Before jumping into the details of this week’s PGA Tour Event, I wanted to mention a timeline for all PGA DFS items that you can expect each and every week from Frank and myself:
- Monday: Course/Event Preview
- Tuesday: Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet, PGA DFS Video w/ Frank and I
- Wednesday: Chat room (8pm EST) to answer lineup questions
Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s event.
Event: RSM Classic
Dates: Thursday November 18th through Sunday November 21st
Course: Two courses used: Seaside and Plantation. Players will play one round at each course prior to the cut and then the final 2 rounds will be on the Seaside course.
Field: 156 players
Cut: 65 and ties
Past Winners: Streb (2020),Duncan (2019), Howell (2018), Cook (2017), Hughes (2016), Kisner (2015)
- Thursday-Friday: 12-3pm EST (Golf Channel) plus PGA Tour Live
- Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-4pm EST (Golf Channel) plus PGA Tour Live
- Two courses are used for the 1st 2 rounds in order to allow a large field to play with the limited daylight this time of year.
- Both courses are very short by Tour standards and should provide lots of birdie opportunities and a low cut score.
- Seaside: Par 70 7,005 yards
- Plantation: Par 72 7,060 yards
- I’ll cover the breakdowns of both courses here but both courses will end up emphasizing the same skill sets.
- Seaside has 4 par 3s, 12 par 4s and 2 par 5s:
- Par 5s: (569, 543)
- Par 4s:
- Only 2 of the 12 holes are longer than 432 yards
- Par 3s: (183, 181, 203, 190)
- These are basically the only holes on the course where players will be hitting mid irons (besides the 2 par 4s beyond 432 yards)
- Plantation has 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s:
- Par 5s: (623, 529, 550, 560)
- Par 4s:
- These holes are either very short (5 of the 10 are 382 yds or less) or long (3 are 452 yds or longer)
- Par 3s: (219, 156, 216, 158)
- Off the Tee:
- Accuracy off the tee is worth more this week than a normal week on Tour. The distance advantage off the tee is muted a bit because both of the courses are very short plus the Seaside course only has 2 par 5s. Players who find the fairway off the tee will have a lot of wedges and short irons into the greens. The rough isn’t super gnarly but it will be difficult to control the distance and spin out of. You will see some of the longer hitters club down off the tee to make sure they find the fairways.
- Approach Shots:
- The approach distribution this week is focused on wedges and short irons. With both courses playing short, players will have an abundance of these shots into the greens. Being able to hit your approach shots to a makeable distance will be key to getting close to the -20 that will be needed to win this week.
- The large greens this week are bermuda grass and are heavily contoured and should be faster than Tour average. Putting is going to be a factor this week as players are going to have a lot of birdie putts in the 10-20 foot range which is where the best putters usually distinguish themselves.
- Around the Green:
- With the courses being short, the rough not being penal and the greens being large, we will see a much higher percentage of greens hit in regulation (close to 10% more). As such, there will be a decreased importance on chipping and pitching this week.
What type of player typically succeeds here?
- Favor elite wedge and short iron players who are above average putters
- Slight preference to players who are accurate off the tee with driver (or 3 wood for longer players)
- Slight preference to players who excel in the wind as that is the main defense of the course
What areas of a player’s game will be tested the most this week?
- Largest emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Main focus on wedges and short irons
- Strokes Gained Putting
- Slight extra emphasis on putting on Bermuda greens
- Birdies or Better
- Scores are going to be low here (winner around -20). Need as many birdies as possible since a player could finish 50th in the event but 30th in DK scoring.
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Smaller emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Strokes Gained Around the Green
Check back in on Tuesday for the Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet and for the PGA DFS Video with Frank and myself.