The last stop on the West Coast swing officially comes to end this weekend with the Genesis Invitational at the beautiful Riviera Country club in Palisades, California. The field is set at only 120 golfers as we officially enter big-name field tournaments as the Player’s championship and Majors rapidly approach, and it is going to be an awesome next few months. As far as Riviera goes, do not let its length confuse you as though it is not very long, it has always been one of the tougher courses on the Tour. Played on poa annua greens at roughly 7,300 yards as a par 71, Riviera has historically ranked inside the top 10 in scoring relative to par and like last week, the fairways and greens are extremely tough to hit showing an almost 10% dip in Tour course averages. With that being said, we are going to attack this course the same way we did Torrey Pines and focus on Approach and Around the green stats while also taking a hard look into ball striking with a little bit of driving accuracy mixed in.
Finally, an outright winner for the first time since Hovland at the Mayakoba back in December. Forgot what the taste of victory felt like for a little bit, but we do not get cocky around here, we get back to the drawing board and get to work!
2021 Golf Schedule:
- 1) Sentry Tournament of Champions (+3.5U)
- 2) Sony Open (-8U)
- 3) American Express Open (-3.4U)
- 4) Farmers Insurance Open (-8.5U)
- 5) Waste Management Phoenix Open (-9.5U)
- 6) AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (+23U)
Tier 1 (A Favorite)
- 1) Patrick Cantlay +1600 (2.25U to win 36U)
Coming off a stellar but underwhelming to his standards T3 last weekend at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the #1 ranked golfer in the Fed Ex Cup standings is in the form of his life right now. Cantlay has good statistics in some of the top categories we are looking for this week as he is 6th in around the green shots gained, 27th in total ball striking, and 28th in putting shots gained. Already a winner on the tour this season at the ZoZo back in October with a bunch of T5/T10 finishes mixed in, Cantlay seems like the most complete player on the Tour right now. Cantlay is a perfect 3 for 3 on making cuts at Riviera with a T4/T15/T17 in those 3 starts. I will guarantee he is in contention come Sunday, and truly think he wins this one.
Tier 2 (Value Plays)
- 1) Collin Morikawa +3400 (1.5U to win 51U)
Though he has not played much on United States soil throughout the first few months of the season, Morikawa is in good form right now. Coming off back-to-back T7 finishes on the Aloha swing back in January at the STOC and the Sony Open, I think his statistics will contribute here. Coming into this weekend ranked 7th in approach to green shots gained, 30th in around the green shots gained, and 8th in total ball striking, Morikawa fits the bill for the stats we are looking at this week. On top of that, Morikawa is ranked 19th and 10th in driving accuracy and GIR % respectively. T26 in his debut here last year, expect the ball striking machine to excel in his hometown Los Angeles area.
- 2) Viktor Hovland +3400 (1.5U to win 51U)
Like Morikawa, these odds are just too juicy for these two young studs. Another horse for the course in terrific form to date going 7 for 7 on cuts made with a win, a 2nd place finish and 3 separate T15 finishes. Coming in ranked 7th in off the tee shots gained and 9th in total ball striking while also having a 74.60% GIR percentage seeing him rank 8th in that category, Hovland is a very strong play this weekend. Making his debut at Riviera this week, expect the big-hitting Norwegian to really excel and make a push to become the first multi-time winner this season.
- 3) Joaquin Niemann +5100 (1.5U to win 76.5U)
Another player that fits the bill for this week who is also in excellent form right now, the young Chilean is a chalky longshot this weekend. Niemann, coming in ranked 8th in the Fed Ex Cup standings has made 8 of 8 cuts with 7 T25’s and 2 runner-up finishes so far this season. Niemann is a true ball striking expert coming in ranked 2nd in the category behind only Dustin Johnson. On top of that, Niemann ranks 6th in shots gained total thanks to his 11th ranked off the tee stats along with his top 35 putting and approach to green skills. Niemann also ranks 2nd in birdie average on the PGA Tour this season while hitting 74.13% of GIR ranking him 12th in that category as well. Love that value here on Niemann to finally get himself a win this season.
Tier 3 (The Longshot)
- 1) Corey Conners +11000 (1.25U to win 137.5U)
This is as longshot as it gets. Never have I taken anybody over the +10000 threshold, but here we are! Conners is in great form right now making 9 straight cuts with 7 T25’s and 3 T10’s. The young Canadian is known for his supreme ball-striking skills which he is ranked 14th in. On top of that, Conners ranks 15th in off the tee shots gained on the tour mainly due to his 11th ranked driving accuracy. Conners good form as of late has seen him hit 72.64% of greens in regulation ranking him within the top 25 in that category as well. All these stats seem like a good recipe for a course like Riviera and at +11000, we will take our chances.
PROP BET TIME
Placing Finishes (Top 10)
- 1) Scottie Scheffler T10 +350 (1.5U to win 5.25U)
Ranked 18th in ball striking and 12th in off the tee shots gained thanks to his 300+ yard average driving distance and 16th driving accuracy ranking, Scheffler fits our mold for this week.
- 2) Brooks Koepka T10 +390 (1.5U to win 5.85U)
No stats to really back this up besides your getting Brooks Koepka at +390 odds to finish T10 in a 120-field tournament. Do not overthink it, pull the trigger because Koepka is BACK.
- 3) Max Homa T10 +670 (1.5U to win 10.05U)
Chalky play to win this weekend, Homa is in pretty good form of late coming into the Genesis. T5 here last year, Homa seems to like Riviera as he is a Local resident of the area. Though the stats do not back it up, if you have been watching golf recently you can see he is starting to click. I like Homa’s chances to contend this weekend.
H2H Full Tournament Matchup’s
- 1) James Hahn Over Henrik Norlander +100 (1.3U to win 1.3U)
Both in really good form right now, but I am going with course history here (Hahn won here back in 2015) and I trust Hahn at Riviera more than Norlander right now.
- 2) Cameron Smith Over Si Woo Kim -110 (1.65U to win 1.5U)
Another guy in really good form right now, Cameron Smith is a star on the rise, and he plays very well on similar courses to Riviera. Almost took him outright this week but settled for an H2H I am extremely confident in.
- 3) Maverick McNealy Over Rickie Fowler -130 (1.3U to win 1U)
McNealy is in good form coming off a stellar solo 2nd last week at his home course in Pebble Beach. Also, it is against Rickie Fowler who is probably the most lost golfer on the entire tour right now. Love Rickie, but I am going to be fading him a lot in the near future.