RSM Classic outright and matchups betting preview

The 2020 Masters has come and passed and it did not disappoint. World #1, Dustin Johnson, completed his memorable year by claiming the green jacket and his second major title. A few golfers were in the mx mid way through the final round but ultimately DJ was too much and pulled away on the back nine. The PGA Tour now heads to Sea Island Golf Club on the coast of Georgia for the RSM Classic.

This is the first time that this event will follow the Masters and because of the proximity to Augusta, the field is much stronger than a typical year’s event. Many of the top international players have decided to stay around for another week’s worth of golf and this has led to a number of top-25 ranked golfers playing the RSM for the first time. 

The field

Headlining the field is the pre-tournament favorite, Webb Simpson, who has finished 2nd and 3rd here both of the past two years. He is also coming off a top-10 finish at the Masters so is certainly a golfer warranting the top spot on the betting board. 

Some of the top international players making the short drive from Augusta to Sea Island are Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowery, Justin Rose, and Tommy Fleetwood. A few others playing two weeks in row will be Jason Day, Jason Kokrak, and Corey Conners. Traditionally speaking, the golfers who play the week after the Masters have not found a lot of success, so we will see if that trend continues this week. 

Some of the notable names who didn’t qualify for the Masters and took last week off are Russell Henley, Mackenzie Hughes, and Harris English. Joaquin Niemann qualified for Augusta but was unable to compete due to a positive Covid test but he is healthy and will be back on the course this week. 

The course

The RSM Classic always features an interesting twist due to the fact that the golfers will be taking on two different courses over the four days. Players will split the first two rounds between Seaside and Plantation, with the final two rounds both being featured on the Seaside Course. The tougher of the two is the Seaside Course and will be the one we focus on the most. The Seaside is a traditional coastal Bermuda course while the Plantation is more of a tree-lined park course. 

Seaside Island Resort is a par-70 layout measuring just over 7,000 yards in length. The Plantation is a par-72 that stretches out to almost 7,100 yards. The Plantation course does not provide shot link data so we don’t have as good of a grasp on the details but with three of the four rounds being played over at Seaside, we can put the majority of the effort into that, which does provide all the data we could ask for.

Seaside Course

Seaside is a par-70 that reaches just over 7,000 yards and is a traditional coastal Bermuda course that features two par-5s and four par-3s. When looking at the last few years, the long par-3s and middle length par-4s offer the biggest challenges and the best scoring chances are on the two par-5s, which both saw a birdie rate of over 35% last year. The course does play fairly easy with the winning score being better than -17 the past five years.

Some of the challenges facing the 156 golfers are strategically placed bunkers, fast greens, and the potential for coastal winds to alter the length on different shots. History shows that it is much more important to be finding the fairway than it is to be hitting it far. For this reason, often golfers will take less than driver off the tee. The greens are smaller in size which puts an emphasis on scrambling but they were also fairly easy to hit last year and it essentially turned into a putting contest. The ideal golfer would be someone to keep the ball in play and have solid history with Bermuda greens and scrambling.

Past winners of this event (Tyler Duncan, Mackenzie Hughers, and Kevin Kisner) all fit this mold. 

Notable stats

Driving accuracy

  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda)
  • Par-4s 400-450 yards
  • Birdie or Better Gained

Outrights value

Russel Henley +2800

Player NameSG: APPSG: ARGSG: T2GFwys GainedSG: PP4: 400-450BoB Gained
Russell Henley1171889141
Russel Henley stats

Sure to be a popular name from a betting side this week, Henley appears to be a great fit for the course. I could understand the argument for starting the card with Webb but I’ll be dropping down the board a little further to begin here. Webb is coming off a grueling top-10 at the Masters and should have some emotional layover. Henley comes in fresh and in good form. He leads the first in strokes gained: approach, tee-to-green, and par-4 400-450 yard scoring. He is also top-10 in finding fairways. 

Bermuda is by far his preferred putting surface, gaining twice as many strokes there as he does on Bent or Poa. Henley has made eight straight cuts on tour including four top-10s. He has been all over the leaderboard and is just a couple good swings away from breaking through. I’m looking for that to happen this week in Georgia. 

