The Dustin Johnson win at Augusta National Golf Club has barely settled in, but it’s already time for another PGA Tour event. As D.J. said after his win on Sunday, the season never really ends for professional golfers, and there’s no better representation of that than this week’s RSM Classic.
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: RSM Classic | When: Nov. 19-22
Where: Sea Island Golf Club — St,. Simons Island, Georgia
Three things to know
1. It’s a great field: Because of its proximity to the Masters, the RSM Classic will host the best field it has ever hosted, and it’s not even really that close. Though this is not an unusual date for this tournament, the Masters is (obviously) not normally played the week before. Because players are already in the general vicinity — some from Australia, Europe or other parts of the world — there is a bit of a spillover effect this week.
2. Juxtaposed course: Sea Island is, well, not Augusta National. Whereas last week was a bit of a bomber’s paradise (although far more nuanced than that because it’s Augusta National), this week’s barely stretches past 7,000 yards which is why you’ve seen winners like Charles Howell III, Mackenzie Hughes, Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner. It will be a nice diversion from the long drive contest we’ve been seeing out on tour.
3. Webb’s dominance: Webb Simpson is the big favorite, and with great reason. He’s coming off a top 10 at the Masters, and he’s the all-time leader in strokes gained at this event. He’s finished in the top three in each of the last two years and lost out to Tyler Duncan in a playoff one year ago. He’ll encounter a much stiffer field (see below) this time around, but this and the Wyndham Championship are where he feasts the most.
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Grading the field
I said earlier that it was a great field, but I didn’t say why it was a great field. Normally, this event is highlighted by somebody like Webb Simpson, who is a great player but can’t carry an event on his own. Joining Simpson this year are Jason Day, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Louis Oosthuizen, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick. Again, heavy on the European side which is awesome for a tournament like this one that normally mostly includes Americans, with seemingly about half of them residents of Sea Island. Grade: B-