The PGA Tour stays in California this week as golfers descend to Los Angeles for the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. We finally don’t have to worry about multi course events and this field is stacked. The pricing on DraftKings is very soft once again this week. There are a ton of underpriced golfers that will be very chalky. My advice would be to not overthink when it comes to rostering your golfers this week for GPPs. If you like a few underpriced, chalky golfers use them but just differentiate yourself with a couple of possible lower owned picks. There are a good amount of top notch golfers I can see being under owned due to the probable popularity of the golfers around them in price, especially when it comes to golfers under $8,500. Golfers who I think will be under owned include JT, Walker, An, Lowry, Lahiri, DeLaet, Molinari, Na, Horschel, Hughes, Chappell, and Piercy. Play some chalk, sprinkle in some low ownership plays, and leave money on the table. That sounds like a good recipe for success this week.
Riviera CC is a 7,350 yard par 71 course with four par 3s and three par 5s. The three par 5s are the three easiest holes on the course and there is also a drivable par 4. Riviera is known as one of the best and most challenging courses on Tour. Off the tee, golfers will see tight fairways, many fairway bunkers, and challenging doglegs, especially to the right side which should favor right handed golfers who hit a fade or lefties that play a draw. There are trees but the tree line is usually far away from the fairway so golfers will have to miss very wildly to have trees blocking their approach shots. The fairways and rough use kikuyu grass. This grass is rare to the United States and could cause many problems if the golfers hit it in the rough, especially if they have little experience with kikuyu grass. Kikuyu grass is very popular in golf courses in South Africa and Asian countries so that might be something to look at when selecting your golfers for DraftKings this week. Though the rough won’t be too tall, it is somewhat thick. For the most part hitting it into this rough won’t be too big of a deal but there will be instances where the kikuyu rough can grab and bury golf balls making approach shots much more difficult to control or to get any spin. Hitting drives farther is definitely an advantage if golfers hit into the rough this week. Hitting short irons out of the kikuyu rough will make the course a lot easier no matter the lie. On the flip side, if golfers hit fairways, their golf balls will sit up perfectly because of the spongy nature of kikuyu grass but since there is a lot of slope on the fairways, golfers will have to deal with a lot of fade/draw lies. The greens use poa annua grass. They will be small, fast (12-12.5 on the stimpmeter), firm, undulating, multi tiered, and surrounded by bunkers and false fronts. The 6th hole actually has a bunker RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GREEN, which should make for good entertainment this week. Notwithstanding the size of the greens, many people compare this course to Augusta and correlations have been made between golfers that perform well at Augusta and golfers that perform well here. Other than James Hahn two years ago, every golfer that has won this tournament in the last 27 years has finished inside the Top 22 at the Masters at some point in their careers. Also 17 of the last 27 winners at Riviera have either won or came in 2nd at Augusta at some point in their careers.
Key Stats For The Course
***In order of importance with the most important first. Not including Strokes Gained Putting (SG:P) and Birdie or Better % (BoB%) which are key stats every week.