RSM Classic Preview 2019

RSM Classic Preview 2019

RSM Classic Preview 2019

  • Dates: November 18-24, 2019
  • Course: Sea Island Golf Club
  • Par/Yards: Seaside (host) 70/7,005; Plantation 72/7,060
  • Defending champion: Charles Howell III
  • Purse: $6,600,000/$1,188,000;
  • FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
  • Format: 72-hole stroke play
  • Field: 156

For a list of RSM Classic winners, follow the link.

Things to Know

  • FedExCup leader Brendon Todd seeks third straight win after Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic victories
  • Charles Howell III makes title defense after claiming his third career PGA TOUR win in a playoff over Patrick Rodgers in 2018
  • Tournament host Davis Love III will make his 769th official PGA TOUR start this week
  • Lanto Griffin leads in the RSM Birdies Fore Love competition, which culminates this week in Sea Island
  • The RSM Classic is the final of a record 11 fall events on the 2019-20 PGA TOUR schedule – six of eight winners from the fall calendar of 2018-19 qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship
  • The 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season marks the 14th season of the FedExCup and includes the second edition of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, where the top 10 players in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the Regular Season earn a share of $10 million

Field Notes

  • 14 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by Brendon Todd (1), Lanto Griffin (2) and Sebastian Munoz (5)
  • Three 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season winners: Sebastian Munoz (Sanderson Farms Championship), Lanto Griffin (Houston Open), Brendon Todd (Bermuda Championship, Mayakoba Golf Classic)
  • Four players who advanced to the 2019 TOUR Championship: Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Charles Howell III
  • Three past FedExCup champions: Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011), Billy Horschel (2014)
  • Seven of nine past champions: Ben Crane (2011), Chris Kirk (2013), Robert Streb (2014), Kevin Kisner (2015), Mackenzie Hughes (2016), Austin Cook (2017), Charles Howell III (2018)
  • 19 of the 21 PGA TOUR Rookies (only Viktor Hovland and Tom Lewis are not in the field)
  • Five ranked inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Webb Simpson (11), Matt Kuchar (22), Billy Horschel (32), Kevin Kisner (34), Adam Hadwin (47)
  • Players with 10 or more wins: Davis Love III (21), Jim Furyk (17), Zach Johnson (12)

FedExCup and The RSM Classic

  • The RSM Classic is one of a record 11 official FedExCup events held in the fall portion of the 2019-20 season, providing players more opportunities to get off to a strong start in the FedExCup
  • In 2018-19, six of the eight fall winners went on to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship, the highest success rate since the start of the wraparound season, and all 30 players who advanced to the TOUR Championship made starts in the fall
  • The winner of The RSM Classic has advanced to the TOUR Championship four times since it became an official FedExCup event in 2013 (Chris Kirk/2013, Robert Streb/2014, Kevin Kisner/2015, Charles Howell III/2018)

FedExCup leader Brendon Todd enters The RSM Classic in search of third consecutive victory

  • Won his last two starts on TOUR (Bermuda Championship, Mayakoba Golf Classic); collective 44-under in those starts
  • The last player to win three consecutive weeks on the PGA TOUR schedule is Tiger Woods in 2006 (PGA Championship, World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Deutsche Bank Championship)
  • Dustin Johnson is the last player to win three consecutive starts: 2017 The Genesis Invitational, World Golf Championships- Mexico Championship, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play
  • Began the season with four consecutive missed cuts and a T28 at the Houston Open
  • T16 in 2013 represents his best finish in five starts at The RSM Classic

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will be recognized through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program and be well-positioned entering the FedExCup Playoffs

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Points Behind Starts Projected Bonus
1 Brendon Todd 822 2 2 7 $2 million
2 Lanto Griffin 740 1 1 82 7 $1.5 million
3 Rory McIlroy 713 1 2 109 2 $1.2 million
4 Justin Thomas 662 1 2 160 3 $1.1 million
5 Sebastian Munoz 627 1 2 195 6 $1 million
6 Kevin Na 603 1 1 219 5 $850,000
7 Sungjae Im 599 2 223 6 $700,000
8 Joaquin Niemann 587 1 1 235 6 $600,000
9 Chameron Champ 381 1 1 241 5 $550,000
10 Hideki Matsuyama 566 2 256 5 $500,000

