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2022 RSM Classic Odds, Expert Picks & Preview: Tom Hoge, Matthew NeSmith & Jason Day Fit Sea Island Golf Club

2022 RSM Classic Odds, Expert Picks & Preview: Tom Hoge, Matthew NeSmith & Jason Day Fit Sea Island Golf Club article feature image
Credit:

Steve Dykes/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Hoge

Click arrow to expand 2022 RSM Classic odds via bet365
Player Name Odds
Brian Harman +2000
Seamus Power +2500
Tom Hoge +2500
Jason Day +2500
Taylor Montgomery +2800
Keith Mitchell +3100
Denny McCarthy +3300
Joel Dahmen +3300
Mackenzie Hughes +3600
Matthew Nesmith +3600
Andrew Putnam +4000
Sahith Theegala +4500
Davis Riley +4500
Patrick Rodgers +4500
Harris English +4500
Matt Kuchar +4500
Justin Rose +4500
Wyndham Clark +5500
Webb Simpson +5500
Alex Smalley +5500
Aaron Rai +5500
Taylor Pendrith +5500
Kevin Kisner +5500
J.J. Spaun +6000
Nick Hardy +6500
Scott Stallings +6500
Brendon Todd +6500
Will Gordon +6500
Lee Hodges +6500
Chris Kirk +7500
Hayden Buckley +8000
Troy Merritt +8000
David Lipsky +8000
Greyson Sigg +8000
Taylor Moore +8500
Dean Burmester +8500
Davis Thompson +9000
J.T. Poston +9000
Trey Mullinax +9000
Sepp Straka +10000
Luke List +10000
Francesco Molinari +10000
Stephan Jaeger +10000
Ben Griffin +10000
Russell Knox +11000
Justin Suh +11000
Adam Schenk +11000
Patton Kizzire +11000
Adam Long +12000
Cameron Champ +12000
Sam Ryder +12000
Justin Lower +12000
Robert Streb +12000
Brandon Wu +14000
S.H. Kim +14000
Robby Shelton +14000
Scott Piercy +14000
Beau Hossler +14000
Danny Willett +14000
Adam Svensson +14000
Christopher Gotterup +16000
Zach Johnson +17500
Austin Cook +17500
Kevin Yu +17500
Ben Taylor +17500
Ryan Armour +17500
Henrik Norlander +18500
Kevin Streelman +18500
Dylan Frittelli +18500
Tyson Alexander +18500
John Huh +20000
Byeong-Hun An +20000
Matthias Schwab +20000
Matt Wallace +20000
Chesson Hadley +20000
Michael Thompson +20000
Carl Yuan +20000
Callum Tarren +20000
David Lingmerth +20000
Joseph Bramlett +20000
Stewart Cink +20000
Cameron Percy +22500
Charley Hoffman +22500
Tyler Duncan +22500
Garrick Higgo +25000
Austin Smotherman +25000
Zecheng Dou +25000
Rory Sabbatini +30000
MJ Daffue +30000
Harry Higgs +30000
Matti Schmid +30000
Brian Stuard +30000
Brian Gay +30000
Nate Lashley +30000
Aaron Baddeley +30000
Akshay Bhatia +30000
Harrison Endycott +32500
Harry Hall +35000
Vincent Norrman +35000
Eric Cole +35000
Andrew Novak +35000
Sam Stevens +35000
Max McGreevy +35000
Sean O’Hair +35000
Paul Haley II +35000
Andrew Landry +35000
Michael Gligic +35000
Jonathan Byrd +35000
Brice Garnett +35000
Vaughn Taylor +40000
Doc Redman +40000
Ben Martin +40000
Peter Malnati +40000
Kelly Kraft +40000
Nick Watney +45000
Kevin Tway +45000
Chad Ramey +45000
Camilo Villegas +45000
Zac Blair +45000
Danny Lee +45000
Hank Lebioda +45000
Cole Hammer +45000
Michael Kim +45000
Sung Kang +45000
Kevin Chappell +45000
Dylan Wu +50000
Richy Werenski +60000
Philip Knowles +60000
Kyle Westmoreland +60000
Nicolas Echavarria +60000
Brent Grant +60000
Scott Harrington +60000
Tano Goya +60000
Kevin Roy +60000
Chris Stroud +60000
Spencer Ralston +60000
Augusto Nunez +60000
Erik Barnes +60000
Trevor Cone +75000
Brandon Matthews +75000
Palmer Jackson +75000
Bill Haas +75000
Jason Dufner +100000
Carson Young +100000
Jim Herman +100000
Brett Drewitt +105000
Trevor Werbylo +125000
Jacob Bridgeman +125000
Martin Trainer +125000
Davis Love III +125000
Bryson Nimmer +125000
Conner Godsey +125000
Anders Albertson +175000
Ryan Brehm +175000
Tim Weinhart +250000

