Former champ Mackenzie Hughes is a strong value to win the RSM Classic with odds of +7000. Photo by @ESPNStatsInfo (Twitter).
- The PGA Tour’s 2020-21 season continues at the RSM Classic on Thursday, November 19th
- Former champ Mackenzie Hughes has a pair of top-seven finishes in his first five starts this season
- Read below for analysis of the event and our favorite sleepers and longshot plays
With the Masters now in the rearview mirror, the PGA Tour season continues on Thursday (Nov. 19th) at the RSM Classic. This week’s event will be split at the Seaside Course and Plantation Course on Thursday and Friday, before shifting exclusively to the Seaside Course over the weekend.
Unlike most tournaments on Tour, accuracy has proven to be more important than distance over the years, which explains why pre-tournament favorite Webb Simpson has such a stellar track record here. We’re going to lean accuracy and putting for our targets this week, starting with a former champion.
2020 RSM Classic Odds
|Golfer||Odds to Win||Top-10 Odds||Top-20 Odds|
Odds taken Nov. 17th at DraftKings
Hughes on the Verge of Another Breakthrough
Mackenzie Hughes came out of nowhere to win here in 2016, and while he won’t be flying under the radar this week, his game is in a very good place. After making it all the way to the Tour Championship last season, Hughes has begun the 2020-21 campaign with a pair of top-seven finishes in his first five starts.
A bogey free final round 63 for 🇨🇦 Mackenzie Hughes at the @HouOpenGolf.
The Canadian is playing fantastic golf since the pause. #HoustonOpen #pgatour
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) November 8, 2020
The Canadian is fresh off a 7th place finish at the Houston Open, where he set the course record with a bogey free round of 63 on Sunday.
He hasn’t done much damage here since his win, but he’s finished third or better three separate times over the past eight months, and ranks first in this field in strokes gained short game and putting.
Pick: Mackenzie Hughes to win outright (+7000)
Norlander is a Course Horse
Next on our list is Henrik Norlander, who has a strong history of success at this event. The Swede has made the weekend in four straight appearances, finishing fifth last year and runner-up in 2017.
Final results from @TheRSMClassic:
1. @TDuncGolf, -19 🏆
2. @WebbSimpson1, -19
3. @JSMunozGolf, -18
4. Brendon Todd, -16
T5. Henrik Norlander, -15
Full leaderboard: https://t.co/vZk1d8dmgT pic.twitter.com/e31IPGvCkL
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 25, 2019
One of the best ball strikers in the field, Norlander ranks 17th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 3rd on approach and 20th off-the-tee over the last six months. Yes, he’s missed back-to-back cuts, but it was his putter, not his ball striking, that let him down. With a shift back to Bermuda Greens, Norlander’s preferred surface, he could be in line for another top end finish at this tournament.
Pick: Henrik Norlander top-10 finish (+900)
2021 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Searching for a Diamond in the Rough
Our final two targets aren’t names that will excite the average golf fan, but a closer look at their course history and style of play suggests they are set-up for success.
Brian Gay is fresh off a win at the Bermuda Championship, and has a pair of top-five finishes here over the past five years, including a third place result in 2017.
Brian Gay almost 49 years old. Winner. This game never ceases to amaze. So impressive.
— Arron Oberholser (@ArronOberholser) November 1, 2020
The 49-year-old hits virtually every fairway and boasts an elite short game, two of the most coveted skills needed to succeed at this tournament.
Ryan Armour meanwhile, doesn’t possess the short game of Gay, but is extremely accurate and can get blistering hot with his irons.
Ryan Armour got it going early. 🎯
He leads the field by one @Bermuda_Champ. pic.twitter.com/bTB11hIyyY
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 31, 2020
He’s the ultimate boom-bust play, as a top-five and bottom-five result is well within his range of outcomes. Over the past 13 months, Armour has missed more cuts than he’s made, but he has finished top-eight or better four separate times. He’s made four consecutive cuts at this event, finishing 23rd in 2019, and 15th in 2018.
Picks: Brian Gay top-20 finish (+750), Ryan Armour top-20 finish (+1000)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.