The PGA Tour’s 2017 calendar year is drawing to a close at this week’s RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia as a relatively weak field is headlined by the likes of Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson to name a few. We’ll take a look at several trends on Tour as the fall series wraps up, along with a couple of big names returning from injuries.
Harman fell into a mini-slump after his top-15 at the PGA Championship as he posted results of MC-T65-T40 in his next three starts before placing 24th out of 30 at the TOUR Championship. In two starts during the early portion of the 2017-18 season, however, Harman has finished T5 at the CJ Cup and solo eighth at the WGC-HSBC Champions heading into this week’s RSM Classic, where the Georgia native owns home-field advantage.
After a string of three consecutive missed cuts from the Northern Trust through the Safeway Open with a scoring average of 73.33 during that span, Kizzire has kicked it into gear with three straight top-10s. The cherry on top came at last week’s OHL Classic where he picked up his first career victory, making him an even more obvious selection for the “VALUE RISING” section this week. He’ll look to maintain momentum at the RSM Classic where he just barely missed the cut last year in his debut after a second-round 65 gave him a chance.
Brown has ascended to a career-best 107th in the Official World Golf Ranking thanks to finishes of T6 at the OHL Classic and a T5 at the CJ Cup earlier this season. The 34-year-old Georgia native will also be on familiar ground at this week’s RSM Classic, and fits the mold for success after ranking 48th in SG: Putting and 53rd in driving accuracy on Tour last season.
English, who ended the 2016 calendar year at 76th in the OWGR, has collapsed to No. 207 after missing five cuts in a row and posting zero top-40 finishes in his last eight starts. He ranked just 178th on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee throughout his 2016-17 campaign, hitting only 51.42 percent of his fairways in regulation.
Stroud impressively followed up his first career win at the Barracuda Championship in early August with a top-10 at the PGA Championship, but has since came crashing back to earth. He’s missed five cuts in his last seven starts, breaking 70 in just two of 18 rounds during this disastrous span.
“Sneds” is finally back in action at the RSM Classic after a rib injury kept him sidelined from late June through mid-November, while his 2016-17 campaign ended prematurely with a T14 at the Travelers Championship. He had actually been playing solid golf throughout the first half of the calendar year before the devastating injury, so it’ll be interesting to see if and when he can return to such form.
Woods is only two weeks away from his first competitive round since a withdrawal at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic back at the beginning of 2017. He’ll tee it up at the Hero World Challenge at the end of November against a competitive field made up of 18 of the world’s best players. A report from GolfDigest.com surfaced earlier this week noting that Woods is hitting it “way by” Rickie Fowler in their practice rounds together. So if anything, Woods appears to be fully healed from his fourth back surgery, but questions remain on whether or not he’ll be able to translate that into success at this point in his career.