There are a host of PGA Tour events that scream history.
These are events that fans look back on and can’t believe some of the shots and results that unfolded before their eyes.
The Masters is one of those events, and so is The Open Championship. No matter their interest in golf, when the Masters or The Open come around, people pay attention.
The same can’t be said about the RSM Classic, this week’s stop on the PGA Tour. Maybe it should.
Before you suggest we see a psychiatrist, hear us out.
The tournament, being held at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort in Georgia, has underlying historic value that can’t be matched.
Don’t believe us? Well, listen closely.
The last three tournaments, and four of the last five, have gone into a playoff. Few tournaments can match that drama. And Tyler Duncan (the 2019 winner), Austin Cook (the 2017 winner), and Mackenzie Hughes (the 2016 winner) all picked up their first victories here.
Need more? We’ve got it.
Charles Howell III won in 2018, getting back into the PGA Tour’s winner’s circle after a 12-year absence.
We aren’t done quite yet.
Robert Streb, last year’s winner, beat Kevin Kisner in a playoff. And Kisner was the winner in 2015, also posting his first PGA Tour victory.
Who’s going to add his name to the historic RSM Classic in 2021?
We’re about to tell you.
Odds To Win 2021 RSM Classic (BetMGM)
Scottie Scheffler +1200
Webb Simpson +1600
Cam Smith +1800
Louis Oosthuizen +2000
Corey Conners +2800
Russell Henley +2800
Harris English +3000
Joaquin Niemann +3300
Familiarity Is Key This Week
While the players who did not compete in the Masters are heading to Georgia for their only time in 2021, a few players are right at home here.
Guys like Kisner, +3500 this week, played college golf at the University of Georgia, so he’s familiar with the area. If home teams in baseball, basketball, hockey, and other sports have an edge, watch out for guys who play this layout often.
Kisner is one of those guys, and to say he’s had success here would be an understatement. Losing in the playoff last year and winning here in 2015 for his first victory on Tour suggests he has an advantage.
Is it enough for him to get back into the winner’s circle? We’re thinking yes for the simple fact he knows this course better than just about anyone in the field.
But it’s not all good news. Sure, he was also T-7 in 2018 and T-4 in 2017, so he’s had plenty of success here. But he’s also missed two cuts in that six-year run, so it’s been feast or famine.
We’re ready for another buffet week this week.
Scheffler Keeps On Knocking On The Door
Scottie Scheffler, the favorite this week at +1200, has to have sore knuckles from knocking on the door so often as he tries to pick up his first PGA Tour victory.
Last week was no exception. We had him as one of our choices at the Houston Open, and he was right there, but a stale final round (a one-under-par day) left him with a T-2 finish.
He’s now got a solo fourth and a T-2 in November. It’s time to finish the deal.
Where this week’s event is concerned, we’re going off two-year-old data. He didn’t play here in 2020, but he was T-5 in 2019.
It’s the only time he’s played in the event, but that high finish — and high finishes are becoming the norm for Scheffler — is good enough for us to stay on the bandwagon.
If you’re looking to jump on, beware the bandwagon is getting crowded. More fans and bettors (he is the favorite this week) are thinking like we do: It’s not if he will win on Tour, but when.
Over the 2020-21 wraparound season and the first few events of the 2021-22 season, Scheffler has 11 top-10 finishes in 33 events.
Soon, he may stop knocking on the door and just bust through it, and when he wins, there will likely be many more victories down the line.
One For The Longshot Bettors
It’s always fun (and challenging) to look down the betting board and find a player who has a decent chance to overcome long odds and win.
We’ve tried plenty of times with limited success (we can count the tickets we’ve cashed with +6000 odds or better on one hand), but that’s to be expected.
This week, we have one of those players who made us stop and go, ‘Hmmm, this doesn’t look right.’
That player is Camilo Villegas at +12500. We know, such a bet sounds crazy. Give us a moment to explain our reasoning.
Consider Villegas has had limited starts on the PGA Tour in recent seasons because of two factors: poor play and the death of his two-year-old daughter in mid-2020, losing her to cancer.
Now while you can work through fixing your golf game, losing a child will always be in your thoughts.
But Villegas is battling back, and we love the fact he won’t give up.
He’s made two cuts in four starts this season, finishing T-34 in Bermuda and T-35 in Vegas at the Shriners, so he’s on the right track.
One of his best finishes since getting back into action was a T-6 at this tournament in 2020.
It’s a long way to climb from being ranked as low as 2,080th in the world not that long ago.
He hasn’t won since the 2014 Wyndham Championship, but a victory at a site where he has good memories would be another step up that comeback ladder.
If you’re looking for a player to back because of the odds and what the story would mean, this is one for you.