Golf: RSM Classic betting preview and best bets


GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of RSM Classic from Sea Island.

RSM Classic | 19th-22nd November 2020 | Sky Sports

The PGA Tour remains in Georgia this week as it heads three-and-a-half hours down the road to Sea Island for the RSM Classic.
We witnessed one incredible Masters at the weekend as Dustin Johnson romped home to secure his first Green Jacket, seeing off our pick – runner-up Cameron Smith (66/1) – by five shots.
In reality, it was a pure masterclass from the world no.1 and as I mentioned in my preview, he was very much the man to beat. He rated out number one in my model but I felt the odds were a little to short to get involved – a lesson learned perhaps, or a subtle doff of the cap to my processes.
This is the penultimate event of the 2020 season over in America, so what will it take to win this week?
The RSM is played across two courses, seaside (par 70, 7,005 yards) and plantation (par 72, 7,058). Distance certainly isn't going to be a factor with a premium being placed on accuracy, both off the tee and on approach. As most regular PGA Tour events, it's a birdie-fest but only to those that can master the Bermuda greens.
Other courses can come into the equation, Waialae (Sony) and Harbour Town (RBC) are two big ones but also consider TPC Southwind (St Jude), PGA National (Honda), Colonial (Charles Schwab), Sedgefield (Wyndham) as well as the Colt designed Hamilton (Canadian Open) and the Fazio influenced Wells Fargo (Quail Hollow) and Genesis (Riviera).
Here are my bets for this week's RSM Classic…

Russell Henley 28/1 (William Hill)

One of the most inform players right now has to be Russell Henley 28/1 (William Hill) and he is the one I fancy most from the front of the market, both Matthew Fitzpatrick and Harris English get mentions in this bracket.

The world no.58 heads into the end of the year in need of breaking into the top 50, this'll give him entry into the majors and WGCs. A win at a venue he knows well (three top-10s here) should do the trick perfectly.

Henley also graduated from the nearby University of Georgia and won an SEC event here ten years ago.

He has missed just one cut in his last 12 events, this run includes five top 10s at some solid events including the Northern Trust playoff event, the Wyndham and at Muirfield Village. Henley has also won at both Waialae and PGA National.

Over the last 36 rounds, no one in this field can top Henley for SG: T2G, Approach & Greens in Regulation and par-4 scoring 400-450 yards (seven of 18 holes here). He is also fourth for Good Drives, which means he's hitting the fairways consistently well. He was well tipped for this event last year, only this time, he's coming into it in red hot form.

Mackenzie Hughes 60/1 (Coral)

I can't ignore a former winner of this event in Mackenzie Hughes 60/1 (Coral). He's narrowly inside the top 50 right now and will need to keep up his impressive form to remain there.

It's quite a surprise to see him this long given he was 7th at Houston last time out and has been riding a hot-streak for quite some time – 3rd at Corales (Fazio) and three consecutive top 13 finishes in the FedEx playoffs, and that culminated in a T7 at East Lake. The Canadian could've won the Honda earlier in the year too but his slow start ultimately cost him as he finished one shot behind eventual winner, Sungjae Im.

Hughes has gained strokes on approach in both of his last two events and hasn't dropped strokes putting in 16 straight events either. Having recorded two top-10s in his last four events, he can surely continue his upward trend in form at a value he knows all too well. At these odds, he's hard to avoid.

Doc Redman 66/1 (Betfair)

Next up is Doc Redman 66/1 (Betfair), who appears to be a winner lying in wait. Since 2012, six of the players that have won this event were first-time winners, which is a fantastic sign for another one of the PGA Tour's up-and-coming stars. A lot of his success in college came at venues like this one, so the 2017 US Amateur champion is worth respecting this week.

On first viewing here last year he finished 23rd and he's right behind Henley for my statistical model this week – ranking 6th for par-4 scoring 400-450 yards, 7th for Good Drives, 12th for SG:OTT and inside the top 20 for GIR and SG: Approach.

Redman has contended in three of his last seven events alone – two T3s at the Wyndham and the Safeway as well as T4 at the Bermuda. Throw in a solo runner-up at the Rocket Mortgage in 2019, then you'll see he's got the capability to keep up with the high-scoring pace that this field and the PGA Tour often commands.

I will end the staking plan with two long-shots that I feel have been a little disrespected in the market in both JT Poston 100/1 (Betfair) and Henrik Norlander 125/1 (Betfair).

JT Poston (100/1 Betfair)

Poston has one win on the PGA Tour and that came at a short Sedgefield track, winning the Wyndham in 2019. This sort of course should be right up his street – he has contended at Harbour Town in back-to-back years with T6 and T8 as well as a T20 at Waialae last year.

Poston also has form at the likes of Riveria and Quail Hollow, two venues that Fazio has had a hand in. Poston missed the cut at the Masters this weekend but that doesn't matter, he should be well prepared for the short trip here. In the four events before his first-ever Augusta appearance, he managed a T20 in Houston and a 3rd at the Sanderson Farms.

Henrik Norlander (125/1 Betfair)

Whilst Norlander ranks the best of all my picks this week in my overall model, only bettered by three players who are all 30/1 or below. For the last 36 rounds in this field alone, the Swede is 3rd for GIR, 9th for Good Drives, 10th for SG: Approach and not far behind that for OTT and T2G. He has missed his last two cuts but now arrives at a venue which should bring the best back out of him.

Norlander was 5th here last year and a 2nd place in 2016 which was a playoff defeat to Mac Hughes. He also T9'd at Waialae earlier this year and has form at Quail Hollow and Sedgefield.

I'll take the pair as first-rounder leader stabs as well.

Best Bets

RSM Classic – Russell Henley (28/1 each-way William Hill)

RSM Classic – Mackenzie Hughes (60/1 each-way Coral)

RSM Classic – Doc Redman (66/1 each-way Betfair)

RSM Classic – JT Poston (100/1 each-way Betfair)

RSM Classic – Henrik Norlander (125/1 each-way (Betfair)

About Author

I'm a graduate in BA (Hons) Sports Journalism from Solent University where I received First Class Honours. My dissertation was actually on the sports gambling sector. I currently work in the sports media industry producing an array of content whether that be written, visual or audio. My passions include golf, English football - that's from the Premier League right down to non-league football - Aldershot being my team! as well as NFL and a number of other sports. I first got into betting through friends, pretty much as soon as I was old enough to do so and in the past I have run my own paid gambling group. Sport and betting go hand-in-hand but it's important to understand that this is merely a bit of fun for me. I've learnt a hell of a lot in the industry with many mistakes made but I hope my previews, whether that be on the latest golf event or something totally different, provide you with some added value.

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