Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Genesis Invitational

The PGA Tour heads to Hollywood this week for The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. This event changed to invitation-only last year, changing the field from the full 156 to about 128, a move that also coincided with a big bump in the purse. The final event on the West Coast before the Tour crosses the country to start the Florida swing (this year without the pitstop in Mexico), The Genesis boasts one of the strongest fields and looks to be one of the Tour's premier regular events going forward.

Notably not in the field is host Tiger Woods, still recovering from a surgery last month. In all, 20 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking tee it up this week, compared to just 3 last week at Pebble Beach.

Riviera is a 7,233-yard par 71 in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles, California, and features fast poa annua greens and narrow fairways. Driving it well is essential for success here, and it's no surprise to see some of the biggest hitters on Tour among the list of prior winners. Handling these greens is another huge factor, and it's not a shock to see poa specialists among golfers with good course history.

Conditions look beautiful this week, with temperatures topping out in the high 60s and no precipitation in the look-ahead forecast.

Let's dig into the courses and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.

Course and Tournament Info

Course: Riviera Country Club
Par: 71
Distance: 7,233 yards
Fairways/Rough: Kikuyu grass
Greens: Poa annua

Riviera is a tough track, consistently ranking in the bottom 10 in terms of driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage. The winning score was just 11-under par last year and has been better than 15-under just once since 2010. Golfers will need to have all facets of their game firing to contend at Riviera.

Great field, an emphasis on driving, and overall class of prior winners leads us to the Augusta National comparisons, with November's Masters winner Dustin Johnson adding to the common winners between the two courses. The same goes for the South Course at Torrey Pines, another demanding West Coast poa track.

Key Stats

These stats have proven vital to success at The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

Key Stats for The Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC
Strokes Gained: Ballstriking
Strokes Gained: Par 4s
Birdies or Better Gained
Scrambling Gained
Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa)

Easy game, right? Just hit it well off the tee and on approach, score well, get up and down when you miss, and crush it on the greens. We don't want to overcomplicate things in a short, loaded field, and so we want golfers who either gain in all areas or are so good in one specific area that it can paper over their deficiencies in others.

Ballstriking combines both off the tee and approach stats. The list of winners here includes big-time bombers and elite iron players, so you can look for the best of the best within the combined metric as a first step.

Par 4 performance is crucial this week, with can't-miss birdie opportunities on the very short 10th and the pretty short 7th combined with the grueling 2nd, 12th, and 15th that are bogeyed at least three times as often as they are birdied.

Course History Studs

Bubba Watson is a three-time winner at Riviera in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Over his career, he also has finishes of 13th, 14th, and 15th, plus two missed cuts and a withdrawal.

Were it not for Watson's stunning record here, Dustin Johnson would be the top dog with a win in 2017 and five other top-five finishes over his career. In the past decade, he has just two finishes worse than 16th.

Adam Scott is the defending champion and won way back in 2005 in a rain-shortened edition. He was runner up in his title defense in 2006 a has five other finishes of 17th or better, including another runner up in 2016 by a single stroke to Watson.

Rory McIlroy also has great form here though in far fewer appearances. In four trips over the past five years he's finished T5, T3, T20, and T20.

Other golfers with multiple top 10s over the past five years include Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, Sung Kang, Marc Leishman, Martin Laird, Kevin Na, and Chez Reavie.

Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.