RSM Classic Preview, Picks & Analysis
AS WE catch our collective breath after another outstanding Masters, there is little rest for the stars of the PGA Tour as they make the relatively short trip to the RSM Classic at Sea Island in Georgia.
Last year it was won by Tyler Duncan, a 30-year-old who turned pro in 2012. It was his first victory in more than 150 starts on the PGA Tour. “You just never know. This is a crazy game,” said Duncan. It can go in several different directions.”
His previous biggest success had been at the Indiana State Amateur and he began the week ranked 378th in the world, holing a 25-foot birdie putt at the 18th to get into a playoff with Webb Simpson, the highest-ranked player in the field.
He then birdied the second playoff hole to move to 11th in the FedEx Cup standings and earn invitations to the Tour Championship, Tournament of Champions, Masters and US PGA Championship. It was a life-changing victory. He finished the week on 19 under par, 263, shooting rounds of 67, 61, 70 and 65.
The tournament is hosted by the Davis Love Foundation and will be played without spectators. Love is known for his philanthropy and his foundation has donated an astonishing $17m to charities that support children and families in need.
“Despite the difficult decisions we have made regarding spectators and other tournament-related events, the Davis Love Foundation, along with RSM, remains committed to using the RSM Classic as a platform to help children- and family-focused charities across the nation,” said Love. “Charitable organisations are experiencing unprecedented demand on their services as the pandemic takes an economic and emotional toll on individuals and families. It remains our goal to have a positive impact on Special Olympics, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia and other local and nationwide charities through our Friends of Davis Love Foundation, Birdies Fore Love and other creative fund-raising programmes.”
“As we have said from the start, our top priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities where we are invited guests each week,” said PGA TOUR Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer Andy Pazder. “We appreciate the cooperation of the Davis Love Foundation team, RSM, Sea Island Golf Club, and – of course – the fans of southeast Georgia for understanding why collectively we had to make this decision. We remain very excited to present The RSM Classic to a global audience through our broadcast partners.”
“While everyone involved is extremely disappointed that we will not be able to welcome spectators and give them an opportunity to experience the genuine Southern hospitality for which our area is renowned, our team is convinced this is the responsible decision. And, we are excited that we will still have the opportunity to showcase the beautiful Golden Isles and Sea Island Golf Club to an international audience through our media partners,” said RSM Classic executive director Mark Love. “I am extremely proud and appreciative of the work and support of our staff, volunteers and partners as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”
“We have an extensive health and safety plan for screening and testing in place, including a mandatory health questionnaire and temperature readings for everyone onsite each day, as well as COVID-19 testing for players, caddies and personnel working in specific areas,” said Love. “In addition, we will emphasise face coverings, hand washing and sanitising, social distancing and will implement enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols in all areas of tournament operations in accordance with best practices.”
“The RSM Classic has been so successful in providing tremendous charitable impact during our first 10 years because of the support of our employees and clients, the tournament’s staff and volunteers and the wonderful people of the Golden Isles,” said Andy Bosman, RSM principal and chief marketing officer. “Even without on-site spectators this year, we know that our firm, tournament partners, the local community and other supporters will continue to rally around the RSM Classic in new ways. Golf has the unique ability to unite people, and the RSM Classic has been a cornerstone of RSM’s partnership with the PGA Tour. While 2020 will be different, it certainly will not deter us from the incredible things we can do for the community together.”
(Tommy Fleetwood is Competing at the RSM Classic)
It was won in 2015 by Robert Streb, in 2016 by Kevin Kisner, in 2017 by Mackenzie Hughes, in 2018 by Charles Howel III and last year by Tyler Duncan.
Russell Henley. Ready to win again
Tommy Fleetwood. Still looking for that first PGA Tour success
Kevin Kisner. Good memories
Russell Henley. Wonderful short game
Tommy Fleetwood. Showing some of his best form again
Kevin Kisner. As consistent as they come
Charles Howell III. A money-making machine
Tyrrell Hatton. Wants to put Masters disappointment behind him
Dylan Frittelli. Played some wonderful golf at Augusta
Matthew Fitzpatrick. Another who wants to forget Augusta
Harris English. Now full of self belief
Harry Higgs. A breath of fresh air
Shane Lowry. Has shown some good form recently
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