PGA Preview: 2020 RSM Classic Predictions

Dustin Johnson won the Masters last week and is taking this week off as are several other top- name players. However, the RSM Classic has a surprisingly strong field for an event following a Major. Webb Simpson, Sung-Jae Im, and Tommy Fleetwood are coming in as three of the favorites to win at Sea Island Golf Club.

Simpson comes in as the lone player at +1000 with Sung-Jae Im at +1800, and Fleetwood at +2200. Simpson lost the RSM Classic in a playoff last year to defending champ Tyler Duncan. Both players finished tied at 19 under before Duncan won.

Playoffs are common at the Classic. The event has been played ten times and five of them have finished with playoff golf. Three of the last four, and four of the last six, RSM Classics have ended with playoff rounds.

As for the defending winner, Duncan comes in at +40000 following several missed cuts including last week at the Masters and PGA Championship. Here are the favorites coming in at +2500 and under to win the 2020 RSM Classic outright according to Intertops.


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Webb Simpson +1000

Tyrrell Hatton +1800

Sung-Jae Im +2000

Tommy Fleetwood +2200

Russell Henley +2500

Matthew Fitzpatrick +2500

Harris English +2500

2020 RSM Classic Preview

Where: Saint Simons Island, Georgia

Course: Sea Island Golf Club – Two Courses

Par: 70 Seaside / Plantation 72

Length: 7005 Seaside / 7060 Plantation

When: November 19 –22, 2020

Purse: $6.6 million

Coverage: Golf Channel/PGA Sirrius


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The RSM Classic takes place at Sea Island Golf Club and utilizes both courses – the slightly shorter Seaside Course and the Plantation Course. The first two rounds will see every player on both courses with the weekend taking place on the Seaside course only.

It’s a great way to get the whole property featured on TV plus it may force players to adapt a bit more mentally. They can’t focus on what they did on one hole four days in a row. It’s a small twist – but it’s a neat one – better than just messing with hole positions on the fourth day of play.

Both courses are gently rolling with no huge elevation changes. Seaside Island makes full use of scenic views and water features as well as inland marsh grasses. There is a nice balance of open fairways and holes that play over water and marshy grass areas.

Ocean wind can come into play on some of the greens and fairways while much of the course plays slightly inland. Secondary roughs are reported to be high with greens running slow.


2020 RSM Classic Picks


Webb Simpson +1000

Webb Simpson has finished in second place at this event twice and a third-place run in 2018. He’s been consistent as of late including a T10 at the Masters and a T8 at the U.S. Open. He’s ranked No. 7 currently on the OWGR list.

Sung-Jae Im +2000

Sung-Jae Im played amazing rounds last week at the Masters while showing his trade-mark concentration. Dustin Johnson just happened to play better. Im is one of those rare players that can seem unfazed by tournaments in the past. Expect him to come into the play on Thursday hot.

Harris English +2500

Harris English is currently No. 35 on the OWGR and No. 34 in FedEx points. He finished the U.S. Open in fourth and the CJ Cup tenth. Winning the RSM Classic would give him his third career PGA Tour win.

Others I Like

Justin Rose – Ian Poulter: The RSM Classic is packed with value picks outside of the players riding the top of the odds list. Two of those are Justin Rose and Ian Poulter. Rose comes in at +4000 while Poulter at +5000. Both are proven winners on the PGA Tour and can benefit from some of the Tour heavy-weights taking a week off.


