Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Genesis Open
On the PGA Tour, pretty much anything is possible. Ted Potter, Jr. reminded us of that by winning last week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am despite a loaded field.
For us PGA DFS players, we march onward toward the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, one of the PGA Tour's tougher courses.
Course and Tournament Info
This week, we'll have 144 golfers in play, so it's a pretty big field. The top 70 plus ties make the cut after two rounds.
As for the course itself, the 7,300-yard par 71 tends to play difficult relative to par.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yds||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
The past winners have been -17, -15, -6, -14, and -13, though, so you won't be winning by going even par.
|Key Stats for the Genesis Open at Riviera CC|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (on Poa)|
This course requires solid play pretty much everywhere, based on the historical data.
With narrow fairways and some sticky rough to avoid, driving accuracy matters, but so does distance on the longer holes. Dominating the 503-yard par 5 first is vital, as it's played 0.88 strokes below par among golfers finishing inside the top 10 since 2003, per FantasyGolfMetrics. To account for the combined distance and accuracy, I'm weighting strokes gained: off the tee most heavily of the driving stats.
Approach play to reach the small greens in regulation has also proved vital based on the past data. Steven Bowditch has called Riviera the easiest PGA course to chip on.
Finally, everywhere you look, you see golfers discussing that course knowledge matters, as you overcome the difficulty by knowing how and where to place the ball. Consider bumping down first-timers and those who struggle here and bumping up course history studs. Like these guys...
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson will defend his title this week, but his other recent finishes at Riviera are sparkling, too: since 2009, his finishes read 10th, 3rd, cut, 4th, cut, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 1st.
Phil Mickelson won in 2008 and 2009 and was 2nd in 2007 and 2012. In his only try since 2014, Mickelson finished 34th a year ago. Bubba Watson's past five finishes at this event include two wins (2016 and 2014), a 13th (2012), a 14th (2015), and a cut (2013).
KJ Choi has 12 straight top-33 finishes at this event. Sangmoon Bae was 8th, 12th, and 8th in his only three tries (2013 through 2015).
Both Martin Laird (11th, 8th) and Adam Scott (2nd, 11th) have consecutive top-11 finishes.
Thomas Pieters won the 2012 NCAA Championship here and finished 2nd at last year's Genesis.