RSM Classic Preview
Dates: November 14-20, 2016
Where: St. Simons Island, GA
Courses: Sea Island GC (Seaside Course/Host; Plantation Course)
Par/Yards: Seaside (35-35—70/7,005), Plantation (36-36—72/7,058)
Defending champion: Kevin Kisner
Purse: $6,000,000 ($1,080,000 to winner)
Field: 156; Format: 72-hole stroke play
A look back at The RSM Classic in 2015
- Third-round leader Kevin Kisner shot a bogey-free 64 in the final round to claim a tournament-record, six-stroke victory over Kevin Chappell at the 2015 RSM Classic. Graeme McDowell finished solo third and seven strokes behind. Kisner’s 72-hole score of 260 shattered Tommy Gainey’s tournament scoring record of 264 from 2012.
- Kisner recorded his first PGA TOUR victory in his 109th start at the age of 31 years, 9 months and 7 days.
- Joined Tommy Gainey (2012) and Robert Streb (2014) as the only players to record their first PGA TOUR win at The RSM Classic.
- Kisner became the 11th former Georgia Bulldog to win on the PGA TOUR joining Chip Beck, Harris English, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Ryuji Imada, Chris Kirk, Billy Kratzert, Tim Simpson, Brendon Todd and Bubba Watson. Watson leads that contingent with eight titles. Patrick Reed attended UGA for one season.
- Kisner’s win ended a stretch that included four runner-up finishes in his previous 19 starts on TOUR, including three playoff losses (2015 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions/2nd, 2015 Greenbrier Classic/P2, 2015 PLAYERS Championship/P2, 2015 RBC Heritage/P2).
- The six-stroke win for Kisner was the largest in tournament history.
- Kisner’s 196 total through three rounds marked the lowest 54-hole score at The RSM Classic (The previous mark of 197 was set by Michael Thompson/2011, Davis Love III/2012 and Jim Furyk/2012 at the par-70 Seaside Course.
- Kisner (2015), Chris Kirk (2013) and Ben Crane (2010) are the only players to carry the 54-hole lead on to victory.
- Kisner at The RSM Classic (Won-2015, T4-2014, T20-2013, MC-2012, T26-2011).
- Kisner “coached” the PGA TOUR players to a 7-6 victory over their wives Tuesday night in the annual PGA TOUR Wives Association Wiffle Ball Classic.
- Kisner carried the victory on to a 23rd place finish in the FedExCup. Here’s a look at his year-by-year finishes in the season-long competition: 2011/195, 2012/153, 2013/DNP, 2014/104, 2015/21, 2016/23.
The RSM Classic and the FedExCup
- The RSM Classic is the seventh event in the PGA TOUR’s wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 47 official events. Over the span of 43 weeks, players vie to become the FedExCup Champion, which distinguishes the one player who not only performs well during the PGA TOUR Season, but also excels through the four-event FedExCup Playoffs, culminating with the 2017 TOUR Championship.
- Every week is significant in the race for the FedExCup – four of the seven winners from the fall calendar of 2015 (Russell Knox, Emiliano Grillo, Justin Thomas and Kevin Kisner) qualified for the 2016 TOUR Championship and two others (Smylie Kaufman and Graeme McDowell) finished inside the top 50.
- The 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season kicked off with the Safeway Open and includes seven events during the fall of 2016, all of which will award FedExCup points. After a break, the season will resume in January with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast.
A look at the RSM Classic field
- Tournament host Davis Love III, a 21-time winner on the PGA TOUR and recent captain for the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team, will be making his 735th start on the PGA TOUR. Here’s a look at Love’s finishes at The RSM Classic (T33/2010, MC/2011, T4/2012, MC/2013, T41/2014, T33/2015).
- 2016 Ryder Cup members: Davis Love III (captain), Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar.
- 19-time TOUR winner and four-time major champion Ernie Els will make his first start at The RSM Classic.
- Tournament winners from the 2016-17 season: Cody Gribble (Sanderson Farms Championship).
- 10 players who are currently ranked inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings this season, led by Cody Gribble (6) and Patton Kizzire (11).
- Seven players who finished inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings during the 2015-16 season and advanced to the TOUR Championship: Kevin Chappell (8), Brandt Snedeker (15), Si Woo Kim (17), Matt Kuchar (18), Roberto Castro (22), Kevin Kisner (23), William McGirt (24).
- The highest ranked-players in the field in the Official World Golf Rankings are Matt Kuchar (No. 20), Brandt Snedeker (26), Kevin Chappell (28), Jim Furyk (34), Zach Johnson (35), Bill Haas (38) and Kevin Kisner (41).
