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PGA DFS: Horse For The Course - RSM Classic

Kuuuuch!!! Fan favorite Matt Kuchar took down the Mayakoba Classic for his eighth career victory on the PGA Tour and first win in nearly five years. Our Mayakoba horses and ponies fared well, with all of the highlighted players making the cut. RotoBaller staff member Spencer Aguiar nailed Matt Kuchar at 66/1 in his weekly Vegas Report column that's available completely free every week right here at RotoBaller. Congrats on a great call Spencer!

This week we will be taking at look at the RSM Classic. It's the closest thing that the PGA Tour has to a "Club Championship", as there are tons of PGA players that reside in Sea Island, Georgia, the location of the RSM. Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, and Brian Harmon are just a few of the homers that are in the field this week. Actual "residents" of Sea Island have surprisingly struggled through the years in the RSM Classic.

This will be the last edition of HFTC for a while, as the PGA Tour heads into the holiday break. I'd like to take a quick minute to thank all of you that have supported this article from the start and make it part of your weekly PGA DFS research. 'Horse For The Course' will be back each and every week when the PGA Tour schedule amps back up in January and the RotoBaller PGA staff has some interesting new things that we are working on and hope to introduce for the 2019 season! Ok, with that out of the way, let's dig into the RSM Classic. This will be our last tournament for a while, so let's make it count!

Horse For The Course will take a look at players that have traditionally flourished at the course that hosts this week’s PGA TOUR event. This is not a traditional picks column, but rather an attempt to pinpoint players that have outstanding results at a specific course. "The Horse" is a player with an elite course history and that has a great chance to repeat his success in this week's tournament. "The Ponies" are players with very good course history, that might be entering this week's tournament under the radar or have a DFS price that is a great value.

For a full review of the DraftKings PGA Slate this weekend, check out Seth Finklestein's column reviewing picks at every price point.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantasy National have built some incredible DFS Golf lineup tools including a Lineup Optimizer, Stat Engine, Ownership Projections and Course Breakdowns. They are by far the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry. Seriously. You can read all about them here and see screenshots. 

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The Course: Sea Island GC (Seaside Course) - Par 70 - 7,005 Yards

Located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island, this course makes use of natural marshes and creeks. The layout will challenge player's shot selection and course management. We have seen accurate ball strikers fare well here, with the bombers often taking a back seat. As we see only a few times per year on the PGA Tour, players will play two different courses in their first two rounds. Sea Island's Par 72 Plantation course will be in the rotation this year, with all players that make the cut finishing up the final two rounds at Seaside. We will see lots of players hitting less than driver off the tee in an attempt to find fairways. The greens are on the small side, so approach shots must be accurate. A hot putter will be a huge bonus this week.


The Horse

C.T. Pan (DraftKings - $9,700 & FanDuel - $10,400 )

As I mentioned in the intro, there are tons of players in the RSM field that are either residents of Sea Island or have very strong ties the course. It may surprise you that this week's Horse is not one of those players. While there were lots of legitimate options for my highest-rated selection this week, I kept coming back to C.T. Pan. Pan might not have local ties, but he comes into the RSM with a true trifecta working in his favor...course fit, current form, and solid course history.

Pan plays an accurate, fairway and greens type style. His lack of distance puts him at a disadvantage on lots of the courses in the modern professional game, but his game fits this week's course, Sea Island, perfectly. Using the massive statistical database available at Fantasy National, we find that Pan's game seems to be tailor-made for Seaside. Over his last 24 rounds, Pan ranks fifth in the field in both Fairways and GIR's Gained. He is also third in Strokes Gained: Approach and sixth in both SG: Tee to Green and Ball Striking.

While Pan's course history at Sea Island isn't as extensive as some of the other players in the field, it is impressive. He has only made two appearances in the RSM, but has been sharp on both occasions, logging a T13 in 2018 and a T6 in 2017. Pan's current form is nothing short of fire...he's ran off 11 consecutive made cuts with two top-fives. This streak also includes three top-25s in his four fall starts of the new season. It should be noted that Pan has racked up many of these finishes at courses that come nowhere close to fitting his game as well as Sea Island does.

