2023 PGA DFS: Genesis Invitational DraftKings Preview

by Keith Flemming
2022 Masters: Favorites to Fade

Late during Super Bowl week news broke that Tiger would make his first PGA start since his horrific accident in early 2021. The event hosted by Woods has always been a big event for the tour but reaches another level with his return to competition. There will be plenty of eyeballs on Tiger and Riviera and I am excited to discuss the 2023 PGA DFS: Genesis Invitational DraftKings Preview.

Before I get into my weekly DraftKings preview for this event I wanted to say some things about the return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour.

I've been a huge Tiger Woods fan since I watched him lap the field at Augusta in 1997. I've watched Tiger win most of his PGA Tour record 82 events.

In that time I've seen countless fist pumps, roars, memorable shots and moments.  I consider him the greatest golfer ever and I've learned to never count Tiger Woods out.

However, I am not sure what to expect from Tiger this week even at a course he knows very well. He made his PGA Tour debut at age 15 at Riviera Country Club.

I think we all need to set our expectations low for this week and this season for Tiger. It sounds absurd when talking about a guy who won a major on one leg and his 15th with a fused back, as evident by how little Tiger has played the last few years as the injuries pile up. However many starts he has left, we should cherish those and not spend too much time obsessing over his results. No matter how good or bad he plays.

You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going!

2023 PGA DFS: Genesis Invitational DraftKings Preview

Riviera Country Club is an iconic venue on tour and will host the Olympic Men's Golf Competition in 2028. Known for its tight doglegs, narrow fairways, and tricky kikuyu rough and greens that are as firm and fast as any on tour.

This course is known for challenging all players who tee it up there. It is extremely difficult to hit fairways and that leads to players missing a lot of greens as well.

The field will not have short wedges into many greens here, 75% of the approach shots come from 150 yards or further. The greens are some of the toughest on tour for players to make putts inside 15 feet. It ranks in the top 5 on your in that category.

Course Comps

  • Bay Hill
  • Torrey Pines
  • Quail Hollow
  • Augusta National

Key Stats

  • SG: Tee to Green (Difficult Conditions)
  • SG: Putting (POA)
  • SG: Around the Greens
  • SG: Scrambling
  • Bogey Avoidance (Difficult Conditions)
  • Par 4 Scoring (450-500 yards)
  • Par 5 scoring (550-600 yards)

My 2023 PGA DFS: Genesis Invitational DraftKings Preview (Lineup)

Justin Thomas ($10,100)

It's difficult to include a lineup without Rory, Scheffler, or Rahm right now considering the trio has four wins since January. However, I like JT a lot this week on a course he has some real history. He has three Top 10s at this event since 2018 including a 6th place finish last year.

Thomas is one of the best ball strikers in the world. He consistently gains 5+ shots on the field tee to green. What I like the most about JT this week is his ability to gain strokes putting on Poa greens. The only surface in the last 12 months he's done so on.

Thomas is good friends with Woods and I know he would love to have his friend/idol present him with the trophy on Sunday.

Another option in this price range: Jon Rahm $11,100

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Victor Hovland ($8,900)

Hovland won Tiger's other event The Hero World Challenge in December for a second consecutive year in December. He's coming off his worst finish (42nd) last week at the WMPO on Tour in almost eight months. I am hoping this will make many overlook Hovland for this event.

Hovland has finished top five in both of his appearances at Riviera Country Club. In both, he gained over ten strokes combined on tee-to-green and approach. His weakness is still his inability to scramble well and around the greens. This is a course you can negate that by hitting a lot of fairways and greens like Viktor does.

Hovland putts the best on Poa greens by a wide margin when compared to bent and Bermuda. He's gained over 6 strokes on the field at this event on the greens the last two years.

Hideki Matsuyama ($8,200)

 

Hideki is showing no signs of the injury he suffered earlier in the year to his neck. Back-to-back Top 30 finishes at the Farmers and WMPO take away any hesitation about adding him to my lineup this week.

Matsuyama has made the cut at this event six out of eight times and has four finishes of 11th or better at Riviera. Hideki is one of my favorite plays this week because he plays hard courses better than average or easy ones.

The other thing I love about Matsuyama this week is his ability around the greens. Over his last ten rounds, he's gaining 1.4 strokes on the field around the greens and 1.1 strokes on the greens.

Another option in this price range: Jason Day $8,400

Adam Scott ($8,000)

I am very bullish on Scott this week. I will be wagering on him to win, the top 5, and top 10 at Riviera. He's made the cut in this event eight straight years, with five finishes inside the top 11.

Most weeks Scott loses strokes on the greens but on Poa greens he's gained almost 0.4 strokes on the field over the last year. He's gained 3.9 strokes or more on the field in three of the last four Genesis Invitationals he's played.

Finally, I love that he is returning to tee-to-green numbers we haven't seen in the last few years. At the Sentry and Sony, he averaged 3 strokes gained tee to green on the field. Last season he gained just over 1 stroke tee to green on the field in his events.

Shane Lowry ($7,400)

Lowry is coming off consecutive missed cuts for the first time in 27 months and missed the cut at this event in his only start in 2018. Yet I still am including Lowery in my picks and here's why.

Lowery putts the best on Poa greens, by almost half a stroke and plays courses marked difficult better than easier or average ones. He has a great track record at several of the comp courses including Augusta, and I think he will be low-owned this week on DK.

Last week he looked awful at the WMPO with his 75/76 scores and a missed cut. In his defense that was his first start on tour in the states since last August. He finished no worse than 13th last year at these other difficult events: The Masters, Honda, Players, and Canadian Open.

Another option in this price range: Russell Henley $7,400

Nick Taylor ($7,400)

What Canadian Nick Taylor did on Sunday paired with two of the top three players in the world was spectacular. He went toe to toe with both and never flinched.

Taylor is coming into the Genesis with two top 7 finishes and three top 20 finishes in his first four events this calendar year. Riviera is a course where he's found some success with three made cuts in his four events here. Including a T20 last year at Tiger's event.

I am staying with the hot hand in Taylor this week and I don't care if he is going to be high-owned. Golf is so much about confidence and believing in your abilities. You can argue that Taylor lost last week, but playing the way he did with Rahm and Scheffler is noteworthy. Might be better for him moving forward than winning the event without playing with those guys.

Another option in this price range: Francisco Molinari $6,800


Be sure to check out my show Two off the Tee which will debut on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel Tuesday night. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays.   

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