The PGA Tour schedule will end the calendar year this week with the final event of 2021 being the RSM Classic. The event’s first two rounds will see golfers play one round on the Seaside course and one at the Plantation course, finishing with Rounds 3 and 4 on the Seaside course. Take note that all historic strokes gained data you find on the event all comes from rounds played on the Seaside Course. 

Both short, seaside courses that don’t offer many ways to separate from the field. Those who are successful will play it roughly the same way due to the lack of distance necessary and the wide fairways allowing most of the field to attack the greens and hit them at a high rate. It’s not often putting is incorporated in prognosticating, but this event often turns into a putting contest. Like most weeks, the major adjustments will come from the lack of distance advantage and this week, a large majority of the field will be on level ground while teeing off. 

Below are two of my favorite bets for the RSM Classic. You can find the rest of my picks, including bets for the Euro Tour and LPGA Tour at the Bet Tracker. If you’re not a subscriber yet, use code “Axis” to get 10% off your purchase.

 

 

Matchup | Talor Gooch over Alex Noren

-125, BetMGM

You need to stretch your timeline out a decent amount to find a time when Noren was playing better golf than Gooch, and as you approach the present, Gooch begins to separate himself. The one benefit Noren will have over Gooch this week is on the putting surface, but Gooch is no slouch there either. The largest difference is in approach play and if Noren isn’t finding the greens his putting advantage won’t come into play in a way to make a great impact. Gooch had a minor setback in form last week after a great round 1, but that isn’t enough to swing this matchup, which I have closer to -150 favorite. 

Matchup | Webb Simpson over Scottie Scheffler

-112, FanDuel Sportsbook

Simpson feels a bit forgotten to me, probably because he finally came down a bit from riding his best two-year stretch of his career. I should back up too, he didn’t “come down” by all that much but he felt less in contention in 2021 than previous years and had a better strokes-gained season than his opponent, Scheffler. I say all that because then when you mix in Simpson’s experience at this event and Scheffler’s largest advantage over Simpson is negated here, I think we are finding a generous number on the veteran. This isn’t a course history debate either, I largely think it’s over blown, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored or consulted blindly (just perhaps not as much as a lot of people think). Scheffler is super talented and finished fifth at this event in 2019, so it’s not like he can’t maneuver the course, but he will need to continue to putt well, which seems to come and go with him. I’m not advocating Simpson to be the favorite, but I have the number essentially even, so I will take the small value play who also has some variables in his favor I may not be factoring enough. 

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