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Sleeper Picks: The RSM Classic

3 Min Read

Sleeper Picks

Sleeper Picks: The RSM Classic

    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    Henrik Norlander (+600 = Top 20) … Of the 236 golfers with FedExCup points, there probably isn’t anyone who could be and should be as comfortable at No. 126 than the big guy from Sweden. He lost in a playoff here in 2016 and finished T5 in 2019; those were the first two top-five finishes of his PGA TOUR career. His tee-to-green game alone should pave the way into the weekend when anything can happen with the governor in the rearview mirror. And it was just six weeks ago when he was a playoff victim at the Sanderson Farms Championship … for which he was a Sleeper.

    Matt NeSmith (+125 = Top 40) … It was during the first October of the 2022-23 season when he built a foundation on which to rely for the remainder, but the T9-T2-T9 burst would be relegated to ancient history as he’d finish last of 70 in the FedExCup Playoffs. His 2024 card was secured but it was an opportunity lost as it concerns qualifying for the Signature Events in 2024. Well, he’s still within reach of The Next 10 and he’s on the upswing once again with a pair of top 25s in his last three starts. While we’ll settle for this prop, he recorded a top-15 finish in his first two tries at Sea Island (2019, 2020).

    Patton Kizzire (+180 = Top 40) … Sometimes, a home game can be a distraction but there can’t be a better place when a job is on the line. The 37-year-old local resident is 130th in the FedExCup, so he can see paydirt because of his recent flourish. After a T15 at the World Wide Technology Championship, he was T18 entering the finale of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and had a streak of 13 consecutive red numbers. Alas, he lost yardage with a closing, even-par 71 to finish T31. This is his 10th straight appearance in his backyard. The highlights were a T15 in 2018 and a T10 in 2020.

    Satoshi Kodaira (+200 = Top 40) … In the same vein as Henrik Norlander above, there’s a strong argument that the 34-year-old from Japan would be the most comfortable right now to climb from 151st and into the top 150 for conditional status for the third straight season. And not because he’s first on the outside looking; rather, it’s about momentum. With top-15 finishes in two of his last three starts, including a T13 on Sunday at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, his confidence isn’t a concern. His putting is, or usually is, but he still has one of the most underrated combinations of tee-to-green precision and scrambling.

    Ben Kohles (+125 = Top 40) … Anyone playing attention this year will give this a side-eye and chortle, “Kohles, a Sleeper? Yeeeaaahhh, right!” Indeed, given his reversal in 2023 that yielded the top spot on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, he’s not, but as always, it’s relative. After a second failed attempt on the PGA TOUR in 2021-22, there was a reason why he was on the KFT this year, so the opportunity to play The RSM Classic is both a reward and validation after connecting for two wins among eight top 10s. He has nothing to lose, so it’s a free play to put his renewed game to the test all the while others are grinding.

    Odds were sourced on Nov. 14, 2023. For live odds, visit BetMGM.

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    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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