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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: The Genesis Invitational Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of The Genesis Invitational.

This week is the final week of the West Coast swing on the PGA TOUR, but it feels like the season opener in many ways since there are so many of the big names starting their run-up to Augusta. It’s a great confluence of top players returning to action on a historic and iconic course at Riviera Country Club at The Genesis Invitational, which used to be known as the Los Angeles Open. It’s a thrilling, well-known track and has provided plenty of drama between stars in the past, and this year sets up to be another great tournament.

Each week this season, I’ll take a look at two of the key factors to consider when building DraftKings lineups. We’ll take a look at players who have a good history at the specific course being played (or similar courses if it’s a new venue), and we’ll also take a look at some of the golfers coming in with the best recent results.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.2M Flop Shot [$300K to 1st]

Course History

The Los Angeles Open bounced around from its inception in the 1920s until after World War II when it settled into Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. In each of the past 21 years, the event has been held on this track, which is located just a block from Sunset Boulevard. In such prime real estate, the track is tight and plays tough each year as a par-71. The course hosted the 1983 and 1995 PGA Championships along with the 1998 U.S. Senior Open. More recently, it hosted the 2017 U.S. Amateur, won by Doc Redman ($6,600) over Doug Ghim ($6,900), who are both in the field this week. This course is also scheduled to host the Olympic tournament in 2028. Here are the past five years of results at this event:

Course History

Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Dustin Johnson $11,300 4 1 16 9 10
Justin Thomas $10,700 54 39 9 2 86
Rory McIlroy $10,500 20 -- 20 4 5
Bryson DeChambeau $10,100 -- -- 41 15 5
Patrick Cantlay $9,600 -- -- 4 15 17
Tony Finau $9,300 127 78 2 15 51
Adam Scott $9,000 2 11 53 7 1
Bubba Watson $8,900 1 -- 1 15 69
Marc Leishman $8,600 5 78 105 4 43
Jason Kokrak $8,000 2 22 20 37 86
Kevin Na $7,900 127 4 2 33 106
Luke List $7,300 20 89 26 15 30
Matt Kuchar $7,200 8 22 26 28 2
J.B. Holmes $6,400 11 34 60 1 51
Sung Kang $6,500 8 22 16 64 2

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson ($11,300) is the most expensive play and the betting favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook this week, and he also comes in with a great history at Riviera. He won in 2017 and has nine top-10 finishes in his 13 career trips to the event including runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015. He comes in off a win at the Saudi International two weeks ago and has finished in the top 15 in nine straight events dating back to last August, including three wins. He’s likely to be a very chalky play this week, but it’s hard to argue with his course history or current form.

Bubba Watson ($8,900) is the only player in the field this week with multiple wins on this course, and he has claimed victory here three times (2014, 2016 and 2018). Adam Scott ($9,000) has also won twice but his first win was unofficial since it was rain-shortened to just 36 holes. Lefties like Watson have fared well with Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir also winning multiple times in the past. Watson missed the cut last season but posted top 15 finishes in six of his past eight trips to the track. Due to the course layout shape, you could also give a slight boost to Brian Harman ($7,400), who is the only other lefty in the field this week and has made the cut in five of seven trips to this event, highlighted by a third-place finish back in 2014.

Recently, Rory McIlroy ($10,500) and Bryson DeChambeau ($10,100) posted top-five finishes, and Rory has been in the top five each of the past two seasons. Kevin Na ($7,900) also has a pair of top-five finishes recently and comes in with some momentum after winning the Sony Open earlier this season.

If you are looking for some cheaper options with course history, Matt Kuchar ($7,200) has always played well here, making the cut in 13-of-14 trips here dating back to 2002. His best career finish was last season when he finished runner-up and has been in the top-30 in five straight. Sung Kang ($6,500) tied Kuchar for second last year and is even cheaper. He comes in with dreadful form but has made the cut in all six of his trips here with four finishes in the top 25.

Current Form

Some of the biggest names in the pool have played pretty inconsistently over the past few weeks, which is why there are still a few events from last fall on the chart below, which dates back to The Masters.

Current Form

Player Name Salary The Masters RSM Classic Mayakoba Sentry TOC Sony Open The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach
Player Name Salary The Masters RSM Classic Mayakoba Sentry TOC Sony Open The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach
Justin Thomas $10,700 4 -- 12 3 -- -- -- 13 --
Jon Rahm $10,400 7 -- -- 7 -- -- 7 13 --
Xander Schauffele $9,900 17 -- -- 5 -- -- 2 2 --
Patrick Cantlay $9,600 17 -- -- 13 -- 2 -- -- 3
Daniel Berger $9,400 -- -- 23 -- 7 -- -- CUT 1
Tony Finau $9,300 38 -- 8 31 -- 4 2 -- --
Jordan Spieth $9,200 46 -- -- -- -- -- CUT 4 3
Joaquin Niemann $8,800 -- 44 23 2 2 -- -- -- --
Viktor Hovland $8,700 -- -- 1 31 -- -- 2 -- --
Marc Leishman $8,300 13 -- CUT 24 4 -- 18 -- --
Carlos Ortiz $7,800 -- -- 8 37 14 -- 29 4 --
Cameron Tringale $7,600 -- 3 -- -- -- 56 18 17 7
Cameron Davis $7,500 -- CUT -- -- 31 3 32 -- 14
Nate Lashley $7,200 CUT 37 38 -- CUT -- CUT 17 5
K.H. Lee $7,100 -- CUT 59 -- 19 32 CUT 2 --
Doug Ghim $6,900 -- 18 46 -- CUT 5 37 -- 21

While the course this week doesn’t totally correlate with Pebble Beach last week and the rest of the West Coast swing, there are some similarities, including the greens which are Poa Annua for the second straight week. Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger ($9,400), will look to make it two in a row and has been playing well with four top-10 finishes and a missed cut in his past five starts.

Berger finished second in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green last week which is a key stat to watch again this week. Patrick Cantlay ($9,600) finished first in that metric and continues to be around the top of the leaderboard every week. The rest of the top five in that key metric were Maverick McNealy ($7,300), Matthew NeSmith ($6,900) and Chez Reavie ($7,000).

Cantlay is just one of several players with multiple near misses as of late including Jordan Spieth ($9,200), who has led each of the past two weeks heading into the Final Round. Tony Finau ($9,300) has also been near the top of the leaderboard with five top-10 finishes in his past six events including runner-up finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Saudi International in his past two starts.

Last week at Pebble Beach, Cameron Tringale ($7,600) rode a red-hot putter, gaining 2.1 shots per round on the greens, and he usually does a good job on Poa Annua. Cameron Davis ($7,500) was another hot putter who will look to keep it going this week.

A bargain play that seems to have a nice confluence of course experience and current form is Doug Ghim ($6,900), who hasn’t played here professionally but did finish runner-up at that 2017 U.S. Amateur. He finished with a nice four-under Sunday at Pebble Beach to post his sixth top-25 finish in 10 events on the PGA TOUR this wraparound season.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.2M Flop Shot [$300K to 1st]

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