Tiger Woods had planned on ending a 10-year hiatus at the Genesis Open this week, but he’s again sidelined with discomfort in his back. That will guarantee that someone in the 144-man field at Riviera Country Club will achieve what he never did on the classic track – win a PGA TOUR event. Woods has finished no better than second (twice) in 11 appearances.
The list of heavyweights scheduled to compete is befitting that of one of the most respected layouts on the schedule and in a tournament with roots dating back to 1926.
Notables you’ll find in Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider include Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker, Paul Casey, Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka.
There is quite a bit of prior success at Riviera spread among the golfers in the ranking above, but within that is a majority of power and precision tee to green. When the course is wet or its greens receptive due to recent rain – as it will be again this week – it can be overtaken.
After slotting as the hardest par 71 in 2014-15, Riviera checked in a fraction above par last year, more than 1.5 strokes lower than the previous edition. Its greens-in-regulation clip rose a whopping 10 percent to touch a seven-year high at 61.62, but its proximity-to-the-hole measurement (39 feet, two inches) was still fifth-longest of all courses measured.
Sill, even when Riviera exposes a vulnerability, the devilish greens still put up a fight. They are prepped to run 12.5 feet on the Stimpmeter and again ranked as the most difficult on which to convert from inside 10 feet last year. This all but eliminates the possibility of a putting contest breaking out despite the promise of soft surfaces holding approaches both from tight lies and from rough measuring just 1.5 inches.
In addition to the near-certainty for precipitation on Friday and Saturday, daytime highs will drop from the mid-60s on Thursday into the 50s for the remainder. Riviera is sheltered in places by mature trees, but wind cannot be ruled out as a possible factor. In fact, it’s expected to really blow on Friday as the front passes through. Riviera will be hosting the U.S. Amateur in August, but it’s not expected to be contested in conditions similar to what the touring professionals will attempt to solve for the Genesis Open.
ROB BOLTON'S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week.
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Comfort Zone, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks, which also publishes on Tuesdays.