This week sees the final regular tournament of the year on the PGA circuit. It is the last chance for some of the golfers in this field to retain their cards for 2024, so we should be in for four days of intense competition. The RSM Classic will always see a mixed field, with many players who are safe choosing to sit this one out. It is the same situation this week for the 2023 renewal as we head back to the USA and the Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia.
Last time out in Bermuda, we claimed a small return in the top 10 finish markets as Ryan Palmer tied for eighth place. So let’s see if we can build on that result with our 2023 RSM Classic preview with predictions and betting picks.
Ludvig Aberg continues his run on the PGA Tour and will kick off the markets this week at best industry odds of 14/1. The Swede has been among the favorites across the last few weeks and, while he has yet to deliver, he has a tie for second at the Sanderson Farms Championship among six straight top 15 finishes.
Just behind at a general 16/1 are Russell Henley and Brian Harman. Current Open Champion Harman was one of three runners-up behind Adam Svensson here last year and is making his first appearance since the Ryder Cup. Henley is making his ninth visit to the RSM Classic. In eight previous attempts, he has made the cut six times and has three top 10 finishes. Cameron Young comes next at a top price of 20/1, followed by Corey Conners at 25/1. Conners has a solid record in this event, with three Top 25s in his last three appearances.
Next are four golfers, Eric Cole, J.T. Poston, Si Woo Kim and Justin Suh, who are all quoted at best odds with the online sports betting companies of 33/1. Of those names, Cole is the form golfer with 14 straight cuts made. In the FedEx Cup fall, he has finished inside the top five on three occasions.
Suh is also attracting interest with some good returns in recent weeks. He led for the first three rounds at the Zozo Championship, before nailing a fourth placed finish at the WWT Championship.
On the edge of the chasing pack this week are Matt Kuchar, Denny McCarthy, Brendon Todd, Alex Noren and Adam Svensson, who are all available at 40/1 in places. Svensson is the defending champion after claiming the RSM Classic by two shots 12 months ago.
Canada’s Svensson has enjoyed a solid 2023, and goes into Thursday with five top 25 finishes in his last ten starts. Noren is also in good touch, after leading for most of last week in Bermuda.
The underdogs are led by former RSM Classic champion Chris Kirk, who is among a clutch of players listed at best odds of 50/1. Kirk claimed this tournament by one stroke in 2013 and while he is inconsistent, he can always be a threat. Also available at that top price of 50/1 are J.J. Spaun, Alex Smalley, Luke List, Billy Horschel and Taylor Pendrith. Horschel was a joint runner-up in this event in 2016 and has been active on the DP World Tour recently. Spaun is another former runner-up, having claimed a solo second behind Austin Cook in 2017.
Other players to mention include Akshay Bhatia at 55/1, Camilo Villegas at 66/1, Matti Schmid at 66/1, Thomas Detry at 701, Cameron Champ at 100/1, Webb Simpson at 100/1, Callum Tarren at 110/1 and Ryan Palmer at 125/1.
Villegas is enjoying a career resurgence after winning in Bermuda last week. He is also another former RSM Classic runner-up with a second place in 2016. Callum Tarren and Webb Simpson have also finished as runners-up in this event.
Our Preview’s RSM Classic Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course & Betting Trends
The RSM Classic is played across two locations at the Sea Island Golf Course on Saint Simons Island in Georgia. The Seaside Course is a par 70 at just over 7,000 yards, while the par 72 Plantation Course is also short at 7,160 yards.
Wind is the common factor on both surfaces, and it is expected to be especially gusty over the first two rounds. Plantation is expected to be an easier course on Friday when conditions start to calm down, so the draw could be vital.
A player with good, all-round stats and a solid record on links courses should do well this week, and one man who fits the bill is Russell Henley. He currently leads the Tour in Fairways Hit and, in challenging conditions, that could be the most useful statistic. His record in this event is solid, if not spectacular, and that experience, together with accuracy off the tee, may see him get over the line on Sunday. Our full RSM Classic 2023 betting predictions and picks for this golf tournament preview are as follows:
- Russell Henley to win at +1600 (16/1) with Bovada or BetOnline.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (odds from BetOnline, who are longest on these selections): Russell Henley (+200), Chris Kirk (+450), Billy Horschel (+450) and Akshay Bhatia (+550).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.