Genesis Open Recap

02-20-17

He’s now won 10 seasons in a row.

The only suprise this weekend was the final margin of victory.

Oh, and he’s now No. 1 in the world as well!

For the 10th consecutive season on Tour, Dustin Johnson has bossed his way into the winner’s circle as he won the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. The American also moved to No. 1 in the world as he posted 17-under par 267 to beat big-hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters and American Scott Brown by a whopping five shots.

 

Key Moment(s):

  • 36 holes on Sunday saw DJ birdie 10 of his first 24 to run away and hide. He played the final 10 holes in three-over par and won by five. #Dominant.
  • His first 54 holes included exactly one hole over par, a bogey.
  • Tying the 54-hole record at Riviera by posting 17-under as he made everything on the greens inside of six feet until the back nine on Sunday.

 

Scorecard:

  • 21 birdies co-led the field.
  • Only carded four bogeys on the week to lead the field as well.
  • No doubles or worse.
  • Led the field SG: Off the Tee and Total plus was first in driving distance.
  • Led the field in GIR (56/72) while only finding 29 of 56 fairways (T-45).
  • It’s not fair when he putts well as he finished third SGP and T-16 PPGIR.

 

 

Past history at Riviera:

  • 10 starts, seven top 10’s and four podiums.
  • He’s 49-under the last four years with nothing outside of T-4.
  • He’s posted five, bogey-free rounds since 2008, most of anyone.
  • Also since 2008 he has the most birdies, eagles, rounds of 66 or lower and the best score in relation to par.
  • #JohnsonsAlley

 

 

Fantasy Forecast:

 

  • He joins Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Johnny Miller as the only players to win at Oakmont, Pebble Beach and Riviera. #Stout.
  • Only Tiger and Jack have won in more consecutive seasons to start a career.
  • Only playing with Tiger put the hex on him as he’s T-6 or better in his other four starts this season.
  • The last time a U.S. Open was held on a new track, Chambers Bay, he had two putts to win. Erin Hills, a new track in the rotation, will host this year’s U.S. Open.
  • He’ll defend at Firestone and has held the lead at every major.
  • With baby No. 2 on the way, it will be interesting how his schedule evolves into the summer. Kid No. 1 didn’t have any adverse effects on his game and was traveling early.

 

 

With this win:

 

  • Collects $1,260,000.
  • 500 FEC points
  • Checks in at No. 1 in the OWGR for the first time.
  • Now ranked sixth in the FedExCup standings.

 

 

Genesis Hindsight:

Trends and stats from the week for next week and next year

 

  • Johnson was 20-under par, matching Lanny Wadkins’ tournament record, but his final 10 holes saw him fall off the pace.
  • Rookie Wesley Bryan shot 63 in round three and Thomas Pieters, in his first trip to Riviera, matched him in the final round, to post the lowest score of the week. Sam Saunders, Cameron Tringale and Johnson all posted 64’s.
  • Bubba Watson’s title defense ended Friday as he WD when play was halted. He would have MC anyhow as we know he’s no fan of playing in the elements.
  • Experience usually pays here but Thomas Pieters (T-2), Wesley Bryan (T-4), Ollie Schniederjans (T-8) and J.T. Poston (T-17) BLASTED that theory out of the water with their first appearances as professionals.
  • Pieters was a sponsor’s exemption and the other three fellas were rookies. Impressive.
  • Lift-clean-replace as the weather dumped three to five inches across the course Friday into Saturday morning.
  • 20 bogey-free rounds aren’t surprising but there were only 11 last year in perfect conditions.

 

Having to keep the ball in the fairway at Riviera is usually a key and that was easier this week with the soggy conditions. The fairways widened with no roll and the rough wasn’t as deep as usual because of the forecast before the week started. I’m guessing the saturated greens didn’t hurt scoring either.

 

Reading on, you’ll see plenty of other trends that were destroyed this week. A soft Riviera looks to have helped the field more than it hurt.

 

 

Scorecard: 

A look inside the rest of the top 10.

 

Thomas Pieters (T-2): The 2012 NCAA individual champion on this track obviously had fond memories and he hit the top 10 for the first time in nine events worldwide. He fits the bomber profile that should contend here and only DJ hit more GIR.

His 21 birdies tied DJ for the most on the week. Not bad for his first pro start here and closing with 63 should eliminate any doubt whether this was fluky or not. He needs 13 FEC points to gain special temporary membership so drop-and-add gamers need to pay attention.

 

Scott Brown (T-2): Entering the week he played his previous six weekends but T-41 was the best of that bunch. Brown’s last two top 10’s were last season at Puerto Rico (T-5) and Valspar (T-7). There’s that Valspar angle again! Brown’s best finish in three previous trips was T-39 but now has eight of 14 rounds here below par. He led the field in SGP.

 

Justin Rose (T-4): The Englishman hits the top four for the third time in four starts in 2017 on Tour. His 65-68 final two rounds helped gamers across every format. His thumb started bothering him on Sunday on pitches and chip shots. Read more about it here. He’s not happy with his current iron play yet he was T-19 GIR. I’m more interested that he was in the top 10 in both putting categories.

 

Wesley Bryan (T-4): As I wrote Saturday on Twitter:

 He’s not long. He’s not a premium iron player. He’d never played here before as a pro. The rookie trashed the joint with 63 in round three and picked up his biggest check in nine events. Let’s see if this flips the switch as he heads back to the East Coast.

