PGA Tour Picks: RSM Classic Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Unless you are a devout golf fan, you probably never heard of Brendon Todd until a few weeks ago. Now he has won back-to-back PGA Tour events and is No. 1 in the FedEx Cup points.
The 34-year-old American captured the alternate-event Bermuda Championship while all the top players were in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions. And then in a Monday morning finish in Mexico, Todd won the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Todd hadn't even finished Top 10 anywhere since 2015 before these back-to-back wins - although he did win the 2014 AT&T Byron Nelson. In his previous 60 starts before his win in Bermuda, Todd had earned just $385,725. He has made nearly $2 million combined with these back-to-back victories. The Georgia native earned a spot in the Masters with this latest win.
Needless to say, I didn't touch on Todd last week in my preview. My winning choice at +2500 as Russell Knows, but he finished T33 at 7-under.
The PGA Tour finally returns to the United States this week (too bad for Todd) with the final official event of the 2019 portion of the wraparound schedule: the RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort's Seaside Couse on St. Simons Island in Georgia. If you are ever close to that area, highly recommend you go as it's spectacular up there. It's only a bit more than an hour drive north of Jacksonville. Several Tour pros have residences there.
That includes former Masters champion Zach Johnson and Hall of Famer Davis Love III, who hosts this tournament and whose foundation runs it. Love basically was the driving force behind the debut of this event in 2010, although no "local" has won it yet. It began as the McGladrey Classic and changed to RSM Classic in 2015 (RSM is an audit, tax and consulting service).
If you look at the PGA Tour official schedule, you will see a few other events in 2019, but they are either glorified exhibition tournaments/silly-season events (Hero World Challenge, QBE Shootout) or the biennial Presidents Cup. This is the last tournament to get FedEx Cup points and the like. Also the last chance for a player to qualify for the 2020-opening Tournament of Champions. Only winners from 2018-19 and the start of this season get to play in Hawaii.
Americans have won here every year but in 2016 when then-Canadian rookie Mackenzie Hughes went wire-to-wire and beat four other guys in a playoff. There have been four playoffs in the nine previous tournaments. Five players have won here in their first pro visit to Sea Island. The last was Austin Cook in 2017.
The Seaside Course is a tight 7,000 yards (par 70) where wind certainly will be a factor. This isn't a track for big hitters who can't hit fairways but more of a shot-maker's layout. Players also will compete one of their first two rounds at the par-72 Plantation Course, which entered the rotation four years ago. That course was redesigned by Love and his brother earlier this year.
The defending champion is Charles Howell III, a Georgia native (Augusta). "Chucky Three Sticks" made a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff to beat Patrick Rodgers and end an 11-year victory drought. Neither of Howell's two children had been born the last time he won. Rodgers had missed a 21-foot birdie putt before Howell's turn. He is +2000 to repeat - no one has won twice here.
Golf Odds: RSM Classic Favorites
Webb Simpson is the +800 favorite at Bovada. He finished third here last year at 18 under, missing the playoff by a shot. Simpson also was part of a five-man playoff in 2016 won by Hughes.
Billy Horschel is +1400 with Matt Kuchar at +1800. Horschel also was part of that playoff in 2016. He finished T8 last week. Kuchar was the reigning champion in Mexico but finished T14. He has a best finish of seventh here.
Howell III is next at +2000 and Harris English +2800. Howell has three other Top 10s in this tournament, while English has a best finish of T15. He was T5 last week.
Golf Odds: RSM Classic Picks
We like Johnson at +230 for a Top 10. He has been Top 10 the past two years. We'll also take Russell Henley for one at +240. He has been Top 10 three of his past four visits. The winner at +3000 is Kevin Kisner. He has been seventh or better in four of his past five visits, including a six-shot win in 2015.
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