Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the 2019 Genesis Open
2019 Genesis Open Fantasy Preview
It may have taken a few hours longer than necessary to confirm, but Phil Mickelson finally added an astonishing 44th PGA TOUR title to his collection at Pebble Beach early on Monday.
After darkness fell late on Sunday with the event still in the balance, the decision was to blow the hooter and essentially make Leftie and Paul Casey battle it out for honors on Monday.
And any hopes the Englishman may have had of Phil getting overnight jitters were forgotten when he made par at the 16th and 17th with consummate ease.
Both players birdied the last, and that was enough for Mickelson to complete a three-shot victory and claim his 16th career win in either California or Arizona.
This was not a week that the Californian Tourist Board will look back on with any fondness given the rain, winds and hailstorms that battered Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula, and only the hardiest of souls will make it to the legendary Riviera Country Club for this week’s Genesis Open.
Last Week’s Fantasy Results
Top tier pick for us last week was Jason Day and with a record of 2-5-11-4 in this event, it was clear that he was a strong favorite to win. Although he couldn’t grab the win, Jay-Day still finished with a strong T4 adding some nice points to fantasy rosters.
Ultimately Jason and Phil as a combo with Russel Knox and Scott Piercy was the secret recipe for your DFS mix-n-match.
Phil Mickelson of the United States walks up the 18th hole during the continuation of the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 11, 2019 in Pebble Beach,… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
The 2019 Genesis Open Field
Bubba Watson will be back at Riviera trying to win an astonishing fourth title here in just seven visits.
He faces stern competition from a field which includes Tiger Woods, back on home soil and making just his second start of 2019.
The 2017 Genesis Open winner, Dustin Johnson, will also be in town, as will FedExCup leader Xander Schauffele.
There will be a strong European contingent too, with Rory McIlroy making his third start at the layout and Francesco Molinari, the British Open champion, teeing up alongside Sergio Garcia, fresh from his tantrum in Saudi Arabia.
After a two-year absence, Riviera hero Fred Couples will also take to the famous track once again this week.
Bubba Watson plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 02, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
This Week’s Course Preview
Riviera CC is one of the longest-serving courses on the PGA TOUR, having hosted this event – whether known as the Los Angeles Open, the Northern Trust Open or, indeed, the Genesis Open – since 1973, barring the odd year off. There have been other stints as host too, with the first coming way back in 1929!
Playing at 7,322 yards for its Par of 71, Riviera plays long with just three Par 5s – two of which are in excess of 575 yards – and eleven Par 4s; half-a-dozen of those weigh in at a meaty 450 yards plus.
The George Thomas design, which was given something of a facelift by Tom Fazio in 2008, is considered the ‘thinking man’s’ course, and the bulk of that thinking seems to go into where to miss the fairway.
That’s because the tight driving lines and narrow fairways mean that plenty of players will spend good time looking for their balls in the long stuff, although knowing where to miss might be key; Bubba won here 12 months ago despite missing a third of all fairways.
There are doglegging holes that require shot shaping either way, with undulating fairways and strategic bunkering ensuring that there’s plenty of jeopardy off the tee and on approach.
The Poa Annua greens are smaller than usual too, and run at a fair old lick of near 12.5 on the stimp.
And, of course, how could we forget Riviera’s other name: ‘Hogan’s Alley’. This is where the legendary Ben Hogan made history by winning this title twice and a US Open….all in the space of 18 months!
Kevin Na plays a shot on the tenth hole during the final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Weather Forecast for Pacific Palisades, CA
As anyone who watched the AT&T Pebble Beach last week can testify, the weather in California right now is pretty barbaric.
And that theme looks set to continue, to some extent, this week in the Pacific Palisades.
There is the threat of significant rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the early forecast, and so the action might kick off in soft and scoreable conditions.
That rain could ease on Friday, and bring in some warmer and sunnier conditions in time for the weekend.
