The RSM Classic Preview 2020

The RSM Classic Preview 2020

The RSM Classic Preview 2020

Dates: November 16-22, 2020

Location: Sea Island, Georgia
Course: Sea Island Golf Club
Par/Yards: Seaside (host) 70/7,005; Plantation 72/7,060
Defending champion: Tyler Duncan
Purse: $6,600,000/$1,188,000
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Field size: 156

Things to Know

  • One year after edging Webb Simpson in a playoff for his first PGA TOUR win, Tyler Duncan returns to defend his title
  • Seven-time PGA TOUR winner Webb Simpson returns after his playoff loss in 2019; owns five top-15 finishes in eight starts at the event
  • Field includes 20 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, most in tournament history
  • Sungjae Im leads the RSM Birdies Fore Love competition, which concludes this week in Sea Island
  • Stewart Cink, winner of the season-opening Safeway Open and current No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, set to make his 600th PGA TOUR start as a professional
  • Major champions Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Danny Willett and Keegan Bradley are all making tournament debuts
  • Sponsor exemption Davis Thompson, the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is son of The RSM Classic tournament director Todd Thompson
  • Tournament host Davis Love III will miss the event due to an ongoing neck injury

Field Notes

  • 17 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings (tied with 2013 for most in tournament history), led by Stewart Cink (3), Jason Kokrak (5) and Martin Laird (10)
  • 20 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking (most in tournament history), led by Webb Simpson (6) and Tyrrell Hatton (10); previous-most: 11 (2011)
  • Five players with top-10 finishes in the Masters Tournament: Sungjae Im (T2), Dylan Frittelli (T5), C.T. Pan (T7), Corey Conners (T10), Webb Simpson (T10)
  • Four winners during the 2020-21 season: Stewart Cink/Safeway Open, Hudson Swafford/Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, Martin Laird/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Jason Kokrak/THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK
  • Three FedExCup champions: Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), Justin Rose (2018)
  • Each of the last seven champions of the event: Chris Kirk (2013), Robert Streb (2014), Kevin Kisner (2015), Mackenzie Hughes (2016), Austin Cook (2017), Charles Howell III (2018), Tyler Duncan (2019)
  • 14 major winners, highlighted by two-time major winner and Sea Island resident Zach Johnson

A look back at 2019 The RSM Classic

1Tyler Duncan67617065263 (-19)*
2Webb Simpson65686367263 (-19)
3Sebastian Munoz67636668264 (-18)
4Brendon Todd66666272266 (-16)

*won in a playoff with a birdie-3 on the second extra hole (No. 18)

  • Tyler Duncan earned his first career victory in 68th PGA TOUR start at the age of 30 years, 4 months, 11 days
  • Duncan birdied three of last four holes to reach the playoff before making birdie on the second extra hole (No. 18) to win
  • Duncan was the fifth first-time winner in the last six editions of The RSM Classic (all but Charles Howell III/2018)
  • Duncan went on to finish a career-best No. 40 in the FedExCup standings; enters this week No. 108 in the standings

Current FedExCup standings (players in bold are in the field)

Pos.PlayerPointsWinsTop 10sStarts
1Dustin Johnson950133
2Bryson DeChambeau698123
3Stewart Cink671125
4Patrick Cantlay660125
5Jason Kokrak596115
6Matthew Wolff585025
7Sergio Garcia548116
8Carlos Ortiz537116
9Justin Thomas536034
10Martin Laird532115

FedExCup and The RSM Classic

  • 11th of record 12 events in the fall portion of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season (and 50 overall); winner benefits include invitations to the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Masters Tournament, THE PLAYERS Championship, PGA Championship
  • There are 6,200 FedExCup points available for winners in the fall events the season, the most ever since the start of the wraparound schedule in 2013-14, with 26 percent of FedExCup points for winners available in the fall
  • Since the wraparound schedule began in 2013-14, all seven winners of The RSM Classic have qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs, with four advancing to the TOUR Championship (Chris Kirk/2013/2nd, Robert Streb/2014/18th, Kevin Kisner/2015/23rd, Charles Howell III/2018/28th)

Birdies Fore Love concludes at The RSM Classic

  • RSM Birdies Fore Love concludes this week; the three players with the most birdies (or better) in the first 11 fall PGA TOUR events will each be awarded $300,000, $150,000 and $50,000, respectively, for charity of his choice
  • The top five on the Birdies Fore Love leaderboard are in the field this week: Sungjae Im (123 birdies or better), Sebastian Munoz (112), Tom Hoge (107), Corey Conners (105), Sepp Straka (103)
  • New in 2020, players’ birdies (or better) will count for two points instead of one at The RSM Classic, so that more players will have a chance to move up the leaderboard in Sea Island
  • The player with the most birdies (or better) during The RSM Classic will receive a $50,000 donation to the charity of his choice
  • Winning players are encouraged to designate the funds to charitable organizations dedicated to building tomorrow’s middle market leaders through programs that support education, as well as organizations committed to improving the lives of youth through a focus on hunger, housing and health – organizations aligned with RSM US Foundation’s areas of focus.
  • TOUR players will generate close to $1 million for charity during fall portion of the schedule through RSM Birdies Fore Love

Player Notes

  • 2020 Safeway Open winner Stewart Cink will make his 600th official TOUR start as a professional; having made one start as an amateur, Cink recently became the 68th player with 600 or more starts on TOUR (amateur and professional starts); T10 in 2016 represents only top-10 finish in nine starts at event
  • 12-time PGA TOUR winner Jason Day finished T57 (2012) in his only other start at the event
  • 2018-19 PGA TOUR Rookie of the year Sungjae Im, who collected seven top-10 finishes in each of his first two seasons on TOUR (2018-19, 2019-20), will make his second start at The RSM Classic (T37/2018); atop the Birdies Fore Love leaderboard with 123 birdies or better
  • Team RSM member and 12-time TOUR winner Zach Johnson has two top-10s in 10 starts at event (T8/2017, T7/2018)
  • 2015 champion Kevin Kisner has four top-10s in last six starts at the event: T4/2014, Won/2015, MC/2016, T4/2017, T7/2018; most recently missed the cut in 2019
  • Tournament host Davis Love III, a PGA TOUR Life Member and World Golf Hall of Fame member with 21 TOUR titles, will not compete in the event due to an ongoing neck injury
  • 2018 FedExCup champion Justin Rose will make his debut appearance at The RSM Classic
  • 2018 PLAYERS Championship winner Webb Simpson has five top-15 finishes in eight prior starts at The RSM Classic: T12/2010, P2/2011, T7/2013, 3rd/2018, P2/2019; in 30 rounds at The RSM Classic, worst score is a 71 (R3/2013, R4/2016)
  • Sponsor exemption Davis Thompson will make his fourth TOUR start; University of Georgia senior is No. 1-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and son of The RSM Classic tournament director Todd Thompson; finished T23 in 2019 in PGA TOUR debut

Tournament Records

  • Best 18-hole score: 60 (Tommy Gainey, R4/2012)
  • Best 36-hole score: 128 (five times; most recent: Tyler Duncan/2019)
  • Best 54-hole score: 194 (Austin Cook/2017, Brendon Todd/2019)
  • 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 five playoffs at The RSM Classic:
    • 2019: Tyler Duncan defeated Webb Simpson
    • 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
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