2022 RSM Classic Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, Busts, and Holes to Watch at Sea Island Golf Club
While there are still a few unofficial events left on the 2022 calendar, including Tiger Woods’ return at his Hero World Challenge, the PGA Tour wraps up its fall schedule this week with the RSM Classic.
While we obviously don’t know who will come out on top at Georgia’s Sea Island Golf Club, we do know that a new champion will be crowned as last year’s winner, Talor Gooch, is now a member of the LIV Golf roster.
Last week’s winner in Houston, Tony Finau, was set to headline the RSM Classic field but withdrew on Tuesday with a knee injury. So let’s take a look at how things could shake out.
2022 RSM Classic predictions
Luke Norris: Tom Hoge
Of Tom Hoge’s five starts since the 2022-23 PGA Tour season began, he’s finished 13th or better four times, the lone exception being his missed cut in Mexico in his most recent outing.
But the world’s 36th-ranked player should bounce back nicely this week. A year ago at this event, Hoge shot 65-68-67-67 to tie for fourth at 15-under. So he knows how to go low on this golf course and simply knows Sea Island overall as he’s teed it up at this tournament the last eight years.
Jack Dougherty: Sahith Theegala
Sahith Theegala is going to win a PGA Tour event soon, and this week might be his best chance. With Brian Harman, Jason Day, and Seamus Power set as the betting favorites, the RSM Classic is going to end up as one of the weakest fields of the entire season.
Theegala recorded three top-five finishes last year and had a chance to win all three of those events. This could be the week he finally learns how to close one out.
Luke Norris: Webb Simpson
While Webb Simpson’s best days may be behind him, the 2012 U.S. Open champ still has plenty of good golf left in him and has played well at the RSM Classic in recent years.
Just a year ago, he tied for eighth after firing a pair of 66s on the weekend. And just three years ago, Simpson nearly won this event, shooting 19-under before losing a playoff to Tyler Duncan. So maybe take those 50-1 odds for a ride this week and see what happens.
Jack Dougherty: Danny Willett
Most casual golf fans probably haven’t heard Danny Willett’s name since his fluky Masters victory in 2016. That stroke of luck remains the only PGA Tour victory of his career (thanks a lot, Jordan Spieth), but Willett has played some fine golf to start the 2022-23 season.
He should’ve won his season debut at the Fortinet Championship in September, and he scored in the 60s in eight of his first 12 rounds of the year. With the way Willett has been scoring lately, I think his 100-1 price is a tad high this week.
Most likely bust
Luke Norris: Jason Day
Former world No. 1 Jason Day has played well to start his 2022-23 season, finishing 21st or better in four of five outings and 11th or better twice.
However, Day hasn’t fared well overall in his three RSM Classic appearances. He finished 12th in 2020 but finished 50th or worse in his other two tries, including a missed cut a year ago. While his ball striking has been outstanding as of late, his play on and around the greens has been suspect.
And with going low being an absolute necessity to compete at Sea Island, ranking outside the top 90 in strokes gained: putting and outside the top 100 in strokes gained: around-the-green isn’t going to get it done.
Jack Dougherty: Brian Harman
Thanks to Tony Finau‘s surprising WD, Brian Harman enters the spotlight as the betting favorite to win this week’s RSM Classic. Harman is off to a hot start this season with a T15 at the Shriners Children’s Open, a T23 at the CJ Cup, a runner-up finish at Mayakoba two weeks ago, and this short golf course fits his game well.
However, the lefty has a T61 and a missed cut in his last two starts at the RSM Classic. I think the pressure that comes along with being the favorite will hurt him this week.
Luke Norris: No. 16
The par-4 16th at Sea Island may not be long at 407 yards, but it can get a little tricky if not played correctly.
A creek runs down the entire left side, meaning most players will likely attempt to hit their tee shots off to the right. However, the further right you go, the longer your second shot is going to be. And that’s not what you want hitting into a green that’s well-protected. If you’re short and right, you find a bunker. And if you go the other way, be sure to get it there, or you run the risk of finding the false front that spans the entirety of the left side.
Jack Dougherty: No. 18
The finishing hole at Sea Island Golf Club is the longest par-4 on the course at 470 yards. Players must navigate their way in between bunkers on both sides of the fairway, which sets up a lengthy approach shot into a heavily-protected green with water lurking right. This is no easy finish for the leader on Sunday.
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