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rsm classic

DraftKings Preview for The 2021 RSM Classic

the sea island boys host the final fall swing field at the RSM Classic

It wasn't the typical birdiefest we see but it was nice to see Jason Kokrak pick up another win last week at the Houston Open. Scoring should be a bit easier this week as the PGA Tour heads to St. Simons Island, Georgia for the 2021 RSM Classic. The final event of the fall swing before the Tour goes on hiatus until January. Let's get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend. 

What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week. 

If you are not paying attention, it may be time to do so as Patrick Perry hit another outright winner. The 'Not That Anyone Cares' betting card binked its third winner of the new season with a 50-1 Kokrak ticket joining a Sungjae Im and Viktor Hovland ticket. Pat releases the card Wednesday evenings and discusses the plays after in the Nut Hut during our live chat. Be there!

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The Field and Tournament Details for the RSM Classic

Sea Island has become a breeding ground for tour players with the likes of Patton Kizzire, JT Poston, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Harris English, Joey Garber, Josh Teater, Michael Thompson, Hudson Swafford, Trey Mullinax, Kieth Mitchell, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Greyson Sigg, and Brian Harman all residing or training in the community.

This will be the 11th edition of the RSM Classic to take place at Sea Island Resort. Robert Streb won his second RSM Classic in 2020 after beating Kevin Kisner in a playoff. Streb had previously won in 2014. Tyler Duncan and Charles Howell III captured the title the previous two years and including Streb, all three got it to -19 by the 72nd hole. Austin Cook (2017), Mackenzie Hughes (2016), Chris Kirk (2013), Tommy Gainey (2011), Ben Crane (2010), and Heath Slocum (2009) round out the past winners of the RSM Classic.

It's no surprise to see Scottie Scheffler atop the DraftKings pricing after his last few outings. Webb Simpson, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith, and Harris English join Chef in the $10ks. Brand new dad like myself, Corey Conners, will tee it up for the first time since the Shriners. Joaquin Niemann, Russell Henley, Alex Noren, Talor Gooch, Kisner, and Adam Scott fill in the $9ks.

The field is maxed out at 156 with the top 65 and ties making the weekend. Adam Schenk was an early WD replaced by DJ Trahan. Monday open qualifier spots were won by Kyle Wilshire, Carl Yuan, Mickey DeMorat, and Kevin Yu.

Seaside & Plantation key stats & Course Breakdown

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St. Simons boasts multiple courses and we will see two this week. The Seaside Course and the Plantation Course. Seaside is a par 70 playing just over 7000 yards along the shore with wide fairways. The Plantation course is more inland, tree-lined, and plays at similar yardage but adds two extra par 5s playing as a par 72. Both setups feature Bermudagrass tee to green. Every player in the field will play each course once during the first two rounds with the weekend being played on the Seaside Course.

These are quite easy setups with just the wind and the greens as a defense. Seaside does have the third most water hazards in play on Tour though. There is and will continue to be a lot of talk about which course to target on which day. Truth is, it doesn't really matter. Plantation underwent a redesign leading up to the 2020 edition and scoring was almost dead even on both sides. Now if the wind picks up, Seaside becomes more susceptible. However, according to caddie friends, Plantation becomes a bit more confusing with the wind.

Key Stats for RSM Classic

With two different courses in play, it’s best to keep things simple when looking at the numbers. Accuracy off the tee is generally important but the fairways are wide here and the rough generally isn't too thick. It is Bermuda however and everyone knows Bermudagrass can be a bitch! With that in mind, I like Fantasy National’s Good Drives Gained stat. It doesn't just factor in strokes gained off the tee. It measures players who make greens in regulation with their effort off the tee box even if the fairway was missed.

I’m always looking at Opps GainedSG: T2G, and BoB %Putting on Bermudagrass has been a big factor in a player’s finishing position here so that should carry some weight in your model and with the gnarly grass, I’ll look at Scrambling this week as well. Finally, with 29 of the 72 holes the field will play this week between 400-450 yards, Par 4 Scoring in that range is worth looking into.

Here's a little tidbit from our in-house Nut Hut caddie; "The greens are a real tight strain of Bermuda and roll very nice at a make pace - got to pay attention to the grain change on the greens and approach..."

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The Picks & Fades

Each week we will give you some plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range. For all of DB and Pat’s thoughts and picks make sure to check out and subscribe to the Tour Junkies Podcast.

