The PGA TOUR heads to Sea Island Georgia this week for the The RSM Classic. There will be a two-course rotation with the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course. The Seaside Course is a 7,055-yard par 70, while the Plantation course Course is a 7,058-yard, par 72. Both feature Bermuda grass greens.
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After a few subpar weeks, Mitchell got back on track last week in Houston, posting a T9 finish. The most encouraging sign was his approach play, as he gained 5.7 strokes over his four rounds with his irons. We know he’s going to stripe it off the tee consistently, but when he’s hitting his irons pure, that’s when he really contends.
Mitchell has a nice track record at Sea Island, making five of his six cuts with a pair of top-14 finishes. Mitchell is not a good putter in general, but has the moniker of “Bermuda Keith,” being that his splits are much stronger on Bermuda greens compared to other surfaces. This is a weaker field, and outside of Tony Finau, there really isn’t someone who could run away with this, so I like taking a chance here on a guy at 30/1 who’s playing well and has strong history.
I am going right back to the Hughes well this week after a T16 last week in Houston. He did not hit it well, but putted exceptionally yet again, gaining 8.5 strokes over his four rounds, which is something he does regularly. He actually ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Putting over his past 16 rounds as well.
Hughes is no stranger to Sea Island, as he won this very event back in 2016. In addition, he finished runner-up to Talor Gooch here last season, and now is coming in with elite form. His T16 last week marked his fourth consecutive T25 in four Fall swing starts. If he putted like he did last week he will be in contention.
Smalley has been on a tear over his last two starts, first in Bermuda, where he finished T11. He then followed that up with an elite performance last week in Houston, finishing T4. He was clicking in just about every facet at Memorial Park, gaining strokes off the tee, on approach, around the green and with the flat stick.
He missed the cut last year at this event, but is playing much better golf this year and looks ready to contend. He’s done well at resort style courses over his career, most notably this past February in Punta Cana where he finished runner-up to Chad Ramey. Smalley has stark Bermuda putting splits, gaining over .41 strokes more per round on Bermuda than other surfaces, which ranks third in this field among golfers with at least 30 rounds. This is setting up as a good spot for Smalley, and getting 5/1 to simply top 10 here is solid value.
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