One of the oldest golf tournaments on the PGA Tour is in our sights this week and that is the Genesis Invitational at Pacific Palisades, California. This event was first held as the Los Angeles Open in 1926 and there is a strong field heading to the Riviera Country Club.
The Genesis is organized by the Tiger Woods Foundation so the man himself is present along with Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and other big-name contenders.
At the Pebble Beach Pro Am last week, we took a return on Phil Mickelson in the top 10 finish betting markets, while our pick for the win – Jason Day – came home in fourth. It has been a reasonable start to our tipping year but let’s see if we can land some bigger prices.
Rory McIlroy (+800 with Bovada betting site for Americans) returned to the World number one slot this week and the Northern Irishman heads the outright betting with the main USA oddssetters for Riviera. He has enjoyed something of a restful start to 2020 but his performances since the start of last season put him back at the top of the world’s best.
He has yet to win the Genesis Invitational but tied for fourth last year and Rory has the immediate form to justify his short odds.
Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm are locked together as second favorites at 10/1 (+1000) in most places. JT was second behind JB Holmes’ slow procession 12 months ago as Rahm tied ninth on debut. Like McIlroy, both men have enjoyed strong starts to the new Tour season and either could provide better value.
Brooks Koepka comes back Stateside after a brief switch to the European Tour and finds himself on the very fringes of the chasing pack. At odds of +2000, he is almost in outsider territory and the recent World number one will tempt many bettors at those figures.
Moving back to the shorter prices, Dustin Johnson slots in as fourth favorite at 12/1 and he is closely followed by Tiger Woods (14/1). Johnson was a winner here in 2017 while this is one of the few tournaments where Tiger has failed to get over the finish line.
Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Bubba Watson all slot in around 20/1 like Brooks Koepka, so we have true depth of quality in this field. Of those three, Watson is a standout name as a three-time winner and the left-hander has solid form going into Thursday.
The quality continues as we look through the outside bunch and there is the potential for some high-priced profits this week. Marc Leishman is a recent winner on Tour and he’s joined at around 40/1 by Jason Day, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed and Adam Scott to name just four. This Genesis Invitational preview has mentioned several Major winners already and there’s another tournament champion in that pack. Adam Scott’s triumph here came way back in 2005 but he is another live contender.
Moving through, we cannot rule out defending champion JB Holmes while Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar and two-time Genesis winner Phil Mickelson will all make a case.
This is the toughest field of 2020 so far but somehow this preview has got to predict the champion.
Our Genesis Invitational Course & Betting Trends with Our Preview’s Predictions & Picks Verdict
That very first running of the Los Angeles Open was won by Harry Cooper and, following a few Scottish wins, US golfers started to dominate the next few decades. Two golfers have won the tournament on four separate occasions while the most successful player of the modern era is Bubba Watson whose three titles came between 2014 and 2018.
Our venue is the Riviera Country Club which offers a classic links course challenge. Length-wise, there isn’t too much to test the field at just over 7,300 yards and it all comes in at a par 71. Unlike many venues on Tour, this is a real, all-round challenge and the average scores have come in at above Par in every edition since 2010.
Last year’s winner JB Holmes led in Par 3 and Par 4 scoring while registering strong stats for Greens in Regulation. Those factors should be key once again but who will deliver?
It’s very difficult to ignore the odds next to the name of Brooks Koepka. Form may not be present and there is that trend of performing below his standards in non-Majors but perhaps the loss of World number one status will inspire him. Brooks certainly has the relevant stats and this Genesis golf preview is expecting him to lift his game and come through a strong field.
Justin Thomas would be a back-up option. He has a good record in this tournament but his odds are just a little short for comfort. Our Genesis predictions’ advice is to back Brooks and add in the usual set of top 10 finishes to aim for an overall profit. Here are the picks: