Golf Bets

RSM Classic Each-Way Tips: Picks from 66/1 to 100/1

American golfer Ben Griffin
Ben Griffin knows these courses well

The PGA Tour heads to Georgia for the final event of the season and Dave Tindall has three bets for the showdown at Sea Island Resort...

  • 66/167.00 Ben Griffin is a resident on St. Simons Island

  • 66/167.00 Adam Long is finishing the season strongly

  • 100/1101.00 Rejuvenated Ryan Moore has incentive

So here we are at last. It's the final counting event of the elongated 2022/23 season and one last opportunity to secure full playing privileges or improve status for the 2024 campaign.

Next year, the PGA Tour starts in January and plays out a calendar-year schedule but before that return to simpler times it's the annual trip to Sea Island in Georgia for the RSM Classic.

As usual for this seventh and last event of the Fall Series, the tournament takes place over two courses: it's one round each at the Plantation and the Seaside before the latter stages the final 36 holes over the weekend.

The Seaside is a par 70 Bermuda track only just tipping over the 7,000-yard mark. It's vulnerable to high winds but if they're calm, a 59 isn't out of the question. Sebastian Munoz shot 60 there in 2021.

Sea Island on St. Simons Island is a hotspot for PGA Tour pros and, not surprisingly, residents and those with local connections have often come to the fore.

On the Strokes Gained stats, there are some areas of conflict although the last three winners here ranked 1st (Adam Svensson 2022), 6th (Taylor Gooch 2021) and 9th (Robert Streb 2020) for Putting.

Four of the last five winners have ranked 17th or better for SG: Approach.

Another factor to consider is form on correlating courses. There are plenty to choose from and include Harbour Town (RBC Heritage), Waialae (Sony Open), Colonial (Charles Schwab), El Camaelon (Mayakoba) and Port Royal (Bermuda).

Back Ben Griffin @ 66/167.00

Let's start with the local angle and back Ben Griffin at what looks a very appealing price.

Griffin, a University of North Carolina grad, moved to St. Simons Island in 2018, brushing shoulders with Major winners and Ryder Cup captains Davis Love III and Zach Johnson.

After stepping up from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022 following a series of big finishes, he's now making strong strides on the PGA Tour.

Griffin heads into this final week of the campaign ranked 54th on the FedEx Cup standings after banking $2,668,899.

Four starts ago he lost a play-off at the Sanderson Farms Championship and in the last two weeks he's added 23rd in Mexico and 37th in Bermuda where he shot a Friday 63.

Speaking of low rounds, Griffin may have some special feelings come flooding back when he tees it up at the Plantation Course this week.

Last year, during a casual round with mates, he needed an unlikely hole-out for an eagle at his closing hole to shoot a 59. And, guess what, he did! The moment was captured on camera.

Griffin is at home, literally, in this environment and after missing the cut on his first go in 2018 when far from the player he is now, the 27-year-old took tied 29th last year after opening with a 63.

Speaking at this event 12 months ago, he said: "I play here a lot, I'm comfortable."

And he reiterated his liking for this style of coastal golf last week when at Port Royal, home of the Bermuda championship: "I like the course type with the Bermuda grass and the green types, and I feel like it's a course that sets up well for my game."

If he can find the putting prowess he showed at the Sanderson Farms (also Bermuda greens), Griffin could give his family and local friends plenty to whoop and holler about.

Back Ben Griffin each way @ 66/167.00

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Back Adam Long @ 66/167.00

I put up Adam Long at 60s last week and am happy to go in again on the American at a slightly higher price.

Long played nicely at the Bermuda Championship to finish 13th and could easily have landed the each-way cash.

A hot start to Sunday's final round put him in good position to have a run at the top five but he stalled, coming home in one over.

Frustratingly, that top 15 didn't change his FedEx Cup ranking and Long enters this last-chance saloon ranked 138th and 13 spots outside the all-important 125.

In short, he has maximum motivation to make one final push. There is no coasting to the line here.

Long shot rounds of 66-68-65-69 in Bermuda and that followed four laps in the 60s at the WWT in Mexico where he posted 23rd after hitting every single fairway!

Add in a pair of top 35s in both his starts before that and his game looks good. That's further highlighted by rankings of 11th and 3rd on the All-Around in the last fortnight.

Long was 3rd for Greens in Regulation in Bermuda and that should stand him in good stead for this week.

So to his RSM Classic form. From 2019 to 2021 he improved from 35th to 30th to 16th. Last year produced a missed cut despite a Friday 66.

In other words, it's a decent record and it's backed up by good form on correlating courses: second and a third at El Camaleon, fifth and eighth at the Corales Puntacana and 12th at Harbour Town last year.

This short, coastal test is very much in his wheelhouse and Long is definitely worth an each-way punt again.

Back Adam Long each way @ 66/167.00

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Back Ryan Moore @ 100/1101.00

Given the similarities between last week's examination and this one, there's logic in mining the top of the Bermuda leaderboard for potential picks.

And it's a surprise to see Ryan Moore at a three-figure price given his fifth place in Bermuda on Sunday.

Moore has had a rotten year but is in position to give it a happy conclusion after a strong finish.

That top five moved him up from 140th to 128th on the FedEx Cup charts and followed on from 38th in Mexico and 13th in Las Vegas.

Speaking in Bermuda about those improvements, Moore said: "It's a little bit of everything. The last several weeks the ball striking had been better. Last week the ball-striking was phenomenal.

"The putting, there wasn't stats last week, but if I was anything above last place last week I would have been very shocked.

"Just kind of worked on some routine stuff with my caddie this week, just worked on some setup stuff and just tried to get real simple with it. Honestly, just feeling a little better, feeling a little more confident over it."

Moore was slightly exaggerating his poor putting in Mexico as he finished 43rd for Putting Average. But he was correct to note improvements after ranking 17th for PA in Bermuda.

So why such big odds here. Has he had a string of missed cuts in this event?

Nope. Moore is a first-timer so no bad memories exist. And any concerns about the lack of experience surely diminish when noting that he was also making his debut in Bermuda last week. That didn't stop him finishing fifth.

Camilo Villegas showed that 40-somethings that had been written off can still come back to win again so hopefully Moore, who turns 41 in December, can do the same.

Back Ryan Moore each way @ 100/1101.00

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Now read Steve Rawlings on the RSM Classic

Recommended bets

Staked: £1535
Returned: £1314.36
P/L: -£220.64

2021/2022 P/L: -£315.35
2020/2021 P/L: +£1475.87
2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89


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