camaleon comps, as a resort course situated along a coast that can have wild swings in difficulty.
These stats will be key to success in the RSM Classic.
|Key Stats for the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400 - 450 yards)|
|Proximity Gained 150-175 yards|
The two courses this week are short enough to give everyone a fighting chance, but keeping the ball in play is paramount. The Seaside course has been inside the top 17 in shortest average driving distance each of the past six years with one of the highest accuracy percentages (76.60% last year). Fairways gained filters the best of the best -- even in events like this where most of the field is keeping the ball in the short grass, beating that percentage will make it almost impossible to miss the cut short of an epic disaster on the greens.
With such a high percentage of the field in the fairway, the cream of the crop separate themselves by gaining with their irons and wedges. Most golfers will find themselves in the 150-175 yard range for that all important second shot, making it a focus this week for speculators. Converting those birdie opportunities is a must given the scoring conditions, and particularly golfers who can make hay on short par 4s.
Course History Studs
Kevin Kisner finished T7 last year and has been T4, MC, 1st, T4, T20 in his prior five attempts. He fits the mold perfectly, as last year he ranked 6th on the entire Tour in efficiency on par 4s between 400-450 yards and 15th in driving accuracy. He attended college in Georgia and has lived on Sea Island in the past.
Chris Kirk returned to action last week after taking most of last year off to deal with personal issues, and he showed well enough with a made cut and a finish inside the top 40 in his first action since April. He makes his home in Georgia, and he has been money at this event in the past -- a disappointing T46 last year was preceded by T4, MC, T18, T4, 1st.
Austin Cook followed up a win two years ago with a T11 last year.
Charles Howell will defend his long overdue title from last season, and he'll be a name to watch once again. In addition to his win, he has a MC, T13, and T9 the past four years.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.