Bet the PGA: Mike Kern picks the RSM Classic from Georgia, where he's voting for Russell Henley, longshots
The RSM Classic starts Thursday morning from St. Simons Island.
The Masters is over, Dustin Johnson made history, and now it’s on to the RSM Classic from Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia.
While this isn’t Augusta National, the field is pretty decent, even if most of the biggest names aren’t going to be there. It happens.
Webb Simpson, who’s having a career year and played well last week, is the fave, at 8-1. And he should be, since he’s fared well here, including a loss in a playoff last year.
Tyrrell Hatton is next, at 14-1. He’s been a tease. One of the better players on the planet, he just seems to be a little too inconsistent. But he’s certainly capable, and at almost twice the price of Simpson.
Sungjae Im, who was in contention until the end at Augusta, is 20-1. Tommy Fleetwood is 22-1. Hard to figure him out at the moment. So is Russell Henley, a Georgia native who didn’t play in the Masters but had three top tens at Sea Island from 2014-16. And he was third and fourth in his last two starts.
Harris English and Matthew Fitzpatrick are 25-1. Corey Conners, Jason Day, Jason Kokrak, Shane Lowry, Joaquin Niemann, Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen are 33-1. Sebastian Munoz, who has won recently and is having a solid year, is 35-1.
Kevin Kisner, Justin Rose and Brian Hartman are 40-1. Kisner won here five years ago and has four top 10s in his last six starts. Zach Johnson is 45-1. Mackenzie Hughes is 50-1. He was the winner in 2016. So are Doc Redman and Dylan Frittelli, who had a good Masters.
Among others, Matt Kuchar and Harold Varner are 66-1, Denny McCarthy 70, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood 80 and Keegan Bradley 90. There are others. By all means feel free to research away. Russell Knox is also 90. He’s had three top 15s in his first five events of this new season, for whatever you think that’s worth. Oops, almost overlooked Henrik Stenson. He's 125-1. And he has won a major.
If you want to go with Simpson or Hatton I wouldn’t try to stop you. I’ve had Hatton a few times, with mixed results. I just don’t bet the chalk very often, as you know if you follow my stuff. That being said, let’s look for a few longer odds to take a shot with.
Among the guys near the top, I think I’ll go with Russell Henley, at 22-1. Just the type of story that makes sense, given that he didn’t qualify to play last week.
Among the middle tier blokes I would go with Keven Kisner, at 40-1. And of course as usual I would urge you to also put something on him to finish in the top 10 (4-1) and top 5 (8-1) as well. It’s actually been paying off. I would do the same with Henley, just in case he only comes close. Insurance can be a smart thing.
As for longer shots, I would take Denny McCarthy at 70-1. And he’s even 14-1 for a top 5. He’s had a couple of recent top 10s, so maybe he can have another. Or perhaps do even better. And he had a top 10 here in 2019.
And, just for the heck of it (and because I can), I’ll throw a buck or two on Lee Westwood at 80-1. Might be throwing money away, but he’s had six top 20s in his last nine events. And he’s also 16-1 to finish in the top five, 8-1 for a top 10. Hey, you never know.
Since there’s nothing next week, have a happy Gobble Gobble. And please stay safe out there.