RSM Classic: Steve Palmer's final-round preview, best bets, free golf tips
Webb Simpson can deny Brendon Todd the completion of remarkable hat-trick
When to watch
Sky Sports Golf red button, 6pm Sunday
Webb Simpson to win RSM Classic
2pts 5-2 general
Brian Harman to win threeball
1pt 8-5 Betfair
Story so far
Brendon Todd has given himself a chance of achieving an incredible quickfire hat-trick of PGA Tour victories and the resurgent 34-year-old will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the RSM Classic.
Todd has won his previous two events – a four-shot romp in the Bermuda Championship followed by a one-shot triumph in the Mayakoba Classic – yet he started the RSM available at 50-1. That is because he went four years making hardly any cuts before winning back his PGA Tour card at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals in August. This recent form burst has been sudden and short and has arrived after a deep and long slump.
Todd has taken advantage of courses which are ideal for his style of play – the Bermuda and the Mayakoba are on short, fiddly layouts – and the RSM is another assignment for which he is extremely well suited. Todd at his best is supremely accurate and a great putter, the two attributes which have got him atop the RSM leaderboard.
Todd is a best-price 11-8 to complete a third consecutive PGA Tour success. Not since Dustin Johnson in 2017 has anyone won three straight starts on the PGA Tour. Not since Tiger Woods in 2006 has anyone won three straight tournaments on the PGA Tour schedule. But Todd must overcome the highest ranked player in the RSM field if he is to do it – Webb Simpson is tied for second place.
-18 Brendon Todd
-16 Webb Simpson, Sebastian Munoz
-15 D.J. Trahan
-14 K-H Lee, Ricky Barnes
-13 Scottie Scheffler, Doc Redman, Henrik Norlander, Brian Harman
11-8 B Todd, 5-2 W Simpson, 13-2 S Munoz, 14 D.J. Trahan, 33 T Duncan, K-H Lee, 40 S Scheffler, R Barnes, 50 B Harman, 80 bar
Brendon Todd has not suddenly turned into Tiger Woods and punters are advised to overlook the short prices about the Pittsburgh-born swinger completing three in a row.
The Bermuda, Mayakoba and RSM set-ups are dreamy for Todd, allowing him to have his little spurt of form, but all three are low-grade events featuring hardly any top-class operators. There was precious little to beat in Bermuda, while Vaughn Taylor, hardly the most intimidating of opponents, emerged as his most serious threat in the Mayakoba.
The RSM is the most difficult of the three chances he has created because Webb Simpson, former US Open and Players champion, is only two shots behind. Simpson carded a bogey-free 63 to earn a place in the final group and should go close to claiming his first victory since Sawgrass last year.
Simpson has finished second four times since becoming Players champion, as well as finishing third in the RSM Classic 12 months ago, and world-class opposition has denied him any further silverware. Brandt Snedeker, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka won three of the four tournaments in which Simpson was runner-up.
Simpson has gone 13 tournaments without finishing outside of the top 30 – a streak of consistency stretching back to the Masters – and he makes hardly any mistakes. When he does, he scrambles superbly, and the experienced Carolinian seems almost certain to provide a serious challenge for Todd in the RSM final round.
Simpson is the world number 12 and has not been outside of the top 50 since the 2017 US PGA Championship. Nine months ago, Todd was outside the top 2,000 of the world rankings. Punters should stretch their memories and support Simpson to overcome his two-shot deficit – the 5-2 Simpson appeals more than the 11-8 Todd.
Seb Munoz could also enter the equation and it would be a surprise should the winner come from outside the top trio. Simpson was the Racing Post Sport ante-post headline selection at 10-1, but punters yet to get involved at this stage should consider the 5-2.
Local man Brian Harman, swinging well again and growing in confidence, can be fancied for his 3.35pm (UK and Ireland time) threeball against Nick Watney and Henrik Norlander.
The final threeball of Todd, Simpson and Munoz is scheduled on the tee at 4.05pm. A cloudy day with light breezes is forecast.
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