PGA DFS Primer: The RSM Classic (2022)
The 2021 Houston Open saw Jason Kokrak mount a five-birdie comeback in the final round to finish 10-under-par at Memorial Park Golf Course this past weekend. Nearly every player who competed had at least one day where they were flirting with an E or over-par score, as the green run-offs posed a significant challenge on approach shots. This allowed some of the lesser-known household names like Kevin Tway (T2/-8) and Martin Trainer (T5/-6) to finish inside of the top-five and elevate their position in the FedExCup rankings. Sam Burns and Matthew Wolff were two players I liked a lot, and they both managed to post T7 and T11 finishes, respectively, while Maverick McNealy went two-under-par to earn a T19 finish. Unfortunately, Brooks Koepka, who course architect Tom Doak consulted, failed to make the cut after going three-over-par in the first two rounds. It was a weekend that saw the leaderboard shift frequently, but a playoff was unnecessary, as Kokrak finished two strokes ahead of Kevin Tway and Scottie Scheffler.
The PGA Tour travels to the Eastern seaboard to play at the RSM Classic, located in Saint Simons Island, Georgia, at Sea Island Golf Club. It’s a unique stop on the Tour because players will be tested on two different courses during the cut period, as a round is played at the Seaside course with the other round played at the Plantation course. The final two rounds will be played at Seaside. This will be the last big event played before the Tour breaks for the holidays, resuming with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui, Hawaii, the first week of January.
I’ve gathered a few of my favorite players entering the 2022 RSM Classic and will explain why each one deserves to be inserted into DFS lineups ahead of Thursday’s first-round at Seaside. So let’s get into it!
- 2021 – Robert Streb (-19)
- 2020 – Tyler Duncan (-19)
- 2019 – Charles Howell III (-19)
- 2018 – Austin Cook (-21)
- 2017 – Mackenzie Hughes (-17)
The RSM Classic is unique because of the two courses that it alternates between during the first two rounds. The Seaside course gets the most run of the two if players make the cut, as the last two rounds stay at Seaside. The Plantation course is only a featured circuit for players one time, and it splits the players into halves, meaning some play it Thursday and others play it on Friday. Plantation is a par 72 stretching just beyond 7,000 yards, while Seaside is a par 70 with nearly the same length amassed throughout its 18 holes.
Wind remains a factor as it’s a coastal site for both courses, which means that capitalizing on strong drives and approach shots will be vital to staying atop the leaderboard throughout the weekend, regardless of the course. Water hazards and tree-lined fairways abound, with a couple of sand bunkers flanking fairways and greens. There are a ton of designed mounds or hills built into the fairways, meaning a good drive or shot off the tee could land in a much different location than anticipated. Most of the par 5s are doglegs, meaning players will need to adapt to the angle of the fairway when swinging at the tee box. The weather should be temperate, and the wind will continue to be a factor throughout the weekend, making it a difficult task to reach the bermudagrass greens a stroke or two ahead of par.
Relevant Betting Stats
- Greens in Regulation (GIR) percentage
- Birdie Average
- Driving accuracy percentage
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Sand save percentage
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Scottie Scheffler ($10,900)
Scheffler has been playing elite golf as of late, earning a fourth-place and T2 finish in his last two events at Mayakoba and the Houston Open. His 73.5 percent GIR conversion rate is 25th-best on Tour, and a 5.50 birdie average per round makes Scheffler the most expensive prospect to roster on DraftKings. However, he’s worth the price, especially considering the T5 finish at the 2019 RSM Classic. The 25-year old American has also been a quality scrambler this season with efficient sand save percentage that will come in handy on any errant shots at Seaside and Plantation this weekend.
Kevin Kisner ($9,200)
The 37-year old American has spent the last month out of events, meaning Kisner will be fresh entering the RSM Classic. This is an event Kisner has dominated in the past, earning five finishes inside of the top ten and winning outright back in 2015. His salary is discounted to reflect the missed cut and T54 finish that represent his only outcomes of the young season, meaning he has exceptional value in lineups at Sea Island this weekend. Kisner is ranked in the top-three for driving accuracy and GIR percentage and will lean on this skillset to tap into his previous success at the two courses. Take advantage of the slow start to Kisner’s season and plug him into lineups to cash out after the final round concludes.
Mackenzie Hughes ($8,600)
Hughes has performed consistently well in all four events that he’s competed in this season, finishing T29 (E) at the Houston Open this past weekend. The 30-year old Canadian managed a T4 finish (-6) at the ZoZo Championship a few weeks back and has a reliable putter and an accurate driver. This will allow Hughes to start and finish strong, forcing him to improve his iron play on par 3s and around the green. Hughes still maintains a 4.31 birdie average and will be reliable to produce points in lineups all weekend, as he has yet to miss a cut-line.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000
Robert Streb ($9,400)
One of the more consistent veterans on Tour is 34-year old Robert Streb. A T7 (-5) finish at the Houston Open marked his best finish of the season, and he returns to Sea Island as a two-time winner and the defending champion. His driver accuracy ranks in the top ten at 70.9 percent, and success with strokes gained putting (.690), and strokes gained around the green (.273) combine to make Streb a quality investment in lineups. He has exceptional value with two dozen players priced ahead of him on FanDuel, so take advantage of the price discrepancy based on the talent and familiarity Streb possesses at Sea Island.
Harris English ($11,400)
Despite rehabbing a back injury sustained in his last event at the CJ Cup @ SUMMIT a month ago, 32-year old Harris English returns to the site where he produced a T6 finish last year. He is currently ranked 16th in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and possesses excellent iron play with strokes gained approaching the green, around the green, and tee-to-green. Harris also has a modest 71.1 percent GIR conversion rate that reflects his talent on second and third shots, allowing him to overcome an inconsistent putter. He’s expensive to insert into lineups, but it will pay off in lineups at Sea Island this weekend.
Alex Noren ($10,800)
The 39-year old Swede has impressed in his last two trips to Sea Island, finishing inside the top 20 during both events and being consistent enough with his scrambling and iron play on shorter par 3s and par 4s. Noren has built momentum this season with a T18 at the ZoZo Championship, but he has faltered in the final round of every event he’s competed in to start the season. He will make the cut in all likelihood due to his previous success translating into a comfort level at Sea Island. However, there is undoubtedly a lower ceiling with Noren compared to other players available around his salary. This recommendation is primarily based on his past success and banking on Noren to improve in the clutch moments on Sunday, which would elevate his production significantly in lineups. It’s a mild risk worth taking.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.