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Genesis Invitational

It's rare that we deep-dive into any match-up bets before the weekend. We don't often delve into the round by round bets early in tournaments as there is benefit (and an edge) to be had in extracting some extra data for the week. So, when we do, it pays to pay attention. At the Genesis Invitati...

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Riviera Country Club host of our Genesis Invitational Preview

For the first time in history, six consecutive winners on the PGA Tour have been priced at 100/1 or longer pre-tournament. The reason for this could be speculated from many angles. My suspicion is that it is a combination of the middle of these markets being decimated by LIV Golf acquisitions, but also some regression from previous season. 2023 saw a lack of winners at triple figures or beyond. There is a chance that what we are experiencing is simply the law of averages at play, with a large number of winners between 50/1 and 100/1 last year. As we preview the Genesis Invitational, we also have the excitement of the return of Tiger Woods to competition.

The Tiger Woods Conversation

As mentioned on the PGA Draftcast this week, the deep passion fans have to see Tiger again be competitive will influence their decisions in their preview of the Genesis Invitational. A few factors need to be considered here. Of course, the tough walk of Riviera Country Club is not the most ideal given Tiger’s injury. The injury in this instance is far more severe than when is previous back issues were in-play in the late 2010s.

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Riviera Country Club has also not been the best venue for Tiger Woods. Historically, he has underperformed at this tournament compared to other golf courses. His best finish at this track came in 2004 in debut when finishing 7th. His overall popularity is still going to see him disproportionally owned in DFS compared to his actual chances. I suspect he will make the cut, with a finish around 35th would not surprise.

Riviera Country Club Course Analysis

The Genesis Invitational preview is again hosted at Riviera Country Club. The course has hosted this tournament on 59 prior occasions and every instance of the event since 1999. As such, there is a wealth of data to deep-dive into this week.

The course is decently long at 7,322 yards for a par 71. Tree-lined fairways and bunkering narrow the course, along with fairway width sitting below 30 yards on average. Rough is only 2 inches in length. However, do note that the grass type is kikuyu. This grass is quite sticky and difficult. It is liable to fliers or grabbing onto the hosel of the club.

We see a very large number of approach shots from 150-200 yards. Coincidentally, this is the same approach range that received a significant uptick in predicted approach range last week at the WM Phoenix Open. Greens are large at over 7,000sq feet on average. However, they do play a lot smaller than this. The multi-tiered nature of the greens sees the actual target area reduced to much smaller. The course has some of the highest correlation on the PGA Tour of SG: ATG and success as a result.

We have seen bombers find success at this track as of late. Given the recent weather, an argument could be made that this will again be the case this week. Personally, I would rather hone in on the best ball-strikers and SG: ATG along with putting acumen on this poa annua surfaces.

Course Comps for our Genesis Invitational Preview

Prior course form at Riviera Country Club has proven a good preview guide to future success. In fact, after Augusta National it is the second most predictive of any other regular venue on the PGA Tour.

The Masters and Augusta National are also intrinsically tied to this event. Jon Rahm completed the double last year and golfers such as Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama, and Adam Scott have found success on both tracks. This event has long been regarded as one of the best form guides to The Masters along with the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Finally, the Valspar Championship host is the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort. They are both fairly long courses with tree-lined fairways, providing a stern test for golfers. It can be used as another reasonable guide, despite sitting on opposite sides of the United States.

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