Genesis Invitational 2022 Overview
120 of the worlds finest players will tee it up this week, 35 of the worlds top 50 will be in attendance for this highly anticipated event. Riviera CC is one of America’s most classical golf courses. It challenges a player’s overall game and takes awhile to perfect. All player types can have success here.
This traditional layout, which includes a challenging array of par-4s, long par 3 holes and 3 very reachable par 5’s , there is a advantage for those that have places course experience. It’s not a course that can be easily beaten and will test every part of the players game this week. There ain’t no faking it round Riviera.
Riviera has a lot of doglegs and tight fairways, thus it’s always one of the most difficult fairways to hit on Tour. On a course where getting close to the pin is difficult even for players who hit the fairway, the penalty for missing fairways isn’t a big factor this week due to the low rough and looking at the initial social media picture the rough is particularly low this week. It’s always difficult to get the ball close on approach here with some of the lowest GIR percentages on tour. This puts a lot of emphasis on the player’s short game all week. Hitting greens in regulation here is a must, the last 5 winners have all ranked in the top 10 for GIR. If you are to miss the green one further difficulty the players face is getting up and down from the sand. Sand saves here are some of the hardest on tour.
Riviera’s greens are Poa annua and are almost 5,000 square feet in size, which is smaller than the average on Tour. The course’s bumpy surfaces and proximity to the ocean have made it one of the most difficult to putt on on the Tour. They are consistently ranked among the most difficult within 10 feet.
The player that lifts the trophy Sunday evening will have the skill set to move the ball both ways off the tee box and with a iron in hand, their short game will have to be deadly, and they’ll be required to hold their fair share of putts. A true test of golf on a magnificent golf course. I expect a leaderboard with only the highest class names at the top.
5 Key Skills Set Required
- SG Off the Tee – Some of the hardest fairways to hit on tour face the players this week and it’s not all about driving accuracy players can strategically miss the fairways on the right side, given it them opportunity to attack the pins. Accuracy and playing from the fairways is an advantage gaining strokes off the tee is of more importance. Bubba Watson a three-time winner here for example it’s not someone renowned for accuracy but certainly someone who gains strokes of the tee consistently.
- GIR Gained – Small undulating greens face the players this week and when looking at the stoical data it is quite clear that hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation will be critical to determine our players chances. Each of the last five winners have ranked in the top 10 of the greens in regulation is gained on that given week and I see it being no different this week at Riviera country club.
- SG Around the Green – Small greens are the order of the day this week. Therefore players are inevitably going to miss the green 20 to 30% of the time meaning a real emphasis on getting up and down and saving the scorecard.
- Par 5 Scoring – For the first week in a while putting isn’t making headlines in the key categories to consider section however it is slightly built-in to the scramble in statistics that I will be looking at this week. Scrambling has been a key factor here at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Winners of the event often scrambling at a 70% or better throughout the week.
- Bogey Avoidance – This is a tough and demanding track regardless of the conditions even in the most benign ones. Challenging par fours and long par threes mean players will Certainly have to battle for par at times throughout this event. At the historic data boogie avoidance has been a key statistic in separating those at the top of the leaderboard and those that fall away. Even the worlds best ball strikers are going to have to battle for par at certain times throughout this week and therefore avoiding bogus is something I strongly advise considering making your own selections.
- Sand Save Percentage – Ranks in the five hardest courses each and every year for sand save percentage, this week will be no different. In a event that contains 35 of the worlds top 50 it will pay dividends to consider players who excel from the sand, and when narrowing down my portfolio this was a key stat to consider.