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RSM Classic preview: Refreshed Kevin Kisner ready to rock

The PGA Tour heads to Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia this week for the RSM Classic, a tournament that will conclude the fall portion of the 2022/23 season.

WhatThe RSM Classic, PGA Tour
WhereSea Island Golf Club, Georgia
WhenThursday 17th November - Sunday 20th November
How to watchSky Sports Golf and bet365's Live Golf Tracker
OddsBrian Harman 18/1, Seamus Power 20/1, Jason Day 22/1, Tom Hoge 22/1, Taylor Montgomery 25/1, Keith Mitchell 28/1

Brian Harman is one of several local residents in the field this week and he is 18/1 to capture this title for the first time, having come closest in 2017 when finishing fourth.

Ireland's Seamus Power recorded his second PGA Tour success at the Bermuda Championship last month and he is 20/1 to add a third trophy to his collection, while 2021 runner-up Mackenzie Hughes is 33/1 to go one better this time around.

With Harman the highest-ranked player in the field at world number 26, there is an open feel heading into Thursday's opening round and it may prove prudent to look at some of the bigger prices this week.

The RSM Classic, which also marks the end of the fall portions of a season, period, as the PGA Tour is reverting back to the traditional yearly schedule from January 2024, has the added test of being played over two courses - the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course.

Each player in the 154-strong field will play both courses before the 36-hole cut is made, with only the Seaside Course used for the final two rounds to determine the winner of the 13th edition of the tournament.

The RSM Classic course details

The Plantation Course is a par-72 that measures 7,060 yards. There are four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes in what is generally the easier of the two tracks used at this event. 

Strong winds can see the scoring balloon, but the forecast looks good until Sunday so there should be plenty of birdies here.

The Seaside Course is a par-70 measuring 7,005 yards, so slightly shorter in distance than The Plantation, but the layout is much more fiddly and precision iron play is required to overcome this test. 

The fairways are undulating and the greens are fast, while the strong winds forecast for Sunday could make for a difficult round. There are 12 par-fours, four par-threes and two par-fives to negotiate.

Course winners taking part

Chris Kirk, Robert Streb (twice), Kevin Kisner, Mackenzie Hughes, Austin Cook, Tyler Duncan

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Three to follow

Kevin Kisner

Smart course management will be one of the key areas for victory this week and Kevin Kisner, priced at 50/1 to triumph, knows all about getting round the Sea Island Golf Club.

The American won this event back in 2015 when shooting a tournament record score of -22, a feat matched by Talor Gooch last year, while he was also second in 2020 and has recorded a further two top-fives (2014 and 2017) and one top-10 finish (2018).

Kisner is one of the most accurate players off the tee and he has ranked inside the top 30 in driving accuracy over the last two seasons, while he was also ninth in strokes gained: putting in 2021/22 and that fine short-game should help him this week.

The 38-year-old has taken some time off to recharge the batteries, having last played at The CJ Cup, and he should be ready to challenge at one of his favoured venues.

Harris English

It has been a frustrating 2022 for English, who is slowly working his way back to form after hip surgery, but the local resident will be hopeful of challenging for victory at a course he plays a lot.

The Georgia-born swinger has a best finish of sixth in this event - that coming in 2020 - and his usual precision iron play should come into play throughout the tournament.

At 40/1, English is worth a look in the each-way market as he aims to get back inside the top 50 in the world.

Zach Johnson

A large portion of Zach Johnson's focus this year will be on the 2023 Ryder Cup, as he prepares to captain the USA against Europe at Marco Simone GC in Italy.

However, the two-time Major winner is still capable of challenging on his day and he has shown sparks of form this year with top-15 finishes recorded at The American Express and Texas Open.

The American has a warm affinity for The RSM Classic having finished eighth in 2017, seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2020, while he also ended up 16th last year.

At 150/1, the 46-year-old offers up some juicy odds and he could very well get into the mix this weekend.

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