Power Rankings: RSM Classic

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Among the notables reviewed in Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider will be Talor Gooch, Joaquin Niemann and Branden Grace, as well as former RSM champions Mackenzie Hughes (2016) and Charles Howell III (2018).

A less fun thing happened at the Plantation Course last year. After billing as a gettable stock par 72 with a scoring average of 70,439 in its debut as a redesign in 2019, it opened to an average of 72,590 last year. Then, as originally expected, it dropped to 70,066 in the second round, but the damage had already been done.

A challenging wind was also constant over the first two days last year, but Seaside, a stock of par 70, checked in with respective averages of 69,883 and 68,679.

Plantation has usually been the place to stack a few breakers up. Ever since it was added (and generated a rotation) in 2015, the proven goal has been to leverage the assigned one loop and its par 5s. It remains a goal, but with an early forecast for calm Thursday and gusts on Friday, half of the draw trying to tackle Planation in the second round would be wise to be sure to take advantage of what could be record scoring at Seaside in the opener. Daytime hours will drop from the mid-70s Thursday to the mid-60s for the rest. There is a slight threat of rain over the weekend, but an interruption of the game is not expected.

As with all courses located along and near a body of water where the horizon is only more water, the wind dictates the speeds of the greens, but justice across two rounds is imperative. Seaside is expected to measure as long as 13 feet on the Stimmeter, but that will likely not happen before the weekend, if it does at all, because the wind will continue to push in from the north. Plantage greens are prepared to touch 12 feet. All 36 greens are covered with non-sown bermuda grass.

Despite the wind, the overall score for what is a 72-hole, even pair of units at 282 will be low. Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner finished regulation last year in 19-under 263 to win the third year in a row with the winning score, and then Streb won in a playoff. He also survived a playoff in the final edition, for which Seaside was the soloist in 2014, but his total that year was 14 under 266.

ShotLink is only used on Seaside, but Strebs 72-hole calculations last year placed him T7 in greens in the regulation, 11th in putts per. GIR, 17th in putting: birdies-or-better and fifth in scrambling. It was a balanced attack on a couple of lanes, each tipping at just over 7,000 yards. Distance from the tee is not a prerequisite for being the last to qualify for the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions.


PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton summarizes and previews each tournament from several angles. Look for his next contribution as planned.

MONDAY: Power Rankings

TUESDAY*: Sleeping; Fantasy Insider

SUNDAY: Qualifications, redistribution, medical extensions, Rookie ranking

* – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which will also be released on Tuesday.