Temperatures are down on what we might expect at this time of year on the West Coast – as low as 60 degrees in fact, although happily the best day of the week might just be Sunday, and so there shouldn’t be the delays which beset the conclusion a Pebble Beach.
The winds are up to, with highs of 14 mph expected, but unlike at Pebble Beach the players should be afforded some respite by the tree-lined fairways.
Last Year’s Results from the Genesis Open
Love him or loathe him, there was barely a dry eye in the house when Bubba Watson overcame health problems and a crippling lack of confidence to land his first PGA TOUR title in two years.
It was fitting that it would come at Riviera, where he had twice triumphed before, and that would spark a renaissance that saw the leftie win three times all told on Tour last season.
Bubba was in the mix at -3 at the halfway stage, with Patrick Cantlay and Graeme McDowell enjoying the lead at that stage at -7.
But as has proven the case before, Bubba really applies the after-burners at the weekend, and his Saturday 65 propelled him to the top of the leaderboard; one clear of the young pretender Cantlay.
And while the youngster floundered on Sunday in tough scoring conditions, Bubba held firm with a 69 to take the trophy by two strokes from Kevin Na and Tony Finau.
Forget Hogan’s Alley, Riviera could be renamed ‘Watson’s Yard’ if he can add a fourth title here this week.
Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the Genesis Open this Week
With a quality field in an event played at an iconic venue, it’s good to see that the DFS sites have pushed the boat out a bit with their contests this week. Here’s a couple for you to savor:
- PGA $600k Mini Winter Golf Classic: The name might be Mini, but there’s nothing small about the jackpot prize with $150k up for grabs for just a $10 entry. The return of Tiger brings with it plenty of riches!
- PGA $40k Albatross: There is lots of info for gamers to work with this week, so use it to your advantage in this single-entry contest that pays a top prize of $4k for a $12 entry.
This Week’s Fantasy Notes for the Genesis Open
When drawing up a hitlist for the Genesis Open, it is the unique conditions of Riviera that offer the best starting point.
Length has always been a help here, and barring James Hahn in 2015 the rollcall of recent champions – Bubba, DJ, Phil and Aaron Baddeley – can all give the ball an almighty bump.
There are anomalies, Hahn, Bill Haas and Steve Stricker spring to mind, but generally we would say that length is key.
Players will miss fairways this week, and that’s evident of Bubba’s okay enough Driving Accuracy rank of 27 last year: that pertained to just 57% of fairways found. The key is scrambling well and knowing where to miss; this is a week where course experience is a worthwhile narrative to pursue.
Remember, the Poa Annua greens are small in size, so accurate mid to long iron approaches will be essential, and players whose knees tremble when stood over putts on quicker surfaces can be disregarded here.
Perhaps the key is in shot shaping, a skill which Bubba and DJ are no strangers too. Incredibly, seven of the last sixteen editions of the Genesis Open have been won by left handers (albeit by three men: Bubba, Phil and Mike Weir) but perhaps there is something in the unique angles they can create from the peg.
And that seemingly bizarre Augusta National link has to be considered. Yep, Georgia is on the other side of the country, and Augusta has a completely different species of grass into the bargain.
But here’s a list of recent Genesis Open champions and their Masters records:
- Bubba Watson – two-time Masters champ
- Dustin Johnson – three top-10s and a T13
- James Hahn – Okay, you got us on this one
- John Merrick – T6 at Augusta in 2009
- Bill Haas – Nine consecutive Masters cuts made, four top-25 finishes
- Aaron Baddeley – T17 in 2009
- Steve Stricker – Two top-10s and four other top-20s at Augusta
- Phil Mickelson – Three wins and six other top-three finishes in the Masters
We’ll let you decide if there is a link there! But it’s quite possible, with similar sightlines off the tee and Tom Fazio redevelopment work on both courses, that it’s an angle worth pursuing.
Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the Genesis Open
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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2018-2019)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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