How does the PGA Tour have a (non-major) tournament as exciting as what we had last week in Scottsdale? Notify your fans that Tiger Woods will be teeing it up this week at Riviera Country Club. This will be the first start for Tiger in a full-points PGA Tour event since the U.S. Open last year. Tiger will have a lot of competition this week. 23 of the top 25 golfers in the world will be playing this week. The top-30 golfers in the FEDEX Points Standings will also be playing and every golfer who has won a tournament (12 golfers) will be playing. The Genesis Invitational will feel like a major tournament in Los Angeles.
Riviera Country Club is one of the most iconic courses on tour and it is a real test of the golfer’s game. The course plays as a par 71 and is 7,322 yards in length. The fairways are narrow and lined with trees. The rough is deep Kikuya grass than can be difficult to recover from if the golfer cannot keep his driver straight. The greens are Poa Annua grass (the same as what we have had on most of the courses in California). The golfers who played well at Torrey Pines and last week are usually good in the Genesis Invitational.
Riviera Country Club requires golfers to be accurate as well as long off the tee. Bombers cannot just hit it 330 yards and expect to have a birdie chance if they cannot hit the fairways. Ball-Striking and scrambling tend to be the most important stats in the Genesis Invitational.
Course Preview: Riviera Country Club
KEY STATS FOR GENESIS INVITATIONAL
– Strokes Gained Tee to Green
– Scrambling (Chipping & Putting)
– Bogey Avoidance
– Shots Gained Putting (Poa Annua)
TOP 30 GOLFER RANKINGS
GENESIS INVITATIONAL STRATEGY
If you have been following my Fantasy Golf picks over the years, you probably know that I love playing Cash Contests in the tournaments that are stacked with the best golfers in the world. This is one of those weeks. My strategy for my Cash Contests will be to build “balanced lineups” consisting of golfers for the low $9K to mid-$7K price range. We can fit a lot of the best golfers in the world when using this strategy.
The field is so deep this week that it will be easy to build a good “stars and scrubs” lineup, or you can fit four golfers with a good chance for a top-10 finish into your lineup by building a “balanced lineup”. I will be using both strategies this week.
CORE GOLFERS FOR GENESIS INVITATIONAL
WHAT TO DO WITH TIGER WOODS?
It is great to have Tiger Woods back in the field and I will likely watch every shot he hits this week. I will fade him in DFS this week. His ceiling is to make the cut. I do not think he has any chance to win. These young players are just too good for an aged Woods to compete with. I hope he can make the cut, but I am not expecting much. If you want some action on Woods, bet against him in Head-to-Head matchups because his odds get inflated.
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
XANDER SCHAUFFELE ($9,900): I will have two California golfers who putt extremely well on Poa Annua Grass at the top of my Cash Contest lineup. Schueffle got off to a hot start last week with a pair of 67’s. He continued to play well, but then lipped out putts on 15, 16, 17 and 18 on Saturday. He would have finished second if those putts would have dropped. Schauffele has finished 3rd, 13th and 10th on the West Coast Swing this year and he has only finished outside the top-15 once at the Genesis Invitational since 2017. Schauffele should be a safe pick for our Cash Contest lineup.
MAX HOMA ($9,700): Homa is a “Horse for the Course.” He won the Genesis Invitational in 2021 and finished 10th last year. He is one of the best golfers at putting on Poa Annua greens. The most similar course to Riviera Country Club is Torrey Pines. Homa just won that tournament three weeks ago. He should have a good chance to win or finish in the top-five Sunday.
VICTOR HOVLAND ($8,900): I had a hard time deciding between Victor Hovland and Jordan Spieth for this pick. I like both golfers, but I have had no luck with Spieth in my Cash Contest lineups the past two seasons. I also love Hovland’s course history at Riviera Country Club. Hovland finished 4th at the Genesis Invitational last year and 5th in 2021. I am not worried about his 42nd-place finish last week at the WMPO. Hovland is not a golfer who plays well when fans are drunk and screaming in his back-swing. He should be a good pick for Cash Contests this week.
KEYOUNG-HOON LEE ($7,700): I am going with a “stars and scrubs” lineup for my Cash Contest this week. I have three golfers listed above who could win. Now I need three golfers who can make the cut. K.H. Lee is one of those golfers. He has played the Genesis Invitational the last four years. He finished 26th last year, 66th in 2021, 13th in 2020 and 25th in 2019. Not bad. I was also surprised to see K.H. Lee ranked 20th in my key stats this week. I will take a shot with him at the Genesis Invitational.
THOMAS DETRY ($7,100): I will credit Jason Sabol from SiriusXM Golf Channel with this pick. He said this week on his radio show that Thomas Detry is his pick to win Sunday. Sabol likes Detry because he finished in the top-three in nine DP World Tour tournaments over the last year. When you add in his DP Tour stats, he ranks third in the field in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green. Detry does not have any course history, but he is a bomber who in 10 for 10 in cuts made on the PGA Tour. I will take Sabol’s advice and play Detry this week.
