The PGA Tour returns to iconic Riviera Country Club for The Genesis Invitational this week with a number of notable names in attendance.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads the field while tournament host Tiger Woods will be in attendance but won’t play as he is still recovering from back surgery.
Also heading to California are major champions Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, and Francesco Molinari, plus world No. 2 Jon Rahm while defending champion Adam Scott hasn’t missed a cut this season and finished T10 in his last start at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Course: Riviera Country Club
Length: 7322 yards
Greens: Poa Annua
Architect: George Thomas and William Bell
The Genesis Open became an invitational last year and add to that the host is Tiger and you will understand why this is the strongest full field event outside of the majors and the Players this year with Hatton and Simpson the only two missing from the top 10 in the world ranking.
Riviera is a somewhat long par 71 track with hard-to-hit fairways, small poa annua greens with seven holes between 445-500 yards and three 190+ yards par 3s which leads to mid and long irons being an important quality this week.
Everyone will miss a lot of fairways here so it’s more important to be longer than straight off the tee. The greens are infamous for being difficult, especially in the afternoon and with as many long holes and small greens that Riviera has the golfer’s short game will also have to be on point this week.
With a top-tier golf course that requires all parts of the game to be firing, I see a top-tier golfer getting it done this week at a winning score in the teens under par.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Driving distance
- Proximity 175-200 and 200+ yards
- Strokes gained short game
- Strokes gained approach
- Par 4 scoring 450-500 yards
- Poa annua putting
- Par 5 scoring
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: 100 units
Won: 133.62 units
Result: 33,62 units
Outright winners: Waste Management (Brooks Koepka 41-1)
My first bet of the week is a guy who seems to have figured out more and more about Riviera since he first played in competition four years ago and has had the following finishes: wd – 41st – 15th – 5th.
So when we look behind the numbers that makes sense since this should be a course well suited to Dechambeau’s strengths – distance off the tee for one as well being a world-class poa putter.
It is his irons that can be a little inconsistent, but if he just gets an ok approach week he should be in contention come Sunday, and to be honest, I would rank him second or third in win equity this week only behind DJ and maybe Rahm and since we get him as only the 6th favourite its an easy bet for me.
I will continue to ride the hot hands of the Californian who is still on home turf here, he just missed the places for us by a shot last week, but he showed more than enough for me to go back to him this week with confidence.
As I have previously noted Max did some serious grinding over the holidays and it seems to be paying off with a 21st an 18th and a 7th place finish over the last month.
Now back at a place where he finished 5th last year and who should favour his length off the tee and his stellar iron play as of late (he has gained an average of 4.7 shots over his last three starts) and not to mention his preferred putting surface I would not be surprised if he gets his second tour win even in this strong a field.
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