Harris English +3000

Player NameSG: APPSG: ARGSG: T2GFwys GainedSG: PP4: 400-450BoB Gained
Harris English30164610678
Harris English stats

Harris English is a golfer who has made plenty of appearances in this article over the past few months. He is going to win eventually and I’m not missing out when he does. My theme for the card this week is golfers who took last week off but have been in good form as of late. English fits that model having finished inside the top-30 in 10 of his past 12 starts. This included a top-5 at the US Open back in September. He can compete with the best golfers in the world, and his stats prove that.

He is 1st in the field in scrambling, 10th in Bermuda putting, and 8th in Birdies or Better gained. He gives himself plenty of chances for scoring and that will be needed this week which may very well turn into a scoring fest. That is the exact type of event that I want to be targeting Harris English.

Doc Redman +6000

Player NameSG: APPSG: ARGSG: T2GFwys GainedSG: PP4: 400-450BoB Gained
Doc Redman21492413511021
Doc Redman stats

Another golfer who has done everything but win recently is Doc Redmon. His odds got as low as the mid 20s as of late but he is back down to a spot that is very betable for someone of his caliber. He trails only Henley in strokes gained: approach and is 13th in hitting fairways. He certainly struggles around the green but if the irons are dialed in, there won’t be a need for the short game. 

His recent results have been a little up and down (3rd / 28th / MC / 4th / MC) but when he is on, he tends to find his name near the top of leaderboards. Just like Henley, Doc also took last week off and will be back ready to play well just like he did at the similar coastal course in Bermuda just a few weeks ago. 60/1 is great value for the steady and reliable Redman. 


Kevin Streelman +9000 (+1600 top-5)

Player NameSG: APPSG: ARGSG: T2GFwys GainedSG: PP4: 400-450BoB Gained
Kevin Streelman25681818701114
Kevin Streelman stats

A fairway finder in an approach heavy tournament is the place I like to look at Streelman. The last tournament that he popped at was the Safeway out in Napa Valley. That course featured the majority of the par-4s playing between 400-450 yards and played into golfer’s ability to hit fairways. Those are characteristics that will come into play this week as well and he finished 3rd back in September at that event. It wasn’t just that one finish in Napa. Streelman has finished inside the top-30 in two of his past three starts and has made 10 of his last 13 cuts. 

He tends to find a ton of fairways, is strong with his irons, and gives himself a lot of looks for birdies. Even with the strengthened field, 90/1 is still great value for Kevin Streelman. I’ll be laying the 16/1 top-5 as well as the 8/1 top-10.

Tournament matchups

Matchups continue to be hot going 2-0 again last week bringing the four week total to 7-1. Betting matchups is a great way to manage bankroll if outrights aren’t hitting. Any golfer that you are liking to win the event, it is never a bad idea to place some matchups on them as well.

For more information on matchup betting in golf, check out our full guide here

Sungjae Im -125 vs Matthew Fitzpatrick +105

If we’re going to talk about having an emotional hangover from last week, we have to discuss Sungjae Im. What a week it was for the Masters rookie. He walked away with a 2nd place finish in his first trip to Augusta. The two weeks prior he had results of 50th and 41st. The irons have been a bit shaky as of late and anyone who watched Sunday’s final round saw approach shots going astray. His driving and short game is what kept him in the event. That is a model that doesn’t necessarily lead to long term success.

On the other hand, we are back on Bermuda for Fitzpatrick which historically is where he wants to be. He is 2nd in the field in strokes gained: putting on Bermuda greens. He is also in the top-20 in finding fairways and birdie or better percentage. This course sets up great for the Englishman who will be staying in the states to compete for an extra week.

The pick: Matthew Fitzpatrick +105

Tyrrell Hatton +138 vs Webb Simpson -175

Inconsistent but has winning upside vs very steady but doesn’t win much. That’s what we find here in this matchup. Hatton’s last six events have resulted in finishes of MC / 7th / 28th / 3rd / MC / 7th. When his irons are dialed in, he is hard to beat but he doesn’t find a ton of fairways and his short game leaves a lot to be desired. 

Webb Simpson on the other hand seems to be near the top of the field every week. He has 7 straight finishes of 17th or better. He is top-10 in four of the major stat categories this week including birdie or better percentage and fairways gained. The last two years, Webb has finished 2nd and 3rd at this course and I don’t see any reason for that to change this week. 

I don’t usually lay such a big number in matchups but I’m really liking this one so we’ll take the big price.

The pick: Webb Simpson -175