DFS Dish: The Genesis Invitational
The PGA TOUR heads to Riviera Country Club for this week’s Genesis Invitational.
The event draws a star-studded field on an annual basis and that field strength is ramped up even more this year due to designated status with an elevated purse up for grabs.
When looking at DFS salaries, you notice those prices are largely based on current form, course history, and a bit of reputation. Finding a course-fit angle is a nice way to find some potentially underpriced options. For this week’s course, let’s focus on the tricky greens.
Patience on Poa
Riviera Country Club features poa annua greens.
They are known to get bumpy from time to time, particularly in the afternoon when they’ve been stomped all over.
“It’s obviously almost like two different golf courses. 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. But you’ve got to try and take advantage of the early time and I was able to do that.” -Marc Leishman in 2016
“There’s a couple of tricky holes out there so it’s just obviously staying patient, and with these greens, they can get bumpy.” -Branden Grace in 2017
Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round when playing courses with poa annua greens, over the last two years:
We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:
We have a couple of Aussies and a couple of California kids on the list.
Scott said this back in 2017, “I love this golf course, I come and play here. They’re in good shape at the moment, hopefully they stay that way. Last year was my best putting week of the year here so maybe I should go on the poa a bit more.”
Morikawa to repeat his 2022 efforts at Riv
The Cal Bear grew up just 30 miles from Riv and has shown plenty of success on courses with poa annua surfaces, as you can see from the lists above. That includes a 3-for-3 record at this event with the most notable being last year’s runner-up finish. He missed the cut last week in Phoenix but has plenty of good play recently with a tough, runner-up finish in Kapalua and a third-place finish in the following start, at Torrey Pines.
Adam Scott stays comfortable at Riviera CC
The Aussie is 13-for-14 in his career at Riv with seven of those being top 10s, two doubling as runner-up finishes, and two wins. It’s safe to say he feels comfortable here and he’s confirmed as much in the past, “I get strong feelings of Australia when I play down holes like 12 and 13 with the big gum trees, eucalyptus trees, and the grass feels the same. The holes are not necessarily reminding me of Australia, but definitely has that feel and this area has that feel to me as well. It’s a very calm feeling for me on the golf course here.” He’ll have Steve Williams on the big for big events this season and that includes this week’s Genesis. He’ll likely be very popular but he deserves the attention for the track record he’s posted over the years at Riviera CC.