- 17-time PGA TOUR winner and 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk began his 2016-17 season last week at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
- Most recently, Furyk drew the attention of the sports world when he posted the PGA TOUR’s first-ever 58.
- In the final round of this past season’s Travelers Championship, Furyk made 10 birdies and an eagle en route to the TOUR’s lowest 18-hole score (finished T5). Furyk also posted a 12-under 59 in round two of the 2013 BMW Championship (finished 3rd).
- At the end of the 2015-16 season, Furyk received the Payne Stewart Award, presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s values of character, charity and sportsmanship.
- Kevin Chappell has improved at The RSM Classic each year (T43-2012, T32-2013, T8-2014, 2-2015).
- Brendon de Jonge has finished inside the top 16 in four of his six starts at The RSM Classic (T15-2010, T60-2011, T4-2012, T16-2013, P2-2014, T33-2015).
- Sponsor exemptions: Heath Slocum, Paul Lawrie, Henrik Norlander
- Past Champions in the field
- All six of the past champions of The RSM Classic are in the field this week.
- Kevin Kisner 2015
- Robert Streb 2014
- Chris Kirk 2013
- Tommy Gainey 2012
- Ben Crane 2011
- Heath Slocum 2010
- Major Champions in the field
- Ernie Els 4
- Vijay Singh 3
- Zach Johnson 2
- Stewart Cink 1
- Jim Furyk 1
- Lucas Glover 1
- Davis Love III 1
- Webb Simpson 1
- Sea Island Connections in the field
- Tournament host, Sea Island resident and “Team RSM” member Davis Love III headlines a growing list of players with Sea Island connections, with the majority training out of the state-of-the-art Sea Island Golf Performance Center:
- Blayne Barber – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Jonathan Byrd – Sea Island resident, trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Stewart Cink – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Harris English – Sea Island resident, trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Brian Harman – Sea Island resident, trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Billy Horschel – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Charles Howell III – owns Sea Island property
- Zach Johnson – “Team RSM”, Sea Island resident, trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Patton Kizzire – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Matt Kuchar – Sea Island resident, trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Rick Lamb – Sea Island Resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Scott Langley – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Davis Love III – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Trey Mullinax – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- J.T. Poston – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Seamus Power – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Kyle Reifers – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Sam Saunders – trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Hudson Swafford – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Michael Thompson – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
- Bobby Wyatt – Sea Island resident; trains at Sea Island Golf Performance Center
Miscellaneous RSM Classic Notes
- There have been two playoffs at The RSM Classic: Ben Crane defeated Webb Simpson in 2011, while Robert
Streb outlasted Brendon de Jonge and Will Mackenzie in 2014.
- Kevin Kisner (2015), Chris Kirk (2013) and Ben Crane (2010) are the only players to carry the 54-hole lead on to
victory at the event.
- Kevin Kisner’s six-stroke victory in 2015 is the largest in tournament history.
- Kisner also owns the tournament scoring record (260) and 54-hole record (196).
- RSM US LLP is the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market.
- RSM is celebrating its 90th year of operation.
- The change from the McGladrey Classic to The RSM Classic in 2015 reflected the title sponsor’s name change from McGladrey LLP to RSM US LLP. The Chicago-based firm announced in June, 2015 that the change would be occurring on October 26 of last year to unite its international network under one brand and better showcase its global capabilities.
- “Team RSM” features Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, Chris DiMarco, Andy Sullivan and Paul Lawrie.
About the Seaside Course
- The Seaside Course, which has made its way in the past on Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Courses in the United States”, is situated on the southern tip of Saint Simons Island and is a true oceanside course.
- The storied Seaside Course has been the site of many prestigious golf events and has challenged some of the game’s finest golfers, including Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead.
- Originally designed in 1929 Seaside was originally built as a 9-hole course by legendary English architects Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison in 1929.
- In 1973, Joe Lee designed Marshside Nine. These two distinct nines were transformed into the currentworld-class Seaside course in 1999 by Tom Fazio.
About the Plantation Course
- With Rees Jones’ renovation, the Plantation Course unfolds among a forest of ancient live oak and cedar, with a hint of danger lurking in its tidal creeks and lakes. Plantation boasts expansive fairways that give definition to the course, showcasing beautiful views of the ocean, oaks, and blooming flowers.
- Jones calls the new Plantation “parkland by the sea” for its magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and its lush natural scenery. Rees added, “I took the work of Walter Travis (who designed Plantation in 1926) and Dick Wilson (who fashioned Retreat in 1960) and produced a classic style course with a similar flavor.”