2021 RSM Classic Round 2 Picks, Buys & Fades: Buy Value Down the Leaderboard, Including Doc Redman
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images. Pictured: Doc Redman.
The final tournament of the fall kicked off in style on Thursday at the RSM Classic, as players went off on split tees across the two courses, and made birdies in bunches on both tracks.
The Seaside Course is the host for the weekend and yielded the lowest scores of the day by more than one-half stroke over the Plantation. It was also the course that saw the lowest single-round score from Sebastian Munoz.
Munoz tied the tournament record with a 10-under 60 in his opening 18, as he went bogey free with eight birdies and one eagle. He got a late-round scare for his first-round lead from local Zach Johnson, who still had 59 in sight down the last few holes but was unable to convert.
There were a few players with chances at 10-under rounds of their own on The Plantation, but Mac Hughes, Scott Stallings and Chez Reavie all fell one shot short with 9-under 63s on the par-72 course. The players will flip courses for Friday’s round and with winds expected to pick up, scores should be heavily impacted heading into the cut.
It’s clear that when the weather is down, the scoring will be as well this week on St. Simons Island. With the wind set to impact play, there should be a lot of value on the board heading into the second round.
The only issue on our side is a lack of data since ShotLink is only in place on the Seaside course, leaving us without Strokes Gained Data for the players from Thursday on the Plantation. It will all look a little different this week, but we can still find some nice plays heading into the second round at the RSM Classic.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, ball-striking and tee-to-green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2
I am going to start my buys into Friday with Corey Conners, but it’s more just to highlight how incredibly well he struck the ball in his opening round.
Conners is the top man on the odds leaderboard, so I don’t want this to come off as an endorsement to bet him at +900 with 54 holes still to play, but his Strokes Gained numbers are just too good not to share.
The Canadian shot an 8-under round of 62 on the Seaside Course without missing a single green in regulation. It wasn’t just that he wasn’t missing the putting surface, but he was also putting nearly every approach tight to the hole, with just two birdie looks from outside of thirty feet on the day. He went from the fifth to the 10th holes with all of his birdie looks from inside of five feet, which led to him gaining nearly four and a half strokes on approach for his round.
Conners gained well over five strokes on the day tee to green, nearly two shots better than the next best player on this side of the field. As is often the case, though, he left some out there with his putter. Conners lost more than a stroke to the field on the greens and will need to find the flat stick down in order to be in position for a win this weekend.
One of the best betting values that I see heading into the second round is with Doc Redman. I am a believer in his ability and at +10000 on BetMGM, he has some value to keep an eye on as he goes to the Seaside Course.
Redman only missed two greens in regulation on Thursday, and closed with a bang on the Plantation, as he was four under across his final five holes. He is a Clemson grad and has shown some flashes of good play over the past few tournaments. He’s a longshot to capture his first win but at these odds from just three shots behind, he could have some value in the placing markets as well before the second round.
I’m digging deep here and I understand that, but if you look into the results of Nate Lashley you see a player that either has it or he doesn’t. There aren’t many weeks when he gets results from a middling game, and when he brings his ball striking with him he can compete at the top of the leaderboard.
This could be one of those high end weeks for Lashley after he gained 2.95 strokes on the field with his irons on Thursday. He was fourth in the field on the day and if he had better than a field average round on the greens, he would probably be a couple of shots better.
Lashley has shown to like Bermuda grass greens, so if I am going forward with the expectation that he may have his ball striking this week, I like a sprinkle on the one-time TOUR winner at +10000 on FanDuel, and a little more on him to finish in the top 10 this weekend in Georgia.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2
Thursday was a day where a 6-under round was just barely good enough to stay inside the top 20, so we are really splitting hairs in targeting anyone near the top as a fade.
It’s also made a bit tougher when we can’t quite figure out how half of the field got it done, but one player that sticks out a bit is Jhonny Vegas. He shot a great 8-under round on The Plantation course but ranked in the bottom half of the field in both fairways and greens hit.
Vegas missed four fairways and four greens during his opening 18 and had to scramble to hold his position. The Venezuelan actually showed some signs of those issues as he went out in a 6-under 30, but he was only able to add two more birdies on the back nine to close out his round.
Vegas had just 1.5 putts per green, which again shows heavy reliance on the short game and a potential fade spot for us heading into a windy Friday.
The most obvious fade spots from a Strokes Gained perspective heading into the second round are with a couple of guys that struggled ball striking on Thursday. Both Patrick Rodgers and Brandon Hagy lost strokes to the field tee-to-green, and really struggled getting to the putting surface at times.
Rodgers lost nearly a stroke and a half to the field with his irons in the opening round despite firing a 6-under. He ranked in the bottom 12 on approach on the Seaside Course for the day and had to lean heavily on a putter that gained about three and a half strokes on the field.
This course is conducive to turning into a bit of a putting contest at times but if Rodgers continues to struggle ball striking, he may have trouble hanging around for the weekend with the increasing winds.
The story is similar for Hagy, who actually lost strokes to the field both off the tee and on approach. He had his around the green game working alongside a hot putter to match the 6-under 64 of Rodgers. Typically, increasing winds will throw poor ball striking into more trouble, and that would be the big concern for Hagy going into Friday’s round.