PATRICK RODGERS ($7,000): I was hoping that Rodgers would play poorly last week so his ownership would be down and I could get an advantage on the field in Tournament Contest lineups. That did not happen. Rodgers finished 14th at the WMPO and now he will tee it up in his best tournament. Rodgers is a member of Riviera Country Club and he has finished top-30 in five of his last six starts here. He also ranks 12th in totals stats at Riviera Country Club since 2017. Rodgers “should” be a safe play for our Cash Contest lineup.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
RORY MCILROY ($10,500): I faded McIlroy in most of my lineups last week, but he is my pick to win Sunday. McIlroy excels when he has a “tune-up” event to dial in his game. We he plays back-to-back events; McIlroy has 2 wins, 7 finishes in the top-10 and a 8.4 average finishing position in 9 starts. Compare that to Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler who have never won when playing back-to-back events and both players have a 20th-place average finishing position. McIlroy won two of his last three starts. I will play him and hope he can win again.
CAMERON YOUNG ($8,800): Young sure laid an egg with his 64th-place finish at the WMPO last week. I am hoping that brings down his ownership in a tournament he almost won last year. Young is a better fit for the long, tough courses than he is for TPC Scottsdale. He is a bomber off-the-tee, who should have easier approach shots than most golfers in the field. I will take a chance with what should be a lower owned Cameron Young.
JASON DAY ($8,400): I am a big believer in momentum in all fantasy sports. J-Day is playing too well right now to fade. He finished 18th at the AM-Express, 7th at the Farmers Insurance Open and 5th last week at the WMPO. He does not have a lot of course history at the Genesis Invitational, but it is not like he has never played this course before. Day ranks 3rd in my key stats this week, so I will have a lot of ownership of this Australian.
RICKIE FOWLER ($7,900): The 2023 PGA Tour seems to be the year of the comeback. We have seen Justin Rose win a trophy. Jason Day and Rickie Fowler also have been at the top of many leaderboards. Fowler finished 11th at the Farmers Insurance Open and 10th last week at the WMPO. He has also made the cut in the last two Genesis Invitationals, even though his form was crap at the time. Fowler should be able to compete for another top-10 finish this week.
WYNDHAM CLARK ($7,800): We have seen golfers in that 45-1 to 90-1 odds range win this tournament over the last three seasons. When the tournament was complete, we thought, “Yeah, that makes sense that Joaquin Niemann, Max Homa and Adam Scott won.” We may be saying the same about Clark Sunday. He is a bomber off-the-tee, and he has made a few appearances at the top of some leaderboards this year. He is in good form, and he just finished 8th at the Genesis Invitational in 2021. I will take a chance with Clark this week.
LANTO GRIFFIN ($6,500): The only reason why Griffin is priced this low is because he WD last week at the WMPO. SiriusXM Golf Channel reported that the main reason why he WD is because he needed some rest and he was not a big fan of the atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale. That is understandable because the WMPO is not for everyone. Griffin has played this tournament the last three years and made all three cuts (he has a 34th-place average finishing position). He has also made all of his cuts on the PGA Tour this year. There is no reason for Griffin to be this cheap, so I will eat the chalk and play him in my Tournament Contest lineup.
Here are my lineups for Multi-Entry Tournament Contest: (FantasyRacingTips)
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
PGATOUR.COM FANTASY PICKS
* This is the seventh tournament of Segment 2. There are 10 tournaments included in Segment 2, including THE PLAYERS Championship in March.
FANTASY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP ONE & DONE PICK: TONY FINAU (GENESIS INVITE)
* This tournament has an “elevated purse” and the golfers are required to play most of these events. The winner gets $3.6M this week and the purse is $20M. I want to use my top golfers in the tournaments with “elevated purses.” This is one of those events.
Players in Fantasy Golf Championship One & Done so far: Xander Schauffele (10th), Seamus Power (15th), Max Homa (1st), Brian Harman (MC), Corey Conners (12th)
SEASON LONG ONE & DONE PICK: MAX HOMA (GENESIS INVITE)
Players Used This Season in One & Done: Xander Schauffele (10th), Jordan Spieth (63rd), Jon Rahm (7th), Taylor Montgomery (5th), Russell Henley (32nd), Seamus Power (25th), Brian Harman (2nd), Maverick McNealy (27th), Emiliano Grillo (42nd), Nick Hardy (28th), Terrell Hatton (13TH) Christian Bezuidenhout (29th), Cameron Davis (37th), Denny McCarthy (39th), Brendon Steele (CUT)
BEST BETS GENESIS INVITATIONAL
Max Homa (22-1)
Cameron Young (35-1)
Jordan Spieth (35-1)
Jason Day (40-1)
Hideki Matsuyama (45-1)
LOG SHOT SPECIAL: Wyndham Clark (90-1)
* The winner of the Genesis Invitational typically comes from the pack of golfers who are good but the favorites. Here are the odds for the past winners: Joaquin Niemann 60-1 (2022), Max Homa 60-1 (2021), Adam Scott 40-1 (2020), J.B. Holmes 150-1 (2019) and Bubba Watson (50-1). Young golfers also made a name for themselves in this tournament over the last two years (Niemann and Homa).
Good Luck This Week!!!!
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