The Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles plays host to the Genesis Invitational this weekend as nine of the worlds Top 10 golfers duke it out for the $9.3 million prize fund.
Last years winner J.B. Holmes is back to defend his crown, while the Australian contingent is made up of Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Jason Day – fresh from a T4 last week at Pebble Beach.
The inclusion of Tiger Woods also makes this event even more exciting, so since there’s a lot to get to, let’s get stuck into some tips.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL BEST BET
Jordan Spieth @ $46.00
Spieth found himself back inside the Top 10 last week at Pebble Beach for the first time since October. His final round 67 really caught my eye, and he should take plenty of confidence into Riviera with two Top 10 finishes to his name. Spieth has played this event in seven of the last eight years and quietly ranks second in the PGA’s around-the-green rating. He’s heating up at the right time and more importantly, comes in at a very handy price.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL BEST ROUGHIE
Abraham Ancer – $61.00
Ancer rejoins the Tour with an absolutely gorgeous run of form to his name. The 28-year-old finished T6 at the Saudi International a fortnight ago after an outright second at The American Express last month. Ancer’s putting really caught my eye at the Presidents Cup and I think he’s poised to earn his first PGA Tour win very shortly.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL TOP 5 FINISH
Rory McIlroy – $2.63
McIlroy is the only single-digit player in the market this year at Riviera. He comes in off a T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open a fortnight ago – his fifth consecutive Top 5 finish in as many tournaments. The Irishman finished T4 at this event last year and currently leads the PGA in eagles per-hole. Honestly, $8.00 is still over the odds.
Tony Finau – $6.00
Finau has had an extra week to reflect on what could have been. His choke job with the putter at the Phoenix Open cost him what should have been his second win on Tour. Not to worry, the American finished T15 at this event last year and more importantly, T2 the year before. Finau’s yips with the putter have always been a concern, but that kind of form is tough to ignore.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL TOP 10 FINISH
Bubba Watson – $3.20
Bubba is quietly on the verge of his 13th Tour victory. He’s flown under the radar with two consecutive Top 10 finishes at Torrey Pines and the Phoenix Open, and like many others, comes in well-rested looking to join Macdonald Smith and Lloyd Mangrum as a four-time Los Angeles Open winner.
Hideki Matsuyama – $3.50
Always a threat at this course with two Top 10’s to his name. Matsuyama looked dead and buried at the Phoenix Open a fortnight ago before storming home to not only make the cut, but also finish T16. He’s Mr. Consistency when it comes to Top 20 finishes, so I’m happy to include him again.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL TOP 20 FINISH
Jason Day – $2.38
Last week at Pebble Beach was probably the most encouraging four rounds we’ve seen from Day since last year’s Masters. The injury setbacks finally seem to be behind him, and if it weren’t for some putting woes on days three and four, he probably would have finished somewhere higher than fourth. Nobody was striking the irons better than Day last week, so it would be a shock to see him finish anywhere outside the Top 20.
Phil Mickelson – $2.50
Hard to leave a two-time champion off the list. Phil said himself that he was simply outplayed by Nick Taylor last week at Pebble Beach – a result that is sure to motivate the 49-year-old on another familiar course. Mickelson finished T6 at Riviera two years ago and ranks third on the all-time money list.
2020 GENESIS INVITATIONAL FIELD
Jon Rahm – $10.00
Just like Rory, the Spaniard is in absolutely sparkling form. Rahm comes in off a two-week break following a T9 at the Phoenix Open – his fourth consecutive finish inside the Top 10. Runner-up at Torrey Pines the week prior thanks to a dazzling 65 on day three and T9 at last year’s Genesis Open on debut. As is his performance on the green hasn’t been special enough, Rahm also ranks 11th on Tour in the PGA’s tee-to-green rating.
Justin Thomas – $10.00
Far and away the man to watch this weekend. Thomas has nothing but revenge on his mind for last year’s epic collapse on day four where he lost by a stroke to J.B. Holmes. After a thrilling playoff win at the Tournament of Champions last month and some rest following a T3 at the Phoenix Open, Thomas is every chance to make up for lost time.
Dustin Johnson – $15.00
How do things change so drastically overnight? Johnson shot 69 and 65 on days one and two at Pebble Beach before carding a 72 and a 78 to finish T32. Up and down results have been an ongoing story for DJ over the last 12 months, but the 2017 champ still has to be taken seriously. He’s finished Top 10 at this event eight times including a T9 at Riviera last year.
Tiger Woods – $17.00
Tiger was in the thick of things three weeks ago at Torrey Pines where he finished T9 in his first Tour event of the New Year. Woods has never won the Genesis Open before, so his motivation will be high this week on the back of a well-deserved rest. Last year Woods finished T15 at this event – his 10th Top 20 finish.
Patrick Cantlay – $19.00
The 27-year-old has only two Tour victories to his name so far, but he’s going to win something very special if this run of form keeps up. Cantlay finished T11 at Pebble Beach last week, but I am a little wary after rounds three and four went pear-shaped. Cantlay’s troubles with the putter were evident, while his mixed bag of results at this event (two missed cuts, two Top 20 finishes) makes him one to leave out.
Xander Schauffele – $19.00
Schauffele has seen his fair share of success at Riviera. Last year he finished T15, while the year before he shot two final rounds of 68 to finish inside the Top 10. After missing the cut at Torrey Pines (his home course) Schauffele responded nicely with a T16 at the Phoenix Open. The only thing that’s let Schauffele down recently is his putting, but with two weeks off to prepare, maybe he’s got things right.
Brooks Koepka – $23.00
This just feels right, doesn’t it? Koepka finally joins the PGA Tour after a brief stint in the UAE where he finished T34 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and T17 at the Saudi International. Last years PGA Championship winner heads to Riviera for the first time since 2017 where he missed the cut though, so Koepka is probably nothing more than one to watch – as strange as that sounds.
Adam Scott – $31.00
There aren’t many men that can even come close to matching Scott at Riviera. The 2005 winner has prevailed on this course time and time again, finishing inside the Top 15 seven times. Last year the Aussie finished T7, which easily could have been a victory if it weren’t for a disappointing final round 76. Even so, the only thing keeping Scott at this price is the chance of rust. He’ll be playing his first professional tournament since last years Australian PGA Championship.
Justin Rose – $41.00
Returns after missing the cut a fortnight ago at Torrey Pines – his first tournament since a T5 at last years Hero World Challenge. The Englishman should be well-suited to a course like Riviera, but he’s struggled in 11 appearances finishing Top 10 only twice.
Marc Leishman – $41.00
Back for more after a fortnight off following his win at the Farmers Insurance. Leishman hasn’t found much success at Riviera, but he will hold fond memories of his T5 in 2016.
Patrick Reed – $41.00
Reed also returns from a two-week break looking to pick up where he left off with a T6 at Torrey Pines. He returns to play the Genesis for the first time since 2017 where he finished outside the Top 50.