A star-studded field heads to the Los Angeles area for this week's Genesis Invitational. It's Tiger's event. Of course, he'll just be floating around and not actually playing this week, as he recovers from his most recent back procedure.
For DFS purposes, a relatively small field (120 golfers) means a greater chance at sneaking 6-of-6 golfers through the cutline. That's the name of the game when it comes to long-term success in weekly formats.
That relatively high cut-made percentage will allow us to take on a bit more risk when selecting our bottom two or three golfers. The 78th-best golfer in a 156-man field might be a 50/50 proposition to earn a paycheck but this week at that 78th-best golfer would have a 65 percent chance of playing all four rounds. Those numbers add up fast but it's still no easy task.
To help pluck some value, let's have a look at some stats that show up who performs well on the West Coast, while dealing with poa annua greens.
Performance on Poa Annua Greens
Another week in California means another week on poa annua greens.
"So I think there’s something to that, something to being used to poa annua and growing up on golf courses that are kikuyu grass because I think it might be the only one we play all year with kikuyu grass." -Patrick Cantlay
"poa seems like if it’s just not the right consistency of water versus firmness and everything, they get very bumpy and this is where we start struggling." -Adam Scott
"In the morning, they are perfect. They are smooth and fast. In the afternoon, you obviously get a few footprints, especially with the rain we had Wednesday. When they are soft, they do get pretty bumpy." -Marc Leishman
Let's see who has performed best on courses with poa annua greens, over the last two years:
We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs their expectations. Here is that list:
There is a clear theme of elite ball-strikers showing up on these lists which makes sense when you consider poa annua often adds more volatility to short and mid-range putts.
Editor’s Note: Dominate daily with our premium DFS Tools that are packed with our lineup optimizer, a salary tracker, projections and much more. And don't forget to use promo code WELCOME10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
Performance out West
There is a comfort factor for many in the field when they play closer to home.
"I’m obviously back in California, I have some family members here, so I’m very comfortable." -Cameron Champ
"I love California, it’s where I grew up, I feel very comfortable here. UCLA’s just down the road so I know where to eat. And when everyone’s saying it took them an hour and a half to get back to Beverly Hills yesterday afternoon, I say that’s normal." -Patrick Cantlay
Here are the top performers in the Western Region of the United States, over the last two years:
We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list:
Finau, Schauffele, and DeChambeau all grew up on the West Coast while Leishman has said the West Coast conditions at some of these events remind him of playing back home in Australia.
Xander Schafuffele ($11,500): Is anyone going to click his name this week when they could just pay $600 more and grab World No. 1 Dustin Johnson instead? Of course Schauffele will get some clicks but he will likely come get overshadowed by the other superstars that surround him at the top. What's appealing about him this week? First, he's a California native so comfortable out West. Second, he's landing top 25s in all three appearances at this event (T9, T15, T23). Lastly, he arrives with top 25s in 15 straight events.
Russell Henley ($9,500): He's been one of the most consistent ball-striker on TOUR for the last year now. That is always a positive. What about his history at Riviera CC? He's settled for finishes outside of the top 40 in four of his five visits but finally snapped that streak with a T17 last year. He's landed more greens per round compared for the field in four of his five trips and he's gained strokes putting in three of his five visits. That combination should lead to better results than what we see on his overall Riviera resume. A possible value play to consider this week.
Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis.