Some DFS players may not realize right away that although the 2020 Genesis Invitational is technically a new event, there has still been a PGA event played at Riviera Country Club for many years under the name Genesis Open. Even though the field was larger, we can still go back and analyze past years to see what worked and what didn’t. So this article will be examining the 2019 Genesis Open to see if we can learn anything that will be applicable in the 2020 event.
To start, I decided to take a look at how well Vegas odds predicted the results of the event. Sometimes you’ll notice that Vegas odds are way off for certain events, while at other events they seem to be really accurate. This often gives you an indication of whether it might be more profitable in GPPs to go contrarian or to go with higher owned players in your builds. In 2019, there was not a single missed cut among the top 21 players in terms of Vegas odds entering the tournament. The field was also pretty stacked, so the biggest favorite only had 9:1 odds to win. The top 20 golfers according to Vegas finished 9, 2, 4, 9, 15, 15, 15, 37, 15, 51, 9, 15, 4, 15, 25, 28, 49, 6, 7, 28.
Those are some really terrific results considering there were 144 golfers in the field. This event last year had a very positive correlation with Vegas odds and results. This isn’t a shocking finding because of course Vegas gives the best odds to the best golfers, but it does make you think that targeting big underdogs could be a mistake. Fading chalky favorites also doesn’t seem super likely to pay off, but there are usually players that Vegas really likes that the public doesn’t, and that may be the spot to go contrarian if those players also line up well in your research.
After digging into all that, I started to think “Hey, where is the winner of the event?” That’s when I scrolled all the way down to find JB Holmes as a 150/1 underdog. Finishing 3rd was Si Woo Kim who was a 125/1 underdog, and inside the top 10 were also Vaughn Taylor, Kelly Kraft, and Carlos Ortiz, who were 300/1, 400/1, and 500/1 respectively. This all makes for a very intriguing event. Some small-time guys who are longshots were able to finish top 10, while pretty much every favorite had a solid finish that wouldn’t kill you in DFS. We’re still a long way out from locking in our lineups, but it seems like a stars and scrubs build will work nicely. Last year if you got 4 guys in your lineup with Vegas odds better than 45/1, no matter what they made the cut and probably finished pretty high. Then it comes down to pairing them with the right scrubs, and actually JB Holmes and Vaughn Taylor looked pretty good in our model for this course. There’s certainly hope for takedowns at the Genesis Invitational in 2020.
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