2023 RSM Classic: Preview, Prop Picks, Best Bets

League: Golf

Posted on: 16 Nov, 2023 at 01:09 AM

Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The RSM Classic is the final event of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season, and the final opportunity for players to secure their playing status for 2024.

The new FedEx Cup Fall is a seven-event slate where the top 50 players are locked in. That has left players battling to get into the coveted "Next 10," Nos. 51-60 that comes with spots in two designated events next year.

Players within the top 125 after this week still retain full playing status for next year, while Nos. 126-150 will earn conditional status and invites to join the DP World Tour.

At lot is at stake this week to keep in consideration. Our golf experts break down the event starting Thursday at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island in Georgia, and provide their favorite prop picks along with best bets to win.

Location: St. Simons Island, Ga., Nov. 16-19
Course: Sea Island Golf Club, Seaside Course (Par 70, 7,005 yards)
Purse: $8.4M (Winner: $1.512M)
Defending Champion: Adam Svensson
FedEx Cup Champion: Viktor Hovland

TV: Thursday-Friday, 12-3 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Streaming: Thursday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
X: @TheRSMClassic

--Ludvig Aberg to Beat Davis Thompson (-180 at DraftKings): Aberg has secured his spot inside the top 125 for next season, but he has a lot to play for this week. At No. 53 in the world, he needs to get inside the top 50 by year's end to earn a spot in the Masters. Thompson has been playing well of late, including two top-20 finishes in four fall starts. But he's a significant +150 underdog heads-up against the Swedish rookie.

--Akshay Bhatia Top 20 Finish (+200 at BetMGM): Bhatia has been grinding this fall, as he will play in all seven events. After missing the first two cuts, Bhatia has found steady form, including three consecutive finishes of T21 or better. That includes a T10 in Mexico two weeks ago, and this is his second trip to St. Simons after finishing 45th last year.

--Keith Mitchell to Beat Thomas Detry (-122 at DraftKings): This is a big week for both, as Detry enters at No. 63 in the FedEx Cup standings and Mitchell at No. 69 (see below). To move into the Next 10, they'll need a strong week in Georgia. That plays into the hands of Mitchell, a Sea Island resident who is a regular at this event. Detry has enjoyed a solid rookie season, but is coming off a missed cut in Bermuda and doesn't have a top-30 finish in his past five worldwide starts.

2023 Prop Picks Record: 46-48-2

--Ludvig Aberg (+1400 at BetMGM) hasn't won yet, but he has knocked on the door, including a playoff loss at Sanderson Farms. That's among seven consecutive top-15 finishes worldwide.
--Russell Henley (+1600) is the second highest-ranked player in the field at No. 25 and is another Georgia resident (Columbus) in the field.
--Brian Harman (+2000) is a St. Simons Island resident and will make his 12th event start after tying for second last year.
--Corey Conners (+2200) tees it up for the first time since the Tour Championship and won Valero Texas Open earlier this year.
--Eric Cole (+3000) leads the rookie of the year race and is 48th in the world as he seeks his maiden tour win. Cole has three top-4 finishes in his past four starts.
--Chris Kirk (+4500) won the event in 2013 and finished T4 in 2014 and '18. He sits 49th in the world rankings.
--Camilo Villegas (+5500) followed his runner-up finish two weeks ago with his first win in nine years in Bermuda.

--Svensson is defending his maiden PGA Tour victory.
--Curtis Thompson, the older brother of LPGA Tour star Lexi Thompson, secured the final spot in the field with a birdie on the fifth playoff hole of the Monday Qualifier.
--Mark Hubbard will make his 39th start of the 54-event season, a single-season record since data started being kept in 1983. He is one of six players to compete in all six Fall events thus far. The others are: Tyson Alexander, Akshay Bhatia, Nick Hardy, Justin Lower and Kevin Yu.
--Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk are the only players to compete in the event every year since its debut in 2010.
--Twin brothers David and Maxwell Ford are in the field on sponsor exemptions. David won the 2023 Jones Cup.
--Tournament host Davis Love III will make his 790th start on tour.

No. 56 Nick Hardy*
No. 57 Alex Smalley*
No. 58 Luke List*
No. 59 J.J. Spaun*
No. 60 Sam Ryder*
No. 61 Mark Hubbard*
No. 62 Stephan Jaeger*
No. 63 Thomas Detry*
No. 64 Alex Noren*
No. 65 Erik van Rooyen
No. 66 Davis Riley
No. 67 Brandon Wu*
No. 68 S.H. Kim
No. 69 Keith Mitchell*
No. 70 Hayden Buckley*

No. 121 Doug Ghim
No. 122 Nico Echavarria
No. 123 Troy Merritt
No. 124 Andrew Novak
No. 125 Carl Yuan
No. 126 Henrik Norlander
No. 127 Maverick McNealy
No. 128 Ryan Moore
No. 129 C.T. Pan
No. 130 Patton Kizzire

--Field Level Media