La Cosa Nostra

The Tour heads to Sea Island for the 2017 RSM Classic. The resort town is home to a large contingent of PGA Tour players aptly dubbed "The Sea Island Mafia". The event is the final official PGA Tour tournament of the 2017 calendar year.

Last year

Then a rookie, Mackenzie Hughes triumphed from a rare 5-man playoff to win his first PGA Tour title. Hughes' win came on Monday morning after the playoff was delayed due to darkness. Hughes ended things by making a par on the third playoff hole.

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The course

Sea Island is one of America's premier golf resorts. The first two rounds are played on the historic Seaside course and the Plantation course. Each course will host one of the two opening rounds before the tournament migrates exclusively to the Seaside course for the weekend.

A quick course history

Sea Island was a spectacle when it opened in the 1920's it featured nine holes designed by Walter Travis and nine by the Colt & Alison design firm. In particular, the Colt & Alison (designed by the latter), received high praise for its strategic seaside holes. Bobby Jones declared it one of the finest 9's in all of golf.

In 1960 Sea Island hired Dick Wilson to build an additional nine holes which disturbed Alison's acclaimed nine. It affected four of the nine holes, and today, three of the original nine are unrecognizable.

The Travis nine had a worse fate; the resort hired Rees Jones in the 1990's who Rees-Imagined the course. A costly mistake for the resort - who recently hired Davis and Mark Love to redesign the course. The Love's plan includes recapturing some of the Travis essences that Jones removed. Hopefully one day the Alison course will be properly restored.

Storylines

Priority Ranking
The RSM is the last event before the Priority Ranking reshuffle. The Priority Ranking determines who gets into events and for the 50 Web.com Tour and Finals graduates, it's vital to keep their PGA Tour card. A high priority ranking will guarantee Web Tour graduates early 2018 starts. A low ranking could mean a player is getting their first start of 2018 in mid-February. More on Priority Rankings.

No more meds for Sneds
Ryder Cup regular and 8-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker makes his return at Sea Island from a rib injury. The injury has sidelined the star since August and has forced Sneds to make some swing adjustments to compensate for pressure.

Paulie's Picks

With the RSM Classic in many players hometown, Paulie has a few players with local success he likes. Picks here.

The end of the race

This week's DP World Tour Championship signals the conclusion of the European Tour's Race to Dubai. Tommy Fleetwood has a comfortable lead and can only be caught by Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. To catch Fleetwood, Rose and Garcia have their work cut out for themselves. Justin Rose will need a solo fifth finish or better to catch the leader. Sergio needs a little more help. The Spaniard will need a win and Fleetwood to finish outside the top 11 and Rose outside the top 4. Full preview

In other European Tour news, Jon Rahm won the Tour's Rookie of the Year honors.

Quick hooks

Yesterday was C.B. MacDonald's birthday, take a cruise through our various template hole articles on the website.

If you missed our two part podcast with Bill Coore, check it out on the websiteiTunes or Stitcher.

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