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2020 RSM Classic Odds

Webb Simpson +1000

Tyrrell Hatton +1800

Sung-Jae Im +2000

Tommy Fleetwood +2200

Russell Henley +2500

Matthew Fitzpatrick +2500

Harris English +2500

Corey Conners +3000

Jason Day +3300

Louis Oosthuizen +3300

Sebastian Munoz +3300

Joaquin Niemann +3300

Jason Kokrak +3300

Shane Lowry +3300

Justin Rose +4000

Kevin Kisner +4000

Brian Harman +4000

Ian Poulter +5000

Mackenzie Hughes +5000

Dylan Frittelli +5000

Talor Gooch +6000

Zach Johnson +6600

Doc Redman +6600

Charles Howell III +6600

Denny McCarthy +6600

Matt Wallace +6600

Lee Westwood +6600

C T Pan +6600

Andy Sullivan +6600

Brendon Todd +6600

Charl Schwartzel +6600

Sam Burns +7000

Austin Cook +7000

Harold Varner III +8000

Russell Knox +8000

Alex Noren +8000

Bernd Wiesberger +8000

Aaron Wise +8000

Sepp Straka +8000

Joel Dahmen +8000

Danny Willett +8000

Matt Kuchar +8000

Chez Reavie +8000

Stewart Cink +10000

JT Poston +10000

James Hahn +10000

Cameron Davis +10000

Adam Hadwin +10000

Maverick McNealy +10000

Charley Hoffman +10000

Wyndham Clark +10000

Henrik Norlander +10000

Henrik Stenson +10000

Cameron Tringale +10000

Brandt Snedeker +10000

Kristoffer Ventura +10000

Emiliano Grillo +10000

Adam Long +10000

Kevin Streelman +12500

Harry Higgs +12500

Matthew Nesmith +12500

Peter Malnati +12500

Tyler Duncan +12500

Scott Piercy +12500

Luke List +12500

Brian Gay +12500

Doug Ghim +12500

Patrick Rodgers +12500

Martin Laird +12500

Will Gordon +12500

Keegan Bradley +12500

Matt Jones +12500

Rafael Cabrera Bello +12500

Tyler McCumber +12500

Adam Schenk +15000

Graeme McDowell +15000

Patton Kizzire +15000

Scott Stallings +15000

Chris Kirk +15000

Rory Sabbatini +15000

Troy Merritt +15000

Nick Taylor +15000

Lucas Glover +15000

Mark Hubbard +15000

Brendan Steele +15000

Richy Werenski +15000

Tom Hoge +15000

Sung Kang +15000

Jhonattan Vegas +15000

John Huh +15000

Kevin Chappell +15000

Chesson Hadley +17500

Pat Perez +17500

Hank Lebioda +20000

Beau Hossler +20000

Kyle Stanley +20000

David Hearn +20000

Cameron Percy +20000

Brice Garnett +20000

Branden Grace +20000

Ryan Armour +20000

Joseph Bramlett +20000

Brian Stuard +20000

Roger Sloan +20000

Keith Mitchell +20000

Robby Shelton +20000

Andrew Landry +20000

Hudson Swafford +20000

Fabian Gomez +20000

D J Trahan +22500

Vaughn Taylor +25000

Andrew Putnam +25000

Jason Dufner +25000

Rob Oppenheim +25000

Xinjun Zhang +25000

Nate Lashley +25000

JJ Spaun +25000

Sean O'Hair +25000

Scott Brown +25000

Mark Anderson +25000

Kyoung-Hoon Lee +30000

Nick Watney +30000

Chase Seiffert +30000

Luke Donald +30000

Robert Streb +30000

Sebastian Cappelen +30000

Tim Wilkinson +35000

Jim Herman +35000

Bill Haas +35000

Aaron Baddeley +35000

Brandon Hagy +35000

Bronson Burgoon +35000

Scott Harrington +40000

Satoshi Kodaira +40000

Jamie Lovemark +40000

Camilo Villegas +40000

Kevin Tway +40000

Ted Potter +40000

Jonathan Byrd +40000

Chris Baker +40000

Sam Ryder +40000

Bo Hoag +40000

K J Choi +75000

Hunter Mahan +75000

Bo Van Pelt +100000

Michael Kim +100000

D.A. Points +100000

Martin Trainer +100000

Kevin Stadler +100000

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.