To Play or Not to Play Brooks Koepka

Brooks broke my heart and fed DB's ego. Both are -EV. Luckily he is not in the field this week.

$9K & Above 

  • DB: Play - Scottie Scheffler | Fade - Webb Simpson
  • Pat: Play - Corey Conners | Fade - Joaquin Niemann
  • AC: Play - Cameron Smith, Alex Noren, Russell Henley | Fade - Corey Conners

Up until I was ready to publish this article I was on Louis Oosthuizen. I may go back still because the ownership looks too good to pass up. However, I will start with Cam Smith. The man is a scorer and the numbers are finally saying it's time. 1st in par 5 scoring, 2nd in birdies, 4th in approach, and 4th in DK scoring. Noren is always a favorite play of mine and with his last two stops here, my interest has spiked. He's also the best putter in the field over the last three months and owns the 400-450 par 4 range. Been on Henley. Not getting off. Lots of win equity here.

This fade of Conners feels dirty. I apologize Corey but this is a business decision. I am also a new dad and know what the first week was like. You have also not played competitively for almost two months and where putting is going to matter so much, I have my concerns. You have also been talked up by every tout out there and your ownership is skyrocketing.

$8K Range

  • DB: Play - Brendon Todd | Fade - Justin Rose
  • Pat: Play - Mackenzie Hughes | Fade - Justin Rose
  • AC: Play - Mackenzie Hughes, Chris Kirk | Fade - Max Homa

Mac has been doing what he does best lately and it's been paying off. On a run of 11 straight cuts with five top 25s. The short game is legit AF and with his only win coming in this event, I'm here for more Mac. Kirk also has a victory here like Hughes, has a good run of made cuts himself. The stats aren't pretty overall but if you click on Bermuda, well they get green pretty quick. Unfortunately, it appears a lot of others are also looking at Kirk so will have to be a late look, ownership-wise.

Homa just really isn't a fan of Bermuda tracks and specifically Sea island. Homa has missed all three cuts at the RSM and the price is pretty steep for a guy who has only finished in the top 25 once in his last seven events.

$7K Range

  • DB: Play - Denny McCarthy | Fade - Jason Day
  • Pat: Play - Adam Long | Fade - Robert Streb
  • AC: Play - Luke List, Hayden Buckley, Alex Smalley | Fade - Sebastian Munoz

Along with some great course history, Luke is on a bit of a heater with three t17s in his last five starts. He comes in 2nd tee to green, 6th around the green, and 16th in good drives gained over the last three months. Buckley and Smalley do not have course history but both fit nicely in my models. Buckley is actually first over his last 14 rounds ranking 3rd tee to green, 6th in DK scoring, and 11th in good drives gained. Smalley can pile up the birdies as well as take care of the par 4s and overall tee to green.

Munoz hasn't really put anything together as of late and even though he has a T4 a couple of years back, there are also three missed cuts at the RSM.

$6K Range

  • DB: Play - Michael Thompson, Davis Thompson, Andrew Putnam
  • Pat: Play - Chad Ramey, Davis Riley, Greyson Sigg
  • AC: Play - Rory Sabbatini, Zach Johnson, Max McGreevy

You know what. The $6k range is kinda nice this week. I may even throw a lineup in the Nut Hut Listener League that is just all $6k guys. I like DB and Pat's picks as well. I liked Ramey his last few starts and don't mind going back to him. However, we gotta pick some different guys. So... I think my three guys are better than their's and they got to pick first. Sabbatini and ZJ have great course history. Sabbs is trending well and ZJ made the cut at Houston last week. McGreevy was one of the last players in the field last week and parlayed it into a T20. Some nice stats on McGreevy's resume as well over his last 12 rounds.

There ya go. My daughter is screaming. She also just peed all over me so better go be a dad. Hope for green screens for all of you. Pay attention to the wind. Pay attention to the ownership. Good luck!

THE INS & OUTS

OUT: Adam Schenk
IN: DJ Trahan
Open qualifiers: 62 (-8) Kyle Wilshire (1 eagle, 6 birdies), Carl Yuan (1 eagle, 7 birdies, 1 bogey) / 63 (-7) Mickey DeMorat (1 eagle, 7 birdies, 2 bogeys) / 64 (-6) Kevin Yu (1 eagle, 4 birdies)

*Field is set at 156 with the top 65 and ties making the cut after 36 holes.