Birdies Fore Love concludes at The RSM Classic

  • RSM Birdies Fore Love awards the player with the most birdies (or better) during The RSM Classic with a $50,000 donation to his charity of choice
  • Also, the top three players who accumulate the most birdies (or better) in the fall, beginning with A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier and concluding this week in Sea Island, will be awarded $300,000, $150,000 and $50,000, respectively, for charitable donations to children- and/or family-focused organizations of the player’s choice
  • The top six players in the standings are all in the field this week: Lanto Griffin (127), Maverick McNealy (119), Scottie Scheffler (119), Xinjun Zhang (119), Denny McCarthy (117) and Brian Gay (116)

A look back at Charles Howell III’s win at The RSM Classic in 2018

  • Won his third career PGA TOUR victory in his 529th career start at the age 39 years, 4 months, 30 days
  • Had the third-most starts before his third PGA TOUR victory, behind only Leonard Thompson (553) and Howard Twitty (532)
  • Was his first win since 2007, a span of 11 years, 9 months and 333 starts
  • Victory over Patrick Rodgers came in the fourth playoff in tournament history; improved to 2-4 in playoffs in his career
  • Marked his first time in six attempts converting a third-round lead/co-lead on TOUR
  • Ended a streak of four consecutive first-time winners at The RSM Classic

Miscellaneous Player Notes

  • Harris English owns a TOUR-best four top-10s in 2019-20, most recently finishing fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and sits No. 13 in the FedExCup standings; he has posted all 20 rounds at par or better in 2019-20
  • 2019 Houston Open champion Lanto Griffin missed the cut in only prior RSM start (2017)
  • 2015 champion Kevin Kisner has four top-10s in last five starts at the event: T4/2014, Won/2015, MC/2016, T4/2017, T7/2018
  • Matt Kuchar has six top-25s in seven starts (MC/2016) at the event and is one of nine players to advance to the FedExCup Playoffs in each season since the inception of the FedExCup
  • Tournament host Davis Love III, a 55-year-old PGA TOUR Life Member and World Golf Hall of Fame member with 21 TOUR titles, will make his 769th official PGA TOUR start this week, which ranks fourth-most all time (803/Mark Brooks, 799/Jay Haas, 784/Dave Eichelberger); in nine starts at The RSM Classic, a T4 in 2012 represents his best finish among five made cuts
  • Sebastian Munoz claimed his first PGA TOUR title at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship, defeating reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Sungjae Im in a playoff; became first Colombian to win on TOUR since Camilo Villegas (2014 Wyndham Championship)
  • Patrick Rodgers recorded the best closing 36-hole score in TOUR history in 2018 (61-62—123) before dropping a playoff to Charles Howell III; returns for his fifth start at the event (T44/2015, T10/2016, MC/2017, 2nd/2018)
  • 2018 PLAYERS Championship winner Webb Simpson has four top-15 finishes in seven prior starts at The RSM Classic: T12/2010, 2nd/2011, T7/2013, 3rd/2018

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, Keith Mitchell and Michael Thompson.

Miscellaneous Tournament Notes

  • Best 18-hole score: 60 (Tommy Gainey, R4/2012)
  • Best 36-hole score: 128 (Billy Horschel/2011, Mackenzie Hughes/2016, Austin Cook/2017, Charles Howell III/2018)
  • Best 54-hole score: 194 (Austin Cook/2017)
  • Best 72-hole score: 260 (Kevin Kisner/2015)
  • Largest margin of victory: 6 strokes (Kevin Kisner/2015)
  • Best come-from-behind victory: 7 strokes (Tommy Gainey/2012)
  • There have been four playoffs at The RSM Classic:
    • 2018: Charles Howell III defeated Patrick Rodgers
    • 2016: Mackenzie Hughes defeated Billy Horschel, Henrik Norlander, Blayne Barber and Camilo Villegas
    • 2014: Robert Streb defeated Brendon de Jonge and Will Mackenzie
    • 2011: Ben Crane defeated Webb Simpson
  • Heath Slocum (2010), Chris Kirk (2013), Kevin Kisner (2015), Mackenzie Hughes (2016), Austin Cook (2017) and Charles Howell III (2018) have carried the 54-hole lead on to victory at the event; each of the last four winners (Kisner, Hughes, Cook and Howell III) led outright after three rounds
  • Best finish by a defending champion: Chris Kirk (T4/2014)

About RSM

  • RSM US LLP, celebrating its 93rd year of operation, is one of the world’s largest audit, tax and consulting network
  • RSM features over 41,000 staff members in over 750 offices across the world (115 countries)
  • 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, Chris DiMarco, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk and Dru Love and European Tour players Andy Sullivan, Paul Lawrie, Paul Waring, Hinrich Arkenau, Colin Montgomerie and Michele Thomson.


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