Underachiever English set to bounce back
Tournament starts midday Thursday
Live on Sky Sports 4, from 6.30pm
Palmer’s top tip
Harris English 50-1
Sea Island is home to a gaggle of US Tour professionals and those who earn a place in the RSM Classic field always relish the opportunity to tackle a course they know well.
Harris English, born in nearby Valdosta and based at Sea Island, falls into that category and the underachieving local can use this event to land an overdue third US Tour title.
It is easy to miss a cut by a shot on the US Tour without doing much wrong – the fields are so deep that a few missed putts on Thursday or Friday can be all it takes for a weekend off – and bookmakers often overreact to the axe falling. English was one shot shy of the cut-line in Mexico last week and has suddenly become a 50-1 chance at his home course.
Prior to the flop south of the border, English finished fourth in the Shriners Open, carding four rounds of 67 to hint that he is approaching top form. It would come as no surprise if the 27-year-old bolstered steady RSM form figures of 15-27-MC-25 with something special. The missed cut was by a shot and there is no doubt he can act on this turf.
Chris Kirk 18-1
Davis Love, Jonathan Byrd, Lucas Glover, Matt Kuchar, Hudson Swafford, Zach Johnson, Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire all live near the courses being used this week. Charles Howell is based in Florida but has a house in Sea Island, while Chris Kirk and Brandt Snedeker both own condos there and are regular visitors.
Kirk should make good use of that local knowledge given the purple patch he is enjoying. Four of his last five tournaments have resulted in a top-ten finish, including second place in the Sanderson Farms Championship and seventh in Mexico on Sunday.
Kirk does not have the prettiest swing in the world, but four US Tour victories at the age of 31 is an impressive haul, particularly considering one of those was a FedEx Cup playoffs event. He has won a US Tour title in each of the last three years, including this one in 2013, and this is his final opportunity to continue the streak.
Brandt Snedeker 25-1
Snedeker will also approach Sea Island with course-comfort and confidence. He excelled in the triumphant American Ryder Cup team, winning three points from three matches, then romped to a nine-shot victory in the Fiji International. That was a low-grade event, but excellent preparation for this week on a windswept seaside layout.
Snedeker, Torrey Pines champion in January, has won eight US Tour titles at the age of 35, as well as a FedEx Cup. He is a big fish in a small pond this week and on offer at surprisingly generous odds.
Kuchar looks a strong place-only investment, while Kevin Kisner and Russell Henley may also feature in the Sunday shake-up.
2pts each-way 50-1 Coral, Ladbrokes
2pts each-way 18-1 general
2pts each-way 25-1 Betfair