In lots of weeks during the regular season, Pan profiles as a player that can "play really solid, make the cut, and maybe get us a top-25". His ceiling is much higher than that in this week's mediocre RSM field. Pan has a legitimate shot to win this tournament and has an excellent chance of logging a top-10 at Sea Island. It doesn't feel great that Pan's price tag is this elevated on both sites, but this is a swing season event with an especially thin field. I'm firing him up in all formats.


The Ponies

Kevin Kisner (DK - $9,300 & FD - $10,000 )

I feel pretty safe about our first Pony Kevin Kisner, considering he's this tournament's all-time earnings leader. "The Kiz" has lit up Sea Island throughout his career, and in addition to being the all-time earnings leader, also holds the 72-hole tournament scoring record of 260.

Kisner has been downright dominant at Sea Island. In five trips since 2014 he has finishes of: T20 ('14), T4 ('15), 1st ('16), M/C ('17), T4 ('18). Pretty eye-popping stuff from the South Carolina native. If we were going to design a course that perfectly fits Kisner's game, it would be Sea Island. His lack of distance off the tee isn't an issue and he is consistently inside the top-25 on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy Percentage. Shot selection and course management are at a premium and Kisner is a master at both. Sea Island's Bermuda greens are Kisner's best putting surface and he ranks second in the RSM field in SG: Putting over his last 50 rounds on Bermuda.

There's obviously tons to like with Kisner's course history and course fit. His current form is the only area of concern. Kisner has only made one start in the new season, missing the cut at Mayakoba last week. We're hoping that he knocked the rust off in Mexico and will be sharper this week. He has been a streaky player that repeatedly performs well at specific courses throughout his career and I look for his solid play at Sea Island to continue this week. Love him in large-field GPPs!

Jim Furyk (DK - $8,200 & FD - $9,500)

When I decided on Jim Furyk for this spot, I promised myself I wouldn't bring up the Ryder Cup I won't. I will say that with all of the responsibilities that come with being a Ryder Cup Captain, I imagine it's really easy to neglect your own golf game. That appears to be the case with Jim Furyk over the past couple of years, as we haven't seen him tee it up very often. It's easy to forget that this guy was once near the top of the heap on the PGA Tour and a very elite golfer.

It seems that Furyk is eager to get back into the mix on the PGA Tour now that he has the Ryder Cup obligations behind him. He's already teed it up twice in this young, new season. The veteran was very impressive at Mayakoba last week, where he led the field in driving accuracy and was second in greens in regulation on the way to a T6 finish. This type of performance bodes well for Furyk at a Sea Island course that demands precision both off the tee and on approach. He doesn't have an extensive history at the RSM and last played Sea Island in 2017, when he recorded a T6. Furyk has never finished worse than tied for 11th in three trips to Sea Island, so the course definitely agrees with his game.

Furyk isn't the type of DFS play that's exciting, but these types of guys can be very effective. In a week where player pricing is inflated, Furyk is perhaps a bit underpriced on both sites. I like the momentum that he carries into this week after a top-10 at Mayakoba and the course is a great fit for his game. People sometimes joke about Furyk's upside, but this is a guy that shot a 58 just a couple of years ago! He's viable in both cash games and GPPs.

Brian Gay (DK - $7,500 & FD - $9,100)

Our final Pony of the week is similar to Jim Furyk in that it doesn't really get your blood pumping when you roster Brian Gay. Though he might be a tad on the "ho-hum" side of things, the dude can play. Gay had some stretches of incredibly solid golf last season, quietly racking up six top-10's in 2018. The veteran has been steady during the swing season, making the cut in 4/4 starts.

He has fared well at Sea Island, logging two top-five finishes in his three trips, including a solo third last season. Gay is extremely accurate off the tee, he is first in the RSM field in Fairways Gained over the last 24 rounds and he ranked seventh in Driving Accuracy Percentage on the PGA Tour in 2018. He also possesses a fantastic short game, ranking fifth in Scrambling and sixth in Putting Average last season. Gay is fond of Bermuda greens and is sixth in the field in SG: Putting on Bermuda over his last 50 rounds.

Gay hasn't had a breakout performance in the fall, but Sea Island presents an excellent opportunity for his first top-10 of the new season. His pricing and steadiness scream "cash game", but I believe he has enough upside to be a viable GPP play this week. Gay offers salary relief when constructing lineups in a week that pricing is awkward and difficult. I feel comfortable using him in 50/50's and double-up formats, but have no problem sprinkling him into multiple lineups in large-field tourneys.


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