Open Rants by Titanic Thompson

GENESIS OPEN (Riviera CC, Los Angeles)
Published at 2/8/2022
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This is an 'invititational' PGA Tour event in the same genre of Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer Invitational), and Muirfield Village (hosted by Jack Nicklaus). What that means is that it's a smaller field (120), than your typical PGA Tour event.


For fantasy roster construction, that's an important consideration because getting a 6/6 (players on your roster to make the weekend cut), will trend slightly higher than your average week. This has a bearing on what type of fantasy game you enter in (whether it be tournament style, or 50-50 style). Either way, you're probably going to need a 6/6 to have a chance. Last week, my roster went 6/6 and I easily cashed on the 50-50, but my tournament roster (a 148 player satellite tournament paying only 5 places), barely missed, as I came in 9th). I also had the same lineup entered in 2 other contests which both cashed... One was a weekend double up, and the other was an 8-1 payout (where the same lineup was only entered for the Thursday round).


The Genesis Open features a very strong field (TOP 10 players in the world are all entered), so, it plays similar to a major. This is important to understand when it comes to betting because just about any one of the top 40 players in the field could win this event. In roster construction, this typically favors to avoid using a STARS & SCRUBS approach as you'll usually be able to find good players with a more even distribution of salary range. This also creates some unique opportunities because "ownership" of some typically strong players could be way down based on recent form. An example would be players like Jordan Spieth (who was highly owned at Pebble Beach 2 weeks ago, and Tony Finau (who was highly owned at Torrey Pines but then missed the cut), will likely be very low owned this week). So, rostering Spieth or Finau could provide more leverage in tournament style entries for those willing to take the risk.


The other side of that are the more chalky entries (like John Rahm, #1 player in the world, and Patrick Cantlay). Those high salary players are likely to do well, but 'paying up' for them may not provide any additional benefits if it means that you then have to fill out your roster by dumpster diving into scrub territory.


Riviera had had a history of repeat success. Players in the field like Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Max Homa & others have multiple wins here &/or have done well on a consistent basis (making cuts and top 20 finishes). Oddly ~ there have been comparisons to players who have also done well in The Masters. Watson & Scott are both Masters winners (as was the case with Tiger Woods & Phil Mickleson. Neither Woods nor Mickleson are playing, but the Riviera~Augusta correlation is something to consider).


Riviera are poa annua greens (which are tricky to a lot of players). This oddly means that great putters don't often do well here. Instead ~ putting tends to equal out because even good putters might lose some shots to the field. Ball striking and position off the tee are more key as the course plays long and players are generally facing more long iron shots into greeens that they are on typical weeks that aren't majors.


So that's the tournament in a nutshell. I will be posting my tournament picks later this afternoon.

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