The final full-field event of the 2022 swing season has arrived. The PGA TOUR heads just south of Augusta for the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside and Plantation courses) in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Each golfer will play three rounds on the Seaside course and one round on the Plantation course.

The Seaside course is a par-70 layout measuring 7,005 yards, and the Plantation course is a par-72 setup coming in at 7,062 yards. The Seaside course, which was redesigned by Tom Fazio, plays more like a coastal links, while the Plantation course is similar to a tree-lined parkland course. Both feature Bermudagrass greens and will be very scorable. The past five winners of the event have all finished between -19 and -22.

Some notable players in the field include Jason Day, Tony Finau, Tom Hoge,  Seamus Power, Justin Rose and Webb Simpson.

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Past Winners at The RSM Classic

  • 2021: Talor Gooch (-22)
  • 2020: Robert Streb (-19)
  • 2019: Tyler Duncan (-19)
  • 2018: Charles Howell III (-19)
  • 2017: Austin Cook (-21)
  • 2016: Mackenzie Hughes (-17)
  • 2015: Kevin Kisner (-22)

Let’s take a look at several metrics for Sea Island Golf Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:

Strokes Gained: Approach

The greens at Seaside are big, so it will be important to stick approach shots close to avoid having to make difficult two-putt par saves. In what should be a birdie-fest, golfers will need to stick their approach shots to contend.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Tom Hoge (+25.9) (+3000)
  2. Adam Schenk (+19.8) (+10000)
  3. Tony Finau (+19.7) (+1000)
  4. Matthew NeSmith (+18.4) (+4000)
  5. Mark Hubbard (+17.2) (+15000)

Good Drives Gained

Length really isn’t a factor at either course. Looking at the past winners at Sea Island, they’re all accurate golfers off of the tee who know how to find the fairway. However, last year “Good Drives Gained” was a much more predictive statistic at this event than “Fairways Gained.”

Total Good Drives Gained in past 24 rounds:

  1. Aaron Rai (+25.7) (+5000)
  2. Tony Finau (+23.7) (+1000) 
  3. Sepp Straka(+20.9) (+9000)
  4. Kevin Yu (+20.7) (+17500)
  5. Ryan Armour (+20.0) (+15000)


Strokes Gained Putting: Bermudagrass

This tournament could become a putting contest if the winds aren’t strong this week. Historically, the winners of the RSM Classic are great Bermudagrass putters (Simpson, Kisner and Hughes).

Total Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda in past 24 rounds:

  1. Martin Trainer (+28.0) (+100000)
  2. Brian Gay (+24.6) (+25000)
  3. Beau Hossler (+24.4) (+12500)
  4. Ben Taylor (+19.7) (+15000)
  5. Troy Merritt (+18.0) (+6600)

Birdie or Better Gained

With birdies (and potentially some eagles) likely to come in abundance, pars aren’t going to cut it at Sea Island. I anticipate the winning score to be close to -20, so targeting golfers who go low is the right strategy here.

Total strokes gained in Birdie or Better Gained in past 24 rounds

  1. Tony Finau (+26.0) (+1000)
  2. Taylor Montgomery (+22.0) (+2200)
  3. Ben Griffin (+19.6) (+10000)
  4. Matthew NeSmith (+18.5) (+4000)
  5. Dean Burmester (+14.6) (+7000)

Strokes Gained: Par 4 (400-450)

With eight of the par 4s on the Seaside course measuring 400-450 yards, I’m looking to target golfers who excel on par 4s of this length.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Ben Griffin (+17.8) (+10000)
  2. Taylor Montgomery (+17.0) (+2800)
  3. Andrew Putnam (+13.0) (+5000)
  4. J.J. Spaun (+10.8) (+5000)
  5. S.H. Kim (+10.3) (+11000)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%); Good Drives Gained (21); SG: Putting Bermudagrass (21%); B.O.B (21%); and SG: Par 4 400-450 (12%)

  1. Tony Finau (+1000)
  2. Tom Hoge (+3000)
  3. Matthew NeSmith (+4000)
  4. Jason Day (+3000)
  5. Andrew Putnam (+5000)
  6. Ben Griffin (+10000)
  7. Brian Harman (+2500)
  8. Aaron Rai (+5000)
  9. Justin Rose (+6000)
  10. Russell Knox (+9000)

2022 RSM Classic Best Bets

Tom Hoge (+2800 | BetRivers)

Tom Hoge missed the cut in his most recent start at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, but I believe looking too closely at the final result would be a mistake. He opened with a four-under 66 and had a poor second round where he shot 73 to miss the cut.

One bad round in golf can most definitely be an outlier, and looking at his recent body of work would indicate that may be the case. In his previous five starts, Hoge had finished no worse than 13th and had three top-10 finishes.

Almost as impressive as his recent finishes is the manner in which the 32-year-old has been getting it done. In his past three measured events, Hoge has gained an average of 5.7 strokes on the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. He ranks first in the field in his past 24 rounds in that category, as well as seventh in Birdie or Better Gained and 12th in Good Drives Gained.

Hoge finished fourth here last season and gained 6.3 strokes from tee to green. If he can get hot with the putter this week on his favorite putting surface (Bermudagrass), he can earn his second PGA TOUR victory.

Jason Day (+2500 | BetMGM)

I’ve been all over Jason Day throughout the swing season, and with this being the final tournament before 2023, we need to see it through one more time.

Day has put us in a sort of purgatory where he’s playing so well that his betting odds keep getting slashed, but not well enough for us to finally cash a ticket on him. With that being said, his consistency of late has been excellent. He’s finished in the top 21 in each of his past four starts. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Day shot four rounds in the 60s for the first time in about two calendar years. Last week, he did it for the second time in four starts as he shot 69-69-69-68 to finish in 16th place. In his past 24 rounds, the former PGA Champion ranks ninth in Strokes Gained: Approach, sixth in Good Drives: Gained and 11th in Birdie or Better Gained.

Persistence pays off. It’s time for Jason Day to finally come through and earn his first PGA TOUR victory since 2018.

Matthew NeSmith (+5000 | BetMGM)

While I’m not in love with his price this week, Matthew NeSmith makes far too much sense at Sea Island to ignore. The 29-year-old is from North Augusta, South Carolina and is incredibly familiar with the golf course. In his last three starts at Sea Island, NeSmith has two top-15 finishes.

In addition to being from the area, NeSmith also had some success as an amateur nearby as well. He won the 2015 Players Amateur at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina.

With the exception of a 53rd-place finish at the Houston Open, NeSmith has been on fire of late. He finished ninth, second and ninth consecutively before the lackluster performance at Memorial Park. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 12th in Strokes Gained: Approach, fifth in Good Drives Gained and third in Birdie or Better Gained.

NeSmith has yet to win on the PGA TOUR, but Sea Island is arguably the best course fit for the former University of South Carolina Gamecock.

Ben Griffin (+10000 | DraftKings)

Ben Griffin has been popping up on leaderboards of late, including a 16th place finish at last week’s Houston Open. His finishes in the past year at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship (third), the Wyndham Championship (fourth) and the 2022 BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Korn Ferry Tour (second) indicate that Sea Island will be an ideal course for Griffin.

In his past 24 rounds, Griffin ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Approach and second in Birdies or Better Gained. He’s the type of golfer who can go extremely low and make plenty of birdies, which will be a requirement for the RSM Classic.

At triple-digit odds, Griffin makes too much sense to ignore for a golfer who’s familiar with the region and simultaneously playing so well recently.

Patton Kizzire (+17000 | FanDuel)

Patton Kizzire is a Sea Island resident who has encouraging event form at the RSM Classic. He finished 10th in 2020 and 15th in 2018 and flashed some signs of life in his most recent start at the Mayakoba in Mexico.

While statistics at the event were limited due to not having shot tracker, there is information on how many fairways and greens in regulations each player hit. Kizzire gained 1.9 strokes in Fairways Gained and 3.1 strokes in Greens in Regulation. That’s a good sign for a player who typically struggles with accuracy off the tee.

Kizzire is a “boom or bust” type of golfer who has blow-up potential, but he also has the capability to win an event if he gets in contention. He has two PGA TOUR victories and is known to have spike putting weeks on Bermudagrass.

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