Field Notes from the 2017 RSM Classic

The PGA Tour's fall schedule wraps up this week on St. Simons Island, GA, where the eighth and final official event on the 2017 calendar is underway at the RSM Classic.

A field of 156 players will again compete on both the Seaside and Plantation Courses at Sea Island Resort. The par-72 Plantation Course will play at 7,058 yards, while the par-70 Seaside Course measures 7,005 yards.

The shorter, tighter hole designs at Sea Island are a departure from the long, wide layouts at most PGA Tour stops. Like Harbour Town, the wind plays a large role in the courses' defenses at Sea Island and it favors those solid ball strikers who can control their golf ball.

One player who certainly controlled his Pro V1x last year was defending champion, Titleist golf ball loyalist Mac Hughes. Hughes captured his first PGA Tour victory at the 2016 RSM, firing an opening-round 9-under-par 61 and taking the 54-hole lead into Sunday.

"It was so hard," Hughes recalled, "every night leaving the golf course being the leader and dealing with all these things for the first time."

Hughes shot a 1-under-par 69 on Sunday to post a 17-under-par 265 total, a mark matched by four other players earlier in the afternoon. Hughes had to spend one more restless night on St. Simons Island, but he ultimately prevailed on the third hole of the ensuing 5-man playoff on Monday.

“Slowly but surely I kept going and kept pushing forward," the 26-year-old Canadian said. "Once I got in that position I knew there was lots of golf left to be played, but I knew I could be in that position. And I just stayed within myself and just stuck to what I've been doing. I know what I'm doing works, so I knew I could get the job done."

Hughes will need that same resolve this year, as scoring conditions are ideal and players are looking for one last strong push before the Tour takes some much-needed time off for the holidays.

Good luck to Mac and all of #TeamTitleist this week at Sea Island!

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TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS

 This week at the RSM Classic, Titleist is once again the overwhelming golf ball choice, with 116 players trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.*

Titleist was also the top choice among players in the hybrids category (25) as well as the irons category with 46 sets in play. Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (206) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 56 putters in play.*

*Equipment counts provided by Darell Survey

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FAST FACTS:

  • The RSM Classic (now in its eighth year overall) enters the fifth season featuring a wraparound schedule on the PGA Tour that bridges two years with 49 events including the FedExCup Playoffs events. The 2017-18 PGA TOUR season includes eight events during the fall of 2017. With a break after this week’s event, the season will resume in January with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast.
  • The tournament host this week is Sea Island resident and Titleist golf ball loyalist Davis Love III (Pro V1). Love III learned how to play golf from his father at Sea Island, practiced with his brother and introduced the game to his son here.
  • With his win at last year's RSM CLassic, Titleist golf ball loyalist Mac Hughes became the first player to win on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada, Web.com Tour and the PGA Tour. In 2013, he won the Cape Breton Open on the Mackenzie Tour on the way to claiming Player of the Year honors. In 2016, he won the Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Web.com Tour.
  • More than two dozen PGA TOUR professionals live or train in the Sea Island area, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors J.T. Poston, Bobby Wyatt and last week’s winner, Patton Kizzire and Titleist golf ball loyalists Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, Scott Langley, Josh Teater and Michael Thompson.
  • 12-time PGA Tour champion Zach Johnson is making his eighth start at the RSM Classic. He advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the tenth time in eleven years last season.
  • Titleist golf ball loyalist and 2015 RSM Classic champion, Kevin Kisner is making his first start of the 2017-2018 season this week. A member of the U.S. Team that won last year's President's Cup, Kisner advanced to the 2017 Tour Championship for third straight season, finishing career-best 12th in FedExCup standings.
  • Titleist golf ball loyalists Mac Hughes (Pro V1x - 2016), Kevin Kisner (Pro V1 - 2015), Chris Kirk (Pro V1x - 2013) and Ben Crane (Pro V1x - 2010) have carried the 54-hole lead on to victory at the event.

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SOCIAL BUZZ:

Welcome to beautiful St. Simons Island, home of the RSM Classic.

Can't beat morning views like this! 📷: @h2ocg

A post shared by The RSM Classic (@thersmclassic) on

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Congratulations to defending champ Mac Hughes, who recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy to the family.

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After his breakthrough win last week in Mexico, Titleist Brand Ambassador Patton Kizzire (Pro V1x) picked up right where he left off with shots like this.

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No doubt we're in Bulldog country this week.

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When he's not on the golf course, you may find University of Georgia alum and Pro V1x loyalist Chris Kirk at the keyboard. Chris opened with a 7-under-par 63 to grab the lead after Day 1.

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A great memory for tournament host and Titleist golf ball loyalist Davis Love III from his recent Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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Did You Know? This week Titleist announced that Team Titleist members can now take tours at our Ball Plant 3 location to see how we make the #1 ball in golf.

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It helps to shape shots at Sea Island, as Titleist Brand Ambassador Chesson Hadley demonstrates here.

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Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist as we say farewell from St. Simons Island. See you at Kapalua!

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