FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: The Genesis Invitational Cash and GPP Strategy

FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: The Genesis Invitational Cash and GPP Strategy

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA DFS Picks series.

The Genesis Invitational

Course: Riviera Country Club (7,322 yards, par 71)
Purse: $20,000,000
Winner: $4,000,000 and 700 FedExCup points

Tournament Preview

Tiger Woods makes his 2024 season debut as a playing tournament host this week at The Genesis Invitational. The 15-time major champion will have a new look this week as he announced a new active premium lifestyle brand called "Sun Day Red" in conjunction with TaylorMade. Woods and longtime sponsor Nike split earlier this year after 27 years. 

Woods' tournament in Pacific Palisades will also look a bit different in 2024. It will once again retain Signature Event status and boast a $20 million purse, however, the field will only be made up of 70 players, down from 130 last year. The field this year is mostly made up from the Top 50 in the FedExCup from the 2022-23 season along with the Aon Next 10 from the FedExCup Fall, the Aon Swing 5 from the Sony Open, American Express, Farmers Insurance Open and WM Phoenix Open, the leading finisher from the Race to Dubai not otherwise exempt, current-year tournament winners and five sponsor exemptions. Unlike most of the other Signature Events, the three player-hosted Signature Events in 2024 (Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial Tournament) will feature a 36-hole cut and a winner's check of $4 million. The cut for the 70 player field this week with be top-50 and ties or if you are within 10 shots of the lead after 36 holes. So there is a chance we could see single digit players cut and you certainly don't want to be one of those guys at this big of an event. 

Riviera Country Club is annually ranked as one of the best courses in the U.S. and is definitely a player favorite on Tour. We are nearing the 100-year anniversary of the club which opened back in 1926. Riviera has an impressive list of winners, but two notable exceptions are Jack Nicklaus and Woods, who will hope to end that this week in his 15th start. Riviera has played host to three major championships (1948 U.S. Open, 1983 PGA Championship and 1995 PGA Championship). It was announced last year that this Southern California gem would host the 2031 U.S. Open. Riviera will also be on display for the world at the 2028 Summer Olympics, hosting both the men's and women's golf competitions. 

It has been quite the West Coast Swing in terms of weather. It started with a shortened Pebble Beach Pro-Am to 54 holes due to hurricane-like winds and flooding. That weather ripped through California and made its way to Scottsdale where we saw multiple delays for rain and frost. That takes us to this week in L.A. where the course is sure to play softer than usual because of the recent massive rainfall. After a promising looking first two rounds, rain could once again be a factor on the weekend. Wind is expected to be pretty mild, however, with the biggest gusts coming on Sunday for the final round. Lanny Wadkins still holds the tournament scoring record at 20-under-par from his seven-shot victory back in 1985. Given the expected soft conditions and some luck from Mother Nature, I would say there's certainly a chance one of these elite players is able to best that this week. 

Recent Champions

2023 - Jon Rahm (-17)
2022 - Joaquin Niemann (-19)
2021 - Max Homa (-12)
2020 - Adam Scott (-11)
2019 - J.B. Holmes (-14)
2018 - Bubba Watson (-12)
2017 - Dustin Johnson (-17)
2016 - Bubba Watson (-15)
2015 - James Hahn (-6)
2014 - Bubba Watson (-15)

Key Stats to Victory

  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • SG: Approach
  • GIR Percentage
  • Scrambling

Champion's Profile

If you look down the list of recent champions at Riviera one of the first themes that comes to mind is great drivers. These are the sixth-narrowest fairways on Tour and most of them require shape to hold the doglegs. The kikuyu rough is not long, but it always is tough to judge coming into these greens that feature a ton of subtle undulation. That all being said, the rain last week will likely allow balls to stay in the fairway instead of rolling through. 

While the fairways are narrow, the greens are the fourth-largest on Tour, however, we always see a ton of three-putts at this course because of how balls are repelled away from flags if you miss your target on approach. This is not a wedge-fest like we've seen at some other courses early in the year. Players will have some longer clubs in on this course and will need to control distance to be able to give themselves good look at birdies. 

Short game is another area where players will be able to separate themselves this week. There will be so many different types of shots required around these greens and kikuyu can make even great players look foolish. We are back to poa annua greens after a week on bermuda and so expect to see a number of missed putts from short range again. 

Riviera is just a complete test that makes players have to use every club in their bag. There might not be as much teeth this week because of the softer conditions, but you are going to have to play some exceptional golf to be able to beat a field this strong on a championship golf course. 

