The PGA TOUR travels stateside for this week’s tournament, the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia. The first two days of the tournament will have a split field on both the Plantation course and the Seaside course. After Friday’s cut, the remainder of the tournament will be played on the Seaside course, which measures just over 7,000 yards, will play as a Par 70 and be putt on Bermuda greens. The tree-lined Plantation course, which is more inland, will play as a par 72 and measure a little over 7,000 yards as well.
Last season, Seaside played as the 16th easiest course in scoring relative to par, and the Plantation course ranked as the 12th easiest. Both sit fairly close to the coast and can be subject to windy conditions, which happened during the second round of last year’s tournament. Average Friday scores on both courses totaled 71.02.
Similar to last week, golfers shouldn’t have a hard time padding their fairway and greens hit in regulation stats, both are well over the TOUR average. Seaside registered an average of 71% fairways hit in regulation and 74% in greens in regulation. We should be focusing on the Seaside course this week with the majority of rounds being played there, and Par 4 Scoring should be at the top of our list when considering who to roster. If you want to dive deeper, Par 4 Scoring on holes between 400 to 450 yards will be even more important with eight holes on Seaside measuring within this distance range. We also should be looking at golfers who do well with their wedges, as 20% of all approach shots came from 125 to 150 yards. Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green will be the most important statistic to prioritize when building our lineups; golfers who’ve finished inside the top five gained more than twice the amount with their irons as they did in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. We’ll keep the trend going with focusing on Par 5 Scoring and Driving Accuracy again this week.
English should continue his strong play in Sea Island after a top-five finish down in Mexico. Much of it was done with his irons, averaging 72% of greens in regulation. He’s missed the cut here twice in the past four years, so in order to do well he’ll need to lean on his strong iron play and his ability to score on par 4s measuring between 400 to 450 yards. The good thing is he ranks first in Par 4 Efficiency 400 to 450 yards over his past six tournaments.
Scheffler was a popular play early in the swing season and should get our attention again in Georgia. This has a Korn Ferry tournament feel to it, and Scheffler dominated on the Korn Ferry Tour last season with 10 top-10s, a couple of second-place finishes and two wins (Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and Evans Scholars Invitational). Although he couldn’t get anything going down in Mexico, he still shot three rounds in the 60s and has made all six of his cuts on the PGA TOUR this season.
McCarthy quietly has been great in the swing season with two top-10s, a top-15 and six straight made cuts. He’s putting extremely well, gaining close to five strokes on the greens in his past 10 tournaments en route to his solid finishes. He shot only two rounds in the 60s last week but scorched the back-nine in his final round, carding four birdies and an eagle. He’ll look to take his momentum to Sea Island and feel confident in his ability to score on par 4s, ranking fifth in Par 4 Scoring, seventh in Par 4 Efficiency 400 to 450 yards and first in overall Birdie or Better percentage in his past six tournaments.
Zhang has made five straight cuts and should be excited to get on a course where his strong iron play can excel. Zhang ranks 11th in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and ninth in Birdie or Better percentage over his past 24 rounds. He made the cut back in 2018 and should keep his solid play going on this coastal course.
He’ll be a nice value play at his price, especially with him ranking first in Par 4 Efficiency 400 to 450 yards over his past six tournaments. He also ranks second in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green over the same timeframe and hasn’t lost strokes in 11 of his past 12 tournaments with his irons. He struggles on Bermuda, but if he has an average week on the greens this week, he should be able to make the cut and do well on a course he’s had decent finishes at in the past.
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