 

Kevin Na (T-4): He entered this week with 15 consecutive rounds of par or worse at Riviera. All it took to turn it around was three inches of rain and multiple delays! He was T-4 GIR and second in SGP. Na posted all four rounds under par to hit his third top 10 in the last eight years. The other five starts were 76th, MC, MC, T-61 and MC, all in the last five years. #TrendBroken.

 

Charley Hoffman (T-4): The SoCal native hits the top 10 for the first time at Riviera in 11 tries. It’s also his first top 10 since his win at Valero last April. Needless to say, I didn’t see this coming.

 

Martin Laird (T-8): For the third time in his last five starts he’s bagged a top 10. His T-8 is his fourth top 10 this season. He’s also played 15 of the last 16 weekends so he’s been on my radar. He backed up his best finish (T-11) last year by going even better this year. Interestingly enough his two worst finishes in his last five were on Poa at Torrey and Pebble. He’s now posted 10 of his last 12 rounds at Riviera in the red.

 

Ollie Schniederjans (T-8): Torrey Pines and Riviera usually chew up the youth and spit them out unless they have a bit of game. The man without a hat has racked up a top 10 at each stop. Toss in T-6 to close the calendar last year at RSM and that’s three top 10’s in his last six starts with zero MCs. After MC in his first three of the season, it’s more impressive. He hits it a mile but isn’t always sure where it’s going so the more par fives and length, the better. He’s also T-27 or better in five of his last six so it’s obvious he belongs. His consecutive rounds at par or better are now 24 rounds and counting.

 

Cameron Tringale (T-8): This will please season-long investors who bought low after last season without a top 10. The only reason Tringale would have been on your radar this week after three MC’s and 73 in his previous four events would have been his record at Riviera. He’s now made all seven cuts at this event and five of those are T-25 or better. #CourseHorse.

 

 

 

Eyes Open:

Players outside the top 10 who have caught my eyes in a positive way.

 

Jimmy Walker (T-11): Welcome back! Gamers should be encouraged to see four rounds under par plus this is his best finish since his major title at Baltusrol. Now about what happened at Sony, Torrey and Pebble!

 

Seung-Yul Noh (T-11): It wasn’t back-to-back top 10’s but it was an excellent finish (67-67) that put him on the brink. He’s the Korean Cameron Tringale as he’s played here four times and never finished worse than T-22.

 

Charles Howell, III (T-15): When it rains, it pours as my entire fade list had a great week as they all finished T-22 or better! All CH3 did was finish inside the top 50 for the first time since he won in 2007! Haha!

 

K.J. Choi (T-17): He’s never MC. His streak is now 17 in a row at Riviera. This is a recording.

 

Luke Donald (T-17): First back-to-back top 25’s since RBC Heritage and Valero last season draws my attention.

 

Nick Watney (T-28): Back-to-back top 30 performances as he recovers from a back injury that saw him miss most of last year.

 

 

“Whatever happened to…?”

 

Jordan Spieth (T-22): It was interesting to see that the putter was the club misbehaving this week (49th SGP; 57th PPGIR) while he continued to find GIR (T-19). The putter isn’t going anywhere!

 

Hideki Matsuyama (MC): 80 in round two to MC. Fantasy golf, eh?

 

Jason Day (T-64): He’s trying to get his swing back together and this wasn’t the week for that. He gets in the most trouble when the driver isn’t working but this week the putter joined the fun. He made more birdies in the first two rounds than the final two. Those two rounds were his first two under par in his career (70-70).

Adam Scott (T-11): Automatic here and most weeks because he hits it that well tee-to-green.

 

Sergio Garcia (T-49): First start in six worldwide outside T-19 as his putter didn’t follow him over from Dubai. Hit it great tee-to-green.

 

Brandt Snedeker (MC): His best finish here is T-17 in eight tries.  #RoundHoleSquarePeg.

 

Patrick Reed (T-59): I’ve praised him before by grinding it out on Sunday but that wasn’t this case this week as his 74 saw him drop 23 spots. He gave away four shots in the last eight holes to cost investors a few bucks as not even his great short game could save the week.

 

Justin Thomas (T-39): According to Twitter he wasn’t thrilled with his side of the draw. When the weather was perfect on Sunday afternoon he shot 68.

 

Bill Haas (T-11): He made the cut on the number and rewarded investors with 64-69 on the weekend to nearly back-door a top 10. He adds T-11 to T-13 and T-17 in 2017. #Steady.

 

Bubba Watson (MC): Didn’t finish two rounds as he WD after the monsoon on Friday. First time since 2012 that he’s missed back-to-back cuts.

 

J.B. Holmes (T-34): Chalked up his worst round of the four with the best conditions but still has made 10 of 11 cuts career.

 

Brendan Steele (T-39): His streak of weekends at Riviera is now six in a row. His T-39 is his worst finish of the season so I’m hardly concerned. Keep an eye on his results in Florida but he’ll be a contender, along with Charley Hoffman, at Valero.

 

Phil Mickelson (T-34): For the second week in a row Mickelson ran out of gas on the back nine after raising hope on the front. Enjoy the roller coaster!

 

 

Stay Tuned:

Keep up @MikeGlasscott and mikeglasscott.com for more details. Tomorrow, I’ll preview the Honda Open and Wednesday I’ll post my gaming column.

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