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Scottie Scheffler ($12,400)

There's really not much I need to say here. Scheffler's bid for a third straight WM Phoenix Open fell short with a T3 finish where he ranked first in SG: Approach, first in GIR percentage and second in SG: Off-the-Tee. He also has now quietly gained strokes with the putter in three of his last five starts. The ball-striking numbers don't even look real and that will certainly allow him to separate at Riviera where he has finished top-20 the last three years. 

Xander Schauffele ($11,300)

I think Schauffele may get lost a bit with all the other big names in this field. He didn't have a great showing at Pebble Beach, but was T10-T3-T9 in his three previous starts in 2024. Schauffele has not lost strokes on approach since having to WD with injury from the 2023 Tournament of Champions. After struggling from a short-game perspective in the middle of last season, Schauffele has since gained around the greens in eight straight. He's 6-for-6 at Riviera with a quartet of top-15s. 

Collin Morikawa ($11,100)

Morikawa has been close as Riv the last two years going T2 in 2022 and T6 last year. Really the only player you can argue is better on approach than Morikawa is Scheffler. It's just a clinic and it will play to his advantage even more with some longer irons into greens. Morikawa is also supremely accurate off the tee and has gained around the greens in eight of his last nine measured events. 

The Middle Tier

Cameron Young ($10,100)

Young's breakout moment on the PGA Tour really came two years ago at Riviera, where finished runner-up at 17-under-par. He continued to pile up some big results the rest of an incredible rookie season in 2022. While 2023 was a bit more inconsistent, Young is still without question one of the best drivers in the world and is coming off a T8 in Phoenix and a third place finish in Dubai. He is primed for that first win and has gained on approach in four of the last five. 

Adam Scott ($9,700)

If Scott has a favorite course on the PGA Tour it would have to be Riviera. He is 14-for-15 here with two wins, two runner-ups, seven top-10s and 10 top-20s. Scott's success here makes sense given his elite ball-striking over his career, but he also has putted tremendously well on these greens. The Aussie might be 43 but he is not slowing down by any means having gone T5-6th-T4-T7-T20-T8 over his last six starts. 

Nicolai Hojgaard ($9,500)

It won't be long until Hojgaard is five figures in elite fields like this so pounce on this price. The Dane has just put on a ball-striking clinic of late gaining strokes both off the tee and on approach in his last six starts. That stretch includes a win, two second place finishes and a T7. Hojgaard has also showed the ability to get really hot with the putter gaining over two strokes to the field in five of his last seven starts, two of which have been on poa annua greens like these. 

The Long Shots

Patrick Rodgers ($8,500)

Rodgers went to school at Stanford and has had a fair amount of success in this tournament with five top-30 finishes in eight starts. `He has been on a roll lately as well with four top-25 finishes in his last five starts. Rodgers is one of the longest drivers on Tour and ranks top-20 in GIR percentage this season. His short game doesn't get talked about much, but he has gained strokes around the green in five of his last six measured starts. 

Tom Hoge ($8,400)

Hoge is an interesting play because of the approach upside. He's been great in that areas for the last few seasons and early in this one ranks 10th in SG: Approach. He has also been filling it up on the greens gaining strokes in his last four events, three of which ended up being top-20 finishes. Hoge notched a top-15 last year at Riv and presents some nice value given the demands of this course. 

Nick Hardy ($7,400)

Hardy was having a solid week at TPC Scottsdale, but just fell apart in the final round with a seven-over 78 to slide to T66. Nevertheless it was still his 11th straight made cut on the PGA Tour. Hardy has now gained off the tee in his last six measured starts and on approach in five of seven. Given some of the other names that he sits around this week, Hardy is a very reliable player to close out your roster. 

Strategy Tips This Week

Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap

While we don't expect to see very many of the 70 players in the field not make it to the weekend, having one dud could kill any chance of you cashing in GPP formats. There has to be some degree of caution taken there and honestly outside of Hardy there aren't really any names in the $7K range I feel that confident in. Woods comes in a $8,000 and while it's always fun to play Tiger, the juice probably isn't worth the squeeze in this particular format. Homa ($11,500) has an incredible record at Riv over the last four years, but there are some concerns about how poorly he's played the last two weeks. I'm definitely looking elsewhere given his high projected ownership. Viktor Hovland ($11,800) sits just above Homa and has now lost strokes on approach in three straight events for the first time in his career. It wouldn't surprise me if he got back to form this week, but it just isn't worth the stress given the other strong options below him.

Does the Genesis Invitational have feeling like wagering? Check out the FanDuel Promo Code!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Ryan Andrade plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Ku_Bball_Fan, FanDuel: ku_bball_fan.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan  Andrade
Ryan has covered golf, college basketball, and motorsports for RotoWire since 2016. He was nominated for "DFS Writer of the Year" in 2021 and 2023 by the FSWA.
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