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PGA TOUR: Mike Glasscott's RSM Classic preview

Last call for status on the PGA TOUR ends after the final four rounds of the 2022-23 season. 

The RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club on the Golden Isles of Georgia will entertain the only 156-man event of the FedExCup Fall schedule. 

The final of seven events will see the top 125 players earn full status on the PGA TOUR for 2024. Also, The Next 10, players finishing Nos. 51 through 60, will be eligible for two Signature Events next year (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Genesis Invitational).

On the line is a purse of $8.4 million, with the winner earning $1.512 million plus 500 FedExCup points.

Top of the Board  

Ludvig Åberg (12/1) has not produced any results over the last two months to warrant removal from the top plays each week. Playing three previous events in the FedExCup Fall, the Swede has finished second in a playoff, closed with 62, and posted rounds of 65 and 64 in his last outing in Mexico. The aggregate is 53 under par, and the results are T10, T13, and P2.

Georgia native Russell Henley (14/1) has three previous top-10 paydays at Sea Island Golf Club and has cashed T30 or better in every visit, minus his debut. Making his FedExCup Fall debut, the winner last November in Mexico hasn’t teed it up since The TOUR Championship at the end of August. With wins on Bermuda grass in Hawaii, Texas and Florida during his career, he will enjoy filling up the card with birdies again this week.

Cameron Young (22/1) worked out the kinks in Mexico after 10 weeks on the sidelines and cashed T54. Flashing with 65 to open and 64 to close, the big hitter was undone with 74-72 in Rounds 2 and 3. Only one winner from the previous 13 has finished the week inside the top 20 in Driving Distance.

Local favourite and 2023 Champion Golfer of the Year, Brian Harman (22/1) will look to improve on his career-best T2 payday last November. The left-handed resident is making his first start in stroke play since The TOUR Championship and will be teeing it up for the 12th time at Sea Island. One of over a dozen locals entered, no resident has ever claimed the title.

Not many have a better scoring average at this event than Corey Conners (22/1). The Canadian has cashed in all four visits and has produced a 67.75 average. Looking to join countrymen Adam Svensson (35/1), the defending champ, and Mackenzie Hughes (66/1) in the club of champions, Conners will have put four rounds together. Cashing T10 in 2021 is his only top-10 payday.

After top-10 paydays in five of his last eight on TOUR, J.T. Poston (28/1) will look to post four more low ones. Sharing third in Las Vegas on 18-under took his streak of T24 or better to five straight events. The North Carolina native has won two previous shootouts at the Wyndham Championship (22-under) and John Deere Classic (21-under) in his career.

The only missing piece from the rookie season of Eric Cole (28/1) is a picture of him holding the big trophy after four rounds. The native of Florida will feel right at home on Bermuda, which requires putting acumen. First-time winners are common here with nine of the 13 champs hoisting the trophy for the first time. I’m leading with the 34-year-old this week.

Angles 

The Seaside course, covering 7,005 yards and Par 70, will be used in three of the four rounds.

The Plantation course, stretching to just 7,060 yards and playing to Par 72, will be used once before the 36-hole cut.

Both courses are tee-to-green Bermuda grass and TifEagle Bermuda greens. 

Svensson is the only winner to sign for a round over 70 on the scorecard. He opened with 73 last year.

Winners here annually rank in the top 10 GIR, SG: Putting, and Scrambling.

Kevin Kisner is the only player in the field this week to post 22 under as a winning total, equaling the tournament scoring record.

The last six winning totals have been 19 under or better. Go low!

The field of 156 contains 11 of the top 50 OWGR.

Stretching

Justin Suh (40/1) will enjoy the generous landing areas and inviting Seaside greens as targets. A super putter, he rolls into town after T10 and a career-best solo fourth in Mexico in his last two starts.

Sea Island resident Davis Thompson (55/1) has been watching this event for as long as his father, Todd, has been running it. Making his fifth appearance, he should be ready to contend on the weekend.

Chesson Hadley (55/1) has cashed T7 in his last two starts on TOUR on resort courses in Las Vegas and Mexico. No point overthinking it.

Sleepers

Will Gordon (100/1), T15 and T21 in his last two on TOUR, is top 10 GIR, and that plays this week. … 2017 winner Austin Cook (150/1) has cashed T10 and T13 in his last two starts on TOUR. … If Kevin Kisner (175/1) is going to figure it out, it’s going to be this week.

Good luck!

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