The 2022-23 PGA Tour season comes to a wind down this week as it visits Sea Island Resort for the 2023 The RSM Classic. Even though it is the end of the season, there is still much on the line for a ton of players, with the top 125 in the FedEx Cup Fall standings following the conclusion of this event securing their PGA Tour exempt memberships for next season, which means they qualify for all full-field events, as well as THE PLAYERS Championship, while those finishing between 51-60 in the standings earn spots in both the 2024 The Genesis Invitational and the 2024 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, if they are not already qualified for those events.
Two courses at Sea Island Resort will host this year’s event: Plantation Golf Course, which will play as a Par 72, 7,060 yard layout, and the Seaside Golf Course, which will play as a Par 70, 7,005 yard layout. Players will alternate between the two courses for the first two rounds, while Seaside will take center stage for the final two rounds this weekend. Going low will be especially key this week, with the last 8 winners of this event finishing at -17 or better at week’s end. And do that, the winner will have to have solid control of their putting, as the last 3 winners of this event have all ranked inside the top 10 in Strokes Gained: Putting the week of their victory.
This year’s event has a pretty strong field, with 7 of the top 40 players in the Official World Golf Ranking teeing it up this week, as well as 9 of the 10 players ranked between 51-60 on the FedEx Cup Fall standings. Last year’s edition was won by Adam Svensson, who shot a final round 64 to win by two strokes over Brian Harman, Sahith Theegala and Callum Tarren to pick up his first career PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
Adam Svensson is defending his title this week, but I don’t see it going as well as last year. His season hasn’t been super consistent and I don’t see him being a back-to-back kind of player. His last two starts, he didn’t break the top 40. Unfortunately, I think he will fall in this event.
Ryan Moore’s play hasn’t been great overall, but he is on the bubble for keeping his tour card and that might be all the motivation he needs here to play well. He is ranked 4th in Driving Accuracy and that will be exactly what he needs to stay in the hunt here. If he can go out and make some putts, he should do just fine and move off the bubble.
We definitely expect to see Mackenzie Hughes in the top ten, as he has had a good run over the years in this event. His season has been up-and-down, but coming off a T-7 in his most recent start, I think he will have the confidence to play well. His putting is where he shines, so he just needs those putts to fall to get himself inside that Top 10.
Brian Harman is a fan favorite for this week and rightly so. He finished T-2 in last year’s event and with his win at The Open Championship this year, he has his game in shape. His stats across the board have improved tremendously. His Scrambling ability will definitely help at this course with all the salt marshes and dunes. His game is solid, but he will need to keep those approach shots tight to pull this win off.