It's been three years since Harry Higgs has possessed a 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour. Entering the weekend sharing the top spot on the leaderboard with Andrew Putnam and Cole Hammer at 12 under, the lovable Higgs will be up against it after enduring a 2021-22 season that saw him lose full-time status on the PGA Tour.
Finishing in the 125-150 category in the FedEx Cup standings, Higgs was forced to participate in the Korn Ferry Tour Playoffs where he missed three consecutive cuts. He began this season in a similar fashion before firing a 9-under 62 in the second round at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. At Sea Island on Friday, Higgs mounted another valiant second-round effort, and this time signed for a 7-under 63 on the Seaside Course which players will take to for the final 36 holes.
Meandering his way up the top of leaderboard by day's end, Higgs was flawless, carding seven birdies and zero bogeys. More of the same will be needed over the course of the weekend as a congested leaderboard features not only his co-leaders but also Joel Dahmen, Beau Hossler and Sahith Theegala one stroke back at 11 under.
T1. Andrew Putnam, Cole Hammer, Harry Higgs (-12)
Putnam is a player of particular interest based on the consistency he has been playing with throughout the fall. Collecting a paycheck in each start, the 33-year-old has now made 12 straight cuts dating back to last season. During this span, he has experienced a couple close calls with a T5 result at the St. Jude Championship and runner-up result at this season's Zozo Championship as he looks to contend come the final nine once again this weekend.
"My driving accuracy's been probably the best in my career this last year, so that's really helped," said Putnam. "The putting's back to pretty good like it normally is, and my irons this week have been pretty sharp. Pretty much every part of my game has been pretty good right now, so it's a fun time to play golf."
T4. Beau Hossler, Joel Dahmen, Sahith Theegala (-11)
T7. Kevin Streelman, Seung-Yul Noh, David Lingmerth, Callum Tarren (-10)
T11. Alex Smalley, Ben Martin, Will Gordon, Chris Gotterup (-9)
T15. Seamus Power, Justin Suh, Patrick Rodgers, Dean Burmester (-8)
It has been a splendid fall swing for Dahmen, and in particular these last four starts. In contention heading into the latter stages of the RSM Classic, the 35-year-old arrived at Sea Island off three straight top-20 finishes including a T3 effort at the World Wide Technology Championship. He spoke after his second round on his motivation this season as it marks his first campaign without a winner's exemption since his victory at the 2021 Corales Championship.
"You're always anxious. Golf's hard. Golf is very hard, and it can go sour quickly. To play with freedom for a year and a half, two and a half years really, never had that in my career," said Dahmen. "So yeah, like teeing up in Napa was like OK, we're back at square one. If you don't play well, you don't have a job. I was very aware of that, for sure. And maybe, yeah, I don't think about it necessarily when I'm out there, but there's been a couple extra days of practice for sure. I mean, I've always kind of played better when my back's against the wall a little bit, and it's hard to say your back's against the wall when you're starting out a year, but for the first time in a couple years it was different for me, for sure."
2022 RSM Classic updated odds and picks
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
- Andrew Putnam: 5-1
- Sahith Theegala: 7-1
- Joel Dahmen: 7-1
- Beau Hossler: 12-1
- Harry Higgs: 12-1
- Cole Hammer: 14-1
- Will Gordon: 20-1
- Callum Tarren: 22-1
- Alex Smalley: 25-1
- Seamus Power: 25-1
- Kevin Streelman: 25-1
- David Lingmerth: 30-1
Putnam was my selection at the onset of the week, and it's comforting to see him atop the odds board for the second straight day. There is still confidence in him moving forward, but if looking for another pick with a bit more juice, Power may be the man for the job at 25-1. The Irishman has been terrific this fall with a win and another podium finish to his credit. He factored over the weekend at this tournament a year ago, and there is nothing to suggest he won't again over the next 36 holes.