RSM Classic Preview – 2018

RSM Classic Preview - 2018
RSM Classic Preview – 2018

2018 The RSM Classic
Dates: November 12-18, 2018
Where: Sea Island Golf Club
Par/Yards: Seaside (host) 70/7,005; Plantation 72/6,907
2017 champion: Austin Cook
Purse: $6,400,000/$1,152,000
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Field: 156
Twitter: @TheRSMClassic

2018-19 PGA TOUR Season continues at The RSM Classic, wrapping up the Fall portion of the schedule

  • The RSM Classic marks the eighth event of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season in a wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 46 events — 43 Regular Season events and three FedExCup Playoffs events.
  • The fall includes eight FedExCup events, which began at the Safeway Open and ends this week at the Sea Island Golf Club. Following a break, the season resumes in January with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.


Significant changes for PGA TOUR in 2018-19


  • A season with a better flow from start to finish; a return of THE PLAYERS Championship to March, which kicks off a cadence of significant events over five months; and a season that concludes with the FedExCup Playoffs. Every week matters – four of the eight winners during the fall of 2017 qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship (Justin Thomas, Patton Kizzire, Patrick Cantlay and FedExCup champion Justin Rose).
  • The FedExCup Playoffs – which have been reduced from four to three events beginning this season and will conclude before Labor Day, allowing the TOUR to compete to own the August sports calendar – will feature fields of 125 for THE NORTHERN TRUST, 70 for the BMW Championship and 30 for the TOUR Championship, where the FedExCup Champion will be determined.
  • A simplified, strokes-based scoring system at the TOUR Championship that crowns a singular champion. Instead of a points reset at the TOUR Championship, the TOUR is instituting a strokes-based system related to the FedExCup standings through the BMW Championship. T
    • The scoring system virtually replicates the win probabilities of the current system but uses strokes instead of points – which is much easier for golf fans, and the casual sports fan, to understand.
    • The leader through the first two FedExCup Playoffs events will begin the TOUR Championship at 10-under par.
    • The next four players will start at -8 through -5, respectively.
    • The next five will begin at -4, regressing by one stroke per five players until players 26-30 start at even par.
    • With the implementation of this change, the player with the lowest total score including FedExCup Starting Strokes will be the FedExCup champion and be credited with an official victory in the TOUR Championship.
    • Two constants will the drama and the crowning of a deserving champion seen over the first 12 years of the FedExCup.
    • Using next year’s scoring at the 2018 TOUR Championship, Justin Rose – thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole — would have captured the FedExCup by a single stroke over Tiger Woods, Billy Horschel and Dustin Johnson.
    • A $10 million Wyndham Rewards-sponsored bonus – the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 — where players will be rewarded for their outstanding play during the Regular Season, prior to the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.
  • The top Regular Season finisher in FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000. Dustin Johnson led last year’s FedExCup standings through the Wyndham Championship, just 83 points ahead of Justin Thomas.
  • Including the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, there will be a doubling of FedExCup total bonus money available to players, from $35 million to $70 million.


A look back at Austin Cook’s win at The RSM Classic in 2017


  • Austin Cook converted a three-shot lead into a four-stroke victory over J.J. Spaun, carding birdies on three of his last four holes (Nos. 15, 17, 18) to finish 21-under 261 (one shy of Kevin Kisner’s tournament record from 2015).
  • Cook earned his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 14th career TOUR start, and just his fourth official start as a member, at the age of 26 years, 8 months, 6 days.
  • Cook became the fifth player to win in his first start at The RSM Classic. Following Heath Slocum’s win in the inaugural RSM Classic in 2010, Ben Crane (2011), Robert Streb (2014) and Mac Hughes (2016) also won in their first appearance.
  • Cook became the fifth player who made The RSM Classic their first career PGA TOUR victory, including the four consecutive: Cook (2017), Mac Hughes (2016), Kevin Kisner (2015), Robert Streb (2014) and Tommy Gainey (2012).
  • Cook set a tournament record for low 54-hole total with his score of 194. The previous record was 196 by the last two winners, Kevin Kisner (2015) and Mac Hughes (2016).




