Houston we had a problem! Last week’s picks didn’t go to plan with our three selections Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power, and Nate Lashley all having a bit of a stinker and missing the cut.
It was a topsy turvy event with the little-known Martin Trainer leading through most of the event until the wheels came off in the final round. Texan native Scottie Scheffler looked to be the man who would take advantage but it was Jason Kokrak who snuck up on the rails with a superb final round -5 to capture his third PGA title.
This week’s RSM Classic is being held in Georgia at the Sea Island Resort and will be contested over two courses, the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course. Both courses are used over the first two rounds before just the Seaside Course is used for the final two rounds.
Let’s focus on the Seaside Course, to begin with. It’s a 7,005-yard par 70 links course that can be heavily affected by the stiff sea breeze. The Seaside Course is best known for its undulating fairways and lightning-fast greens and it will take a really classy player to win over the three rounds that they will play here.
The Plantation Course is located inland and offers a different test to the players. A 7,060 par 72 course is a wider Parkland layout that is lined with trees, large lakes, and creeks. The course consists of four par 5s and is recognized to be easier than the Seaside Course. If a player is to win this weekend, the general consensus is that a good score needs to be posted here. Look for players to be aggressive as they seek the lowest score possible.
Previous winners of the events include Kevin Kisner, Mackenzie Hughes, Charles Howell III, and Robert Streb who has won the event twice in the last seven years.
The betting is headlined by four class players in Scottie Scheffler, Webb Simpson, Cameron Smith, and Louis Oosthuizen.
In what could be a fascinating tournament we once again provide our three picks, hoping that we can find the winners circle once again.
MAIN BET: LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN +1600
Louis Oosthuizen is a golfer we love and the classy South African is looking to continue where he left off in 2021. He thrives in a links environment and the former Open champion might be the best links player in the field.
Oosthuizen’s strengths lie in his putting and last year he finished first in strokes gained through the putter and was first in overall putting. On the Seaside Course where the greens will be slick and fast, Oosthuizen’s putting could be the perfect match.
The other stat that gives us real hope that Oosthuizen could have a great week is his scrambling and strokes gained around the green. Oosthuizen finished 2021 ranked 13th for overall scrambling and 10th for strokes gained around the greens. To be successful on a links-style course, you need to prepare for the fact that you will be out of position and be required to make some tricky ups and downs. With Oozthuizen being incredibly solid around the greens, the South African should be able to keep his score ticking over and hopefully can avoid the big scores that are commonly around these types of courses.
DARK HORSE: MACKENZIE HUGHES +5000
There are a few previous winners of this event who can be backed at big prices and one of these players is Canadian Mackenzie Hughes. Hughes won this tournament back in 2017 and will be looking for his second title this week.
Hughes has become one of the most consistent players on Tour and through his four starts this season has finished T35, T25, T4, and T29. Since his victory in 2017 Hughes’s form at Sea Island has been patchy with three missed cuts and a 65th place finish in his last four starts, but the stats suggest he could be successful this week.
Hughes is one of the best putters on Tour and finished 13th for overall putting in 2021. One area where he seems to have improved is his short game, as currently, Hughes lies in 26th in strokes gained around the green and 39th for overall scrambling. Whereas in the past Hughes might have struggled if he was out of the position we are hoping that he now has the skills to recover and let his putting do the talking.
Despite it being four years ago, Hughes knows what it takes to win around Sea Island, and odds of +900 for a top 5 finish and +450 top 10 could represent some decent value.
LONG-SHOT: JASON DAY +8000
Without a doubt, this pick of Jason Day has been the classiest long-shot pick we have ever made. It’s also a sign of how far Day’s game has fallen that the former World Number 1 (now world number 90) can be backed at odds as large as +8000.
Day has a good record on links courses and has finished in the top 5 in the Open. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Day is a twelve-time winner on Tour so when things click, Day knows how to get over the finish line.
Despite his struggles over the last few years, there are some stats that indicate that Day could be successful this week. Last year the Australian finished 19th in strokes gained off the tee, 15th in strokes gained around the green, and 37th in strokes gained tee to green. On the Seaside Course where the fairways are tight and exposed, Day’s pedigree off the tee could be a real strength. On the more generous Plantation Course, we are hoping that Day can put himself in great positions to take advantage of the par 5s.
Place players will love Day’s odds of +1400 for a top 5 and +600 for a top 10 finish could be a great way to bet.