The PGA Tour heads for Georgia this week and the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. Kevin Kisner is defending champion at the RSM Classic.
This week sees the seventh event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour wraparound season, as the players head for Sea Island Georgia and the RSM Classic. Kevin Kisner defends the title.
The RSM Classic had looked in doubt following Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Hermine in September. But a huge amount of work has been done to get the Seaside and Plantation courses at Sea Island ready for play.
The first two rounds of the event will be held over two courses – the Seaside and the Plantation – to accommodate a full field of 156. The last two rounds will be contested over the Seaside layout.
This event began life in 2010 as the McGladrey Classic when Heath Slocum was champion. Since then, Ben Crane, Tommy Gainey, Chris Kirk and Robert Streb have been victorious. Last year, the first instalment of the tournament with RSM as title sponsor, Kevin Kisner was the winner. He finished six strokes clear of Kevin Chappell.
Wind is the main protector on this resort course and, when it’s up, the par-70 layout is challenging. However, when it’s calm, scoring can be low over the Seaside Course – see Tommy Gainey’s final round 60 in 2012.
The Seaside course at Sea Island dates back to 1929 when Harry Colt and Charles Alison laid out nine holes. A further nine was added in the 1970s and Tom Fazio brought the two together in 1999.
The weather forecast looks pretty reasonable – warm and sunny. Although a breeze could, as is normally always the case here, play a part.
Paul Lawrie on driving into the wind:
Venue: Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, Georgia
Date: Nov 17-20
Course stats: par 70, 7,005 yards
Purse: $ 6,000,0000 Winner: $1,026,000
Defending Champion: Kevin Kisner (-22)
Thursday 17 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Friday 18 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Saturday 19 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Sunday 20 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30pm
Chris Kirk – A former winner of this event, Kirk has been on good form this year. He has three top-10 finishes in the new PGA Tour season.
Kevin Chappell – He’s another with a good record in this event: runner-up last season. He hasn’t showed his best in recent weeks but it’s only a couple of months since he was runner-up in the Tour Championship.
Kevin Streelman – He’s a streaky player and he looks like he might just be starting on one. He was tied 18th at the Sanderson Farms and then tied fourth last week in Mayakoba.
Key hole: 18th. At 470 yards, the closing par 4 on the Seaside Course is a real tester. It often ranks as the toughest on the course and could witness some slip-ups late on in proceedings.