  • Austin Cook returns for his first title defense on the PGA TOUR
  • Tournament host Davis Love III will make his 761st official PGA TOUR start this week
  • Past FedExCup champions: Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011)
  • Seven of eight past champions are competing (Austin Cook/2017, Mackenzie Hughes/2016, Kevin Kisner/2015, Robert Streb/2014, Chris Kirk/2013, Tommy Gainey/2012, Ben Crane/2011; inaugural 2010 winner Heath Slocum is not playing)
  • Top-ranked player in the current FedExCup ranking (Cameron Champ/9)
  • Players from the 2018 TOUR Championship (Webb Simpson, Patton Kizzire)
  • Players with 10 or more wins: Davis Love III (21), Ernie Els (19), Jim Furyk (17), Zach Johnson (12)


Top contenders


Webb Simpson

Entering the week

  • #20 OWGR
  • 6 Starts at The RSM Classic
  • 2 Top-10s at The RSM Classic
  • 263 PGA TOUR starts
  • 5 PGA TOUR wins
  • 1 PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19
  • 0 Wins in 2018-19
  • 0 Top-10s in 2018-19
  • 106 Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (5)

  • 2011 Wyndham Championshi
  • Deutsche Bank Championship
  • 2012 S. Open
  • 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
  • 2018 THE PLAYERS Championship.

Best 2018-19 results:

  • T15/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
  • Finished T15 in his season debut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
  • Starts at The RSM Classic: 2010 (T12), 2011 (2), 2013 (T7), 2014 (T41), 2016 (T36), 2017 (WD)
  • Victory at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2018, his first on TOUR since 2013, led to an 11th-place finish in the FedExCup


Kevin Kisner

Entering the week

  • #32 OWGR
  • 7 Starts at The RSM Classic
  • 3 Top-10s at The RSM Classic
  • 186 PGA TOUR starts
  • 2 PGA TOUR wins
  • 1 PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19
  • 0 Wins in 2018-19
  • 0 Top-10s in 2018-19
  • N/R Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (2)

  • 2015 The RSM Classic.
  • 2017 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
    • esults: MC/Mayakoba Golf Classic
  • Starts at The RSM Classic: 2011 (T26), 2012 (MC), 2013 (T20), 2014 (T4), 2015 (1), 2016 (MC), 2017 (T4)
  • Finished 47th in the FedExCup last season, snapping three straight trips to the TOUR Championship


Sea Island connections


  • 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.
  • PGA TOUR professionals who live or train in the area include (but is not limited to) Davis Love III, Patton Kizzire, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jonathan Byrd, Harris English, Brian Harman, J.T. Poston, Hudson Swafford, Josh Teater and Michael Thompson.


Miscellaneous RSM Classic Notes

  • There have been three playoffs at The RSM Classic: o Ben Crane defeated Webb Simpson in 2011.
  • Robert Streb outlasted Brendon de Jonge and Will Mackenzie in 2014.
  • Mackenzie Hughes defeated Billy Horschel, Henrik Norlander, Blayne Barber and Camilo Villegas in 2016.
  • Best come-from-behind victory: 7 strokes (Tommy Gainey, 2012).
  • Best 18-hole score: 60 (Tommy Gainey, round four, 2012).
  • Kevin Kisner owns the tournament scoring record (260 in 2015).
  • Kisner also owns the event’s largest margin of victory (six strokes).
  • Austin Cook (2017), Mackenzie Hughes (2016), Kevin Kisner (2015), Chris Kirk (2013) and Ben Crane (2010) have carried the 54-hole lead on to victory at the event.


About RSM

  • RSM US LLP is the sixth-largest global audit, tax and consulting network.
  • RSM is celebrating its 92nd of operation and has firms in 120 countries.
  • RSM features over 43,000 staff members in over 800 offices across the world.
  • 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, 2015 to unite its international network under one brand and better showcase its global capabilities.
  • “Team RSM” features Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk, Chris DiMarco, Dru Love, Andy Sullivan, Paul Lawrie, Paul Waring, Hinrich Arkenau.


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