Welcome to the 2019 Genesis Open Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
The 2019 Genesis Open will be played at Riviera Country Club and was previously played as The Northern Trust Open in 2016 and prior for research purposes. The course will play as a 7300+ yard long Par 71 course that is one of the ten longest on tour in par adjusted distance and had the 20th narrowest fairways on tour. With a deep field and fairly challenging scoring environment, the finish points will be critical for DraftKings scoring. The field this week is strong up top with Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Bryson Dechambeau headlining the field but drops off quickly after the top 20 or so golfers in the field. Because of this, our optimals prefer building slightly more balanced in general and have roughly 20 percent odds of getting all six golfers through to the weekend. Building through a team with higher priced golfers like Dustin Johnson will increase your probability of having the winning golfer and give you 2.1 expected golfers inside of the Top 20 but will decrease your odds of getting six golfers through the cut to closer to 17 percent.
As a reminder, DataGolf has revamped the projection model for 2019 and there are a few key changes:
- More alignment with the finishing probability
- Moving towards a decay model for Current Form and Long-Term form to weigh rounds
- Incorporation of specific strokes gained metrics based on the predictive power of each metric
The weather this week looks like an area to monitor. Temperatures will be in the mid 50’s to low 60’s and the current rain forecast shows precipitation throughout much of the day on Friday. The rain is relevant due to the conditions but also the potential to cause a delay which will impact who gets a more favorable draw. Currently, there is wind throughout most of the day on Thursday, while Friday has calm conditions in the morning before ramping back up later in the afternoon on Friday. Right now, there may be a small benefit (0.5-1 stroke or 1-2 DK points) for that single round which is impactful for Showdown and maybe a tiebreak benefit to Thursday PM groups for main slate.
Going for the Green Fantasy Golf Podcast – Genesis Open Fantasy Golf Picks and Preview
Course Fit and Course History
From a descriptive perspective, the historic event data from DataGolf shows that the event last year actually had a relatively neutral course fit where if anything there was an added emphasis on strokes gained around the green and putting. This conflicts a bit with my initial lean that distance is the critical and deciding factor given the course length. While last year was an outlier, it did see names like Kevin Na, Adam Hadwin, Cam Smith, and Ryan Moore on the leaderboard on Sunday and even winner Bubba Watson uncharacteristically gained a lot of strokes via short game. The weather conditions could bring that even more into play.
Dustin Johnson (16-1-4-2-2) and Bubba Watson (1-WD-1-14-1-MC) stand out in course history along with ball strikers in Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Sergio Garcia, and then Phil Mickelson. At face value, someone like Tony Finau had poor course history coming into the event last year (where he finished 2nd) but peeling back the onion he had actually finished inside the Top 25 the previous year in strokes gained tee to green. Bryson Dechambeau shows some parallels to that same trend so while he finished outside of the Top 40 last year he actually played the course better than meets the eye finishing inside of the Top 15 tee to green.