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Justin Thomas
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Playing the Tips

NBC Predictor: The Genesis Invitational

by Josh Culp
Updated On: February 13, 2020, 12:24 pm ET

Golf Channel (NBC Sports Predictor App)

Golf Pick ‘Em is back and better than ever in 2020, with revamped gameplay and prizing.  

The format of the new game on the free-to-play NBC Sports Predictor app is simple. Each week before the tournament, you just pick who will do better in seven head-to-head matchups, plus the tournament winner and their score.   

New this year is the prizing format switching to a new $50,000 jackpot EVERY WEEK(!) This juicy jackpot can be won or split by anyone that has perfect predictions on any given week (all seven matchups correct while picking the correct winner and winning score).

And even in weeks when there are no perfect scores, there is always $1,000 in guaranteed prizes awarded to the best predictors. The top 250 fans (plus ties) take home cash. Hit the Info button and then Prizes tab on the app for the full tiered payout details. 

We will provide our picks for the format below and then provide some notes about why we chose our matchup picks or why we like a certain golfer to win. 

Josh Culp 
@FutureOfFantasy

Top Weekly Score: N/A

Matchups: 
Justin Thomas over Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy over Brooks Koepka
Jon Rahm over Dustin Johnson
Adam Scott over Bubba Watson
Xander Schauffele over Bryson DeChambeau
Sergio Garcia over Jordan Spieth
Tony Finau over Justin Rose

Winner: 
Rory McIlroy (-15)

 

Josh's Notes: 

Tiger Woods is lacking a win at Riviera but still plays it pretty well. However, JT is a perfect fit for the course that should allow him to rip drivers and not get too punished on any wayward drives. 

McIlroy just snagged the top OWGR spot from Koepka and it's because of his consistently elite play from week-to-week over the last year. I think that continues this week. 

DJ is a course horse here at Riviera CC but Rahm is en fuego since last summer. I like Rahm to stay hot in the Golden State, a place where he feels very comfortable.

Adam Scott won in his most recent start, the Aussie PGA Championship just a week before the new year. He's also a two-time runner-up here at Riviera so I like him as a "contrarian" pick over Watson who is a three-time champ here at The Riv. 

DeChambeau is getting closer to form but Schauffele has gained a stroke or more over the field in 7-of-8 rounds played at Riviera CC. 

Spieth is picking up steam with last week's top 10 but I'm still not sold that he's fully back yet. Maybe he'll prove me wrong this week but Garcia played well in the Middle East and has six top 20s in 12 tries at Riviera CC.

Lastly, Finau had a close call at the Phoenix Open and he's finished T2 and T15 in his last two trips to Pacific Palisades. Meanwhile, Rose arrives off a missed cut at the Farmers. 

 

Mo Yoshimoto 
@Bears3423” 

Top Weekly Score: N/A

Matchups: 
Justin Thomas over Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy over Brooks Koepka
Jon Rahm over Dustin Johnson
Bubba Watson over Adam Scott
Xander Schauffele over Bryson DeChambeau
Jordan Spieth over Sergio Garcia
Tony Finau over Justin Rose

Winner: 
Justin Thomas (-15)

 

Mo's Notes: 

Thomas is grouped with tournament host Tiger Woods for the first two rounds, just like he was last year, where he co-led at the midpoint and was the 54-hole leader by four (66-65-65), before 4-over 75 for solo 2nd, one adrift of champion, playing competitor, and fellow Kentucky native J.B. Holmes (70).

In his last four rounds grouped with Woods, he's posted laps of 69-65-66-65, and the duo also went 2-0-0 as a team at the Presidents Cup in December, where Thomas was the top point-getter for the winning squad (3.5 pts.), so he definitely enjoys playing with his fellow Jupiter, Florida, resident.

The 26-year-old has already won twice this season, both limited-field events (Sentry TOC; CJ CUP), and leads the TOUR in top-5 finishes with four in six starts.

He was World No. 4 here last year, arriving off a solo 3rd at the WM Phoenix Open, and is No. 4 again this year, and arrives off a T3 two weeks ago at the WMPO, where he closed with a day-low 65. 

Each of the past nine Genesis winners have either played the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and/or the WMPO on the lead-in, so Thomas checks that box.

The one potential drawback here is five of his last six wins have come in no-cut events, including four straight.

Josh Culp
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.