The 2021 golf year is coming to a close this week in Simon’s Island, GA, as the RSM Classic gets set to tee it off Thursday in the final event. It will be a full 156-player field across two courses, with the Sea Island Course serving as the main host for three rounds, including both days over the weekend.
This event has seen a full field here since 2015, giving a lot of familiarity to it for players on TOUR, but the area is also home to a number of TOUR players, both current and former. The likes of Zach Johnson, Brian Harman, and Patton Kizzire will be the names we hear all week as “Sea Island Boys,” while Davis Love III will play host to the event.
Scottie Scheffler leads the top of the field alongside Webb Simpson as the top players on the odds board. They are joined near the top by Australian Cameron Smith and South African Louis Oosthuizen. Overall, it is a solid field of players for this time of year and will be a great event to finish things off.
As always, we have you covered across our platforms, with Matt Vincenzi starting us with his course fit and stats that matter. Landon Silinsky has his cash game core plays, and our full staff shares their best bets to win this week. I’ll be dialing in things from a DFS perspective with the focus on DraftKings’ $15 Flop Shot with $100,000 to first. One thing to note is that it appears there could be some windy weather to affect play on Friday.
If that is the case, I will prefer the Thursday players on the Seaside Course as they will get an easier go on the Plantation on Friday, on a course that’s less impacted by the wings. I would advise building at least a lineup or two that favors that side if the weather trends that way and maybe using it as a tiebreaker for players.
That said, let’s get right into it.
Cameron Smith $10,300
My top bets this week came down to Russell Henley and Cameron Smith, as they rated out right at the top of my model. I decided to take the better odds on Henley as I feel the price is a bit short in betting markets on Smith, so I will look to get my exposure on the Australian in DFS.
He lines up as a great fit to the courses at Sea Island Resort as the premium on wedges and putting fits his game to a tee. He also has a history of great results on coastal courses, and if the wind picks up, he is one of the better players in the wind on TOUR. The biggest concern with Smith, and it may be what is keeping him in the 15% range on ownership, is that he hasn’t played this event before, and these greens are known to be a little bit difficult to read.
Still, everything else checks the box, and I have faith that he’ll be able to dial in the putter this week and be a contender from the top price tier.
Harris English $10,100
I came into this article set to write up a couple of other players down the board in this price range until I saw just how overlooked Harris English was getting this week. It is really interesting that he is getting almost no buzz in the industry as everyone is looking right past him to Henley and Kisner. Harris appears set to be the lowest owned player at the top, and that is an intriguing proposition for me as if he brings his traditional game, there aren’t many that are more suited to this course.
English had two wins this calendar year, starting with the opening event in Hawaii, and he was in position for a couple of more. He’s been simply an elite player all year, which makes it all the more surprising that he is being overlooked this week on his home course.
Joel Dahmen $8,500
Sometimes there are names in a given week that pop up and make you do a double-take. Joel Dahmen was that guy for me this week, especially because of the elevated price tag, but he checks out. He’s had some good form here recently as he consistently makes cuts and is coming in off of a top-five finish in Houston. I personally have him rated eighth and was pleasantly surprised to see some agreement from the CSURAM88 Model that has him in the 13th position overall.
The ball striking for Dahmen has been great over the last few months as he has gained 6.8 and 7.6 strokes Tee to Green in his last two measured events, but as is generally the case, the putter is the question. While he’s not a good putter on any surface, he is better on Bermuda than the others. He also has a strong history around Fazio courses like Sea Island, all of which I am hoping will lead to another strong week for the man in the bucket hat.
Mito Pereira $8,300
We started the fall swing with Mito getting all of the buzz and ownership in DFS circles. He hasn’t quite paid that off with just one top-10 finish this fall, though he’s consistently made cuts. The Chilean showed some signs of putting things together in Texas last week, which has me betting him this week at an elevated +6600 and going to him in DFS at a subdued 10% ownership.
Pereira ranks third in my personal model as his Tee to Green and Approach play is simply elite. Similar to Dahmen, it comes down to the putter, and I am hoping he will bring the hot putter that had him gain more than four shots on the bermuda greens Houston, along with him to the southeast this week. If he can do that, we have a birdie-making player with elite upside at just an average price.
Hayden Buckley $7,300
The shocking name at the top of the CSURAM88 model this week is Hayden Buckley. I frankly didn’t have a lot of familiarity with him, but digging deeper, it’s pretty easy to see why the model likes him enough to have him third overall.
He was one of the many Korn Ferry TOUR graduates and posted a win on the KFT in February. Buckley has carried that good play into the PGA during the fall with two top-eight finishes. He likely won’t have even 5% ownership this week, and with this kind of immediate impact, he makes a lot of sense as the pivot off of chalk in this range for large-field GPPs.
Patton Kizzire $7,100
Look, I am driving the Denny McCarthy bus this week, and if you build some lineups that can eat chalk, he makes sense as the play in this range, but my exposure to him will be mostly in betting. He’s a great fit here, but there are a bunch of those, and for a fraction of the ownership, I can get another tour winner and local in Patton Kizzire.
Kizzire hasn’t missed the cut at this event in any of his last four appearances and finished in the top 15 in two of those. If we get that type of result this week, we will be really happy in GPPs, especially with the leverage he gives us at this price.
Chad Ramey $6,900
I have written Chad Ramey up so much this fall I probably shouldn’t be allowed to keep him in the sleeper category, but he’s still around 8% ownership and rates highly for both my model and the CSURAM88 Model on Labs. Early returns for Ramey have three made cuts in five events, with two of those as top-20 finishes. He appears to be another great approach player, with a bit of a balky putter, which is perfectly fine here in the lowest tier. I’m going back here one more time for the value on Ramey.
Matthew NeSmith $6,800
Fair warning, this always seems to bite me, but I’m back in on Matthew NeSmith this week. He has always been a bermuda guy that seems to flash mostly in the southeast, all of which sets up well this week. He’s also a Gamecock, so I give him more grace than most, but when I saw him as a top-five play in the ratings for CSURAM88 this week, it was an easy sell for me.
He flashed a bit of form, mostly in his second round last week in Houston, and I am hopeful he will show a bit more consistency this week at a price tag where a made cut is a win, and his upside creates value to help win a big GPP.