EXTRA VALUE FOR THE GENESIS INVITATIONAL!
About Riviera Country Club
Before the PGA Tour heads over to Florida, we have a fitting finale on the West Coast as the world’s best regroup in Los Angeles of the Genesis Invitational.
Scoring can often be extremely difficult here with small greens akin to that of Pebble Beach, where Daniel Berger came through on Sunday to win his first title of the year, though the American won’t have the chance to make it two-in-two here having withdrawn from this event.
Tiger Woods has previously spoken about the importance of getting the ball in play here, with the Kikuyu grass proving extremely difficult to scramble on, and the stats certainly back that up.
The last five winners have all ranked the top-seven for Greens-in-Regulation (GIR) for the week, as those who miss the putting surface too often struggle to get up and down on what Adam Scott described as ‘severe’ greens after his win last year.
At least three of the top five in each of those editions have ranked in the top-10 for the same statistic, so the strongest iron players on tour are certainly what we’re after.
Genesis Invitational Betting Tips
This is the strongest field we’ve seen for quite some time and the winner will have to see off a whole host of the world’s best players, and it’s for that reason that there is arguably quite little value further down the market for the outright win, with seven players at 16/1 or shorter, though there may be some good each-way shouts at longer prices.
Dustin Johnson 11/2
For how difficult the course is, pedigree at Riviera goes a long way and debut performances are few and far between. Each of the winners of those last five events here had previously finished in the top three, which makes Dustin Johnson a really strong candidate again here.
Coming off the back of a win in Saudi Arabia, he decided against playing at Pebble Beach and instead thought it best to overcome his jet-lag and resting up for this weekend in what is a much stronger field.
He’s a former winner here and has six top 10 finishes in the last seven renewals, so he has all the credentials to go on and win this again, especially seeing as he ranks fourth in GIR on the tour this year.
However, it’s that strong field that leaves us hesitant of his incredibly short price, and although there’s no doubt that if he plays his best golf there’s very little that can stop him, there’s little value in getting behind him even if he does pull off another victory, so we’ll look elsewhere for our first bet.
EXTRA VALUE FOR THE GENESIS INVITATIONAL!
Jon Rahm 11/1
Of the market leaders, it’s Jon Rahm (11/1) that takes our Fancy at twice the price of DJ. Only Johnson has a higher GIR percentage than the Spaniard from those in the top 10 in the betting, and that’s even more impressive considering Rahm is still getting to grips with his new clubs.
He’s achieved top 15 finishes in each of his last five events, including four top-10s and he looks well poised to pounce at some point very soon.
As mentioned, keeping the ball in play here is imperative to going well, with each of the last five winners ranking in the top-11 for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee in either of their two warm-up events, and there’s few better than Rahm on tour in that regard.
While he just misses that bracket (13th and 14th in his last two events), he ranks fifth in that metric on tour this year, and ranked fourth last season having not failed to gain strokes off the tee in any of his last 23 events in which that statistic is recorded, a run going back to August 2019.
He’s hit over three quarters of his greens in three of his last five events, and it’s highly likely he’ll be right amongst it come Sunday afternoon.
Kyoung Hoon-Lee 125/1
An outsider for this one but someone who has shown they’re capable of some incredible performances is Korea’s Kyoung Hoon-Lee (125/1).
Consistency has been the main struggle for the 29-year-old throughout his career, though he’s gone well with top-25 finishes in both his starts at this course.
He ranked fourth for GIR here on his debut two years ago hitting over 70% of greens, and while that figure dropped off last year, he saved it by scrambling wonderfully, leading the field in that regard with the Kikuyu grass not proving much of an obstacle for him.
He also comes into this off the back of an incredible performance in Phoenix where he finished in a tie for second with Xander Schuffele, just one shot off winner Brooks Koepka.
He struck the ball beautifully that week and hit nearly 85% of greens, so if he can transfer that form over here, he looks incredibly long at his price.