Draws & Fades: Weather delay brings opportunities at The RSM Classic
4 Min Read
Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet
Weather delays on the PGA TOUR are downright frustrating. They complicate things for everyone from players, officials, spectators… and yes, even bettors.
But they also sometimes provide windows of opportunity when we end an evening with a round still in progress.
With Sea Island Golf Club getting nice and soaked, there are still some 90 players yet to complete their opening round at either the Plantation or Seaside Course. And while the precipitation may continue over Thursday evening, it should begin clearing on Friday and stay away for the remainder of the tournament.
Soft conditions will likely see a dart throwing competition commence and scores will get low, as we have seen over the years at The RSM Classic.
When play was halted, we had a three-way tie for the lead between Eric Cole, Cameron Young and Davis Thompson who all put up 6-under 66s at the Plantation Course. At the end of play, Plantation was playing -1.522 strokes under par for the field while Seaside was -1.076.
Matt Kuchar’s 5-under 65 at Seaside was the best from the tougher course, leaving him tied fourth with Ludvig Åberg and Ricky Barnes (both 5-under 67 at Plantation) plus Ben Carr (through 17 holes), Peter Kuest (through 17 holes) and Nicholas Lindheim (through 13 holes) who all have yet to finish on the Plantation course.
As we study the outright boards with BetMGM to see who might come out Friday and surge we need to check the stats on both courses.
We know the front nine of the Plantation Course played tougher than the back, but the eighth and ninth holes are gettable. But so too are holes 14-18 for those yet to play the finishing holes on the back.
At Seaside the finishing holes on the back nine, 16-18 are playing tough after the easy 15th. But holes five through nine are gettable.
OUTRIGHT ODDS (BetMGM)
+700: Cameron Young (-6, 66 on Plantation, T1); Ludvig Åberg (-5, 67 on Plantation, T4)
+800: Eric Cole (-6, 66 on Plantation, T1)
+1400: Davis Thompson (-6, 66 Plantation, T1); Matt Kuchar (-5, 65 on Seaside, T4)
+2000: J.T. Poston (-3 through 13 on Seaside, T20); Nicholas Lindheim (-5 through 13 on Plantation, T4)
+2500: Denny McCarthy (-2 through 13 on Plantation, T34); Brendon Todd (-4, 68 on Plantation, T10); Alex Noren (-2 through 12 on Plantation, T34)
+3300: Mackenzie Hughes (-4 through 14 on Plantation, T10)
All three top favorites have merit at their current odds so don’t be afraid to pounce on them. But I’m going to give you some longer odds opportunities to be aware of.
Denny McCarthy (+2500, T34)
McCarthy had just started the easy finishing stretch of the Plantation Course when play was called for the evening. As it stood the last five holes to negotiate ranked 12th, 13th, 11th, 14th and 18th most difficult on the course in the opening round, all averaging under par. As one of the best putters on the PGA TOUR he will come out on smooth surfaces, albeit soggy, and have the chance to push his way towards the leaders before making his way over to the Seaside Course.
Alex Noren (+2500, T34)
Noren, a runner up last week at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, sits in a similar situation to McCarthy. Noren is through just 12 holes of the Plantation Course and is gearing up to hit the gettable finishing stretch in the morning. Even if he only takes care of the two par 5s, he will be in great shape after the opening round.
Matt Kuchar (+1400, T4)
Having already taken care of the tougher Seaside Course in decent fashion, Kuchar will get a chance to go low on the Plantation and continue on from his recent good play where he looked set to win in Mexico before some late stumbles. The veteran was bogey-free on the Seaside, good signs ahead of the two weekend rounds there. Kuchar has eight top 40s at The RSM Classic from 11 attempts, albeit just the one top 10.
Davis Thompson (+1400, T1)
Thompson has started wonderfully on the Plantation course but he heads to the Seaside knowing he's missed the last three cuts at the RSM Classic. I also can’t look past the fact he ranks 146th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach and 126th in SG: Putting – two factors that are going to play a huge role over the coming days.