Genesis Invitational Recap

2021 Genesis Invitational Tournament Recap: Homa-coming At Riviera

I don’t have a problem with Bryson DeChambeau, and I don’t have a gambling problem (if you do, you should call 1-800-GAMBLER), but I do have a Bryson DeChambeau gambling problem. As I said in my Final Thoughts article, I never bet outrights sub-20/1. In fact, over the last two years, there have only been 2 instances where I have, and they’ve both been on Bryson DeChambeau. Those 2 times were arguably his two worst showings in the last 2 years – The 2020 Masters and 2021 Genesis Invitational. So yes, that means over the last 2 years I have never bet DJ, JT, Rahm, Webb, Rory, Xander, or anyone else when under 20/1.

I actually did bet DJ at 20/1 to win the 2020 Northern Trust – remember when that was possible? But regardless, I’m just going to put this into the universe now to prevent me from future temptation: If Bryson DeChambeau is sub-20/1, I will no longer bet him. I’m not saying nobody should, this is just a personal decision I am forcing myself to make. It’s been an eventful week, and after clown accusations from the wonderful Geoff Fienberg, I felt it necessary to first clear the air on my Bryson stance before getting into the full recap.

Now having said all of that, the odds of Bryson DeChambeau winning the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession Golf Club next week are highly possible, given he won an amateur championship at this course which few others have played competitively. It would also be a perfect fit to continue the MC Prophecy. I hope he wins you money, but I will be taking no part.

Anyway, getting back to The Genesis, Max Homa shined on his home turf, overcoming Tony Finau in an absolutely epic playoff to follow Max Homa’s missed 3-footer Birdie on 18. Unfortunately Sam Burns quickly became an afterthought in this event after holding a 5-stroke lead on the field going into the weekend. I’ve been harsh on Burns as a non-closer, mainly because I hold a grudge for him burning me whenever I play him, but he really did play well enough on the weekend to win this event, if not for a surging Sunday Finau and Homa.

I did not have Homa outright, but a live Finau T5 +950 ticket helped salvage a breakeven week for me at the Genesis Invitational. Below is a quick look back at my card, the good, the bad, and a look ahead to next week’s WGC-Workday Championship.

Outrights

  • Bryson DeChambeau +1700: +2 (MC)
  • Joaquin Niemann +5000: +1 (T43)
  • Bubba Watson +5000: +4 (MC)
  • Matthew Wolff +8000: +6 (T64)
  • Carlos Ortiz +9000: +2 (MC)
  • Si Woo Kim +10000: +6 (MC)

Matchups (Season Total: 12-9-1)

  • Carlos Ortiz -106 > Cameron Tringale (L)
  • Bubba Watson -137 > Cameron Davis (L)
  • Si Woo Kim -143 > Brendon Todd (L)

One & Done

  • Xander Schauffele: T15

The Good

The DFS strategy was spot on this week. In Bombs & Values, I wrote up Patrick Rodgers, Talor Gooch, and Wyndham Clark, who each finished T12 or better and freed up plenty of salary to squeeze in Tony Finau (2) and Jon Rahm (T5), who I wrote up as Faves. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lineup with all 5 of these guys in it, but I’m content with the research and thought process that got me interested in this group in the first place.

From an OAD standpoint, T15 feels like a waste of Xander Schauffele, but looking at the carnage at the bottom of the board with Bryson, Rory, ad JT all MCing, it ended up being a solid leverage play.

Looking at general strategy, “Bombers who can putt on Poa” was the correct approach. Although Homa is not seen as a bomber, he did rank #33 in this Field in Driving Distance. Other bombers in this field – Finau, McCumber, Clark, Burns, Niemann, Zalatoris, Kokrak – all had strong showings and exceeded their value. Okay maybe not Niemann after Friday but you get the point.

The Bad

The outrights look ugly, and they were, but Joaquin Niemann was T2 heading into the weekend and looked to be on a short list of players with the potential to upend Burn’s lead before getting swept away with the gale force winds on Saturday. I had the most conviction in Carlos Ortiz this week so seeing him MC stung quite a bit. The #1 ranked putter at Riviera, #11 Putter on Poa, and #42 Putter overall inexplicably lost 3.23 strokes putting this week despite gaining 1.34 strokes T2G. Tough pill to swallow, but I’ll look to buy the dip on him in upcoming events knowing Putting should be a quick fix for him.

Fortunately for Matchups, I bet them as a parlay this week, so it didn’t matter if I got 1 wrong or all of them. Bubba, Si Woo, and Ortiz all disappointed, and I’m probably going to cool the jets on backing Bubba for the foreseeable future now after little to no success in the early goings on 2021.

Closing Thoughts

The 2021 Genesis Invitational taught me not to panic on longshot outrights in a loaded field. I jumped on Bryson DeChambeau +1700, which I never do, because I thought I needed exposure to the sub-20 range this week. In reality, this event has seen unheralded players (Sung Kang, Scott Brown, etc.) contend to the end year over year. I weeded out Homa, Finau, and Burns from my outright cards early thinking they could not hang with these players. Looking ahead to the WGC-Workday next week, I’m going back to my comfort zone of avoiding the sub-20 range and identifying values with the highest upside to win. It’s a small field, so I’ll be keeping the card and units tight, but I’m nonetheless excited to try and hang another outright on the board. If you haven’t already, check out my Tournament Preview for next week’s WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession.