After watching Scottie Scheffler win the Phoenix Open for the second year in a row, the PGA TOUR travels from Arizona to Pacific Palisades, California, for the Genesis Invitational. Since 1973, Riviera Country Club (par 71, 7,322 yards, POA greens) has been the only course to host this event. A year ago, Joaquin Niemann won the Genesis at -19, edging out Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young by two shots.
While the POA greens at Riviera are on the larger side, being dialed in with your irons is still the most important skill for success at this venue. Niemann led his field in SG APP last season, making him the third Genesis winner over the last four years to rank top-six in the stat. Additionally, being efficient on the par fours at Riviera is a must if you want to contend at the Genesis, specifically the par fours that fall between 450-500 yards. Six of the 11 par fours at Riviera land in this range, and over the last five years, three of the golfers to win the Genesis ranked top-three in efficiency on these holes during their victories. Finally, with Riviera presenting POA putting surfaces, targeting players who have had success on this green type has a ton of merit.
130 golfers will be competing in the Genesis Invitational, including 18 of the top-20 ranked players in the world and Tiger Woods, who will be making his first competitive solo start since missing the cut at St. Andrews for the Open last July. In 14 appearances at Riviera, Woods has produced four top-10 finishes.
Despite being a smaller field, there will still be a standard top-65 and ties cut following the first 36 holes at the Genesis this week. Below, I dive into four of my favorite DraftKings bargain plays for the event that are all priced under $7.5K.
Nick Taylor ($7,400) – Taylor is coming off a stellar runner-up finish at the Phoenix Open, in which he gained strokes in every major category. Notably, Taylor ranked eighth in SGT2G and fourth in SGP. Most impressively, the 34-year-old led the major-like field at TPC Scottsdale in birdies converted. Taylor has now made seven of his past 10 cuts, with six of these finishes being top-25 results, and is currently the 73rd-ranked golfer in the world, which is a career-best for the Canadian.
Returning to Riviera this week, where Taylor has made five-of-seven cuts with two top-30 finishes, his excellent run of golf should continue with another quality finish.
Tommy Fleetwood ($7,300) – At this low salary, which is a notable $800 drop since last week, Fleetwood is one of the best values available for the Genesis. The Englishman missed the cut at the Phoenix Open last week but only did so by one stroke and still gained strokes on APP despite being sent home early. Before this, Fleetwood had only missed two cuts in his previous 20 starts, with nine top-20 finishes coming during this timeframe.
Fleetwood ranks fourth in efficiency on 450-500-yard par fours over his last 24 rounds, setting him up perfectly for Riviera, where he has never finished worse than T37th in two starts at the par 71. To put the icing on the cake, Fleetwood is an elite POA putter who owns a spotless 13-for-13 career record in terms of made cuts at venues that are home to this type of putting surface.
Taylor Moore ($7,200) – Moore is fresh off a T14 at the Phoenix Open, which marked his third consecutive top-15 finish. During this run, Moore’s ball striking has been sensational, gaining strokes from T2G and on APP at all three of these tournaments. The 29-year-old now brings this terrific form to Riviera, where he recorded a T21 in his debut at the par 71 last season. Including this finish, Moore has carded three top-25s in five starts at events that present POA greens so far during his career.
The Arkansas product currently sits at a career-best 106th in the world golf rankings and is an elite value play at this low salary.
Sam Ryder ($6,700) – After missing three straight cuts, Ryder has been outstanding, posting a T4 at the Farmers Open and then a T20 at the Phoenix Open. The 33-year-old collectively gained strokes with his irons and putter at both these events and nearly moved up 100 spots in the world golf rankings with these two impressive finishes.
Ryder has made two-of-three cuts at Riviera - including a T26 last season – and is a steal at this sub $7K price tag.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.