The Genesis Invitational Betting Preview

Rory McIlroy Genesis Invitational Golf
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the 16th hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

This week’s PGA TOUR stop is The Genesis Invitational at the historic Riviera Country Club, which was founded in 1926 and known for its distinctive Kikuyu grass rough. It also has one of the most challenging and entertaining drivable par fours on TOUR to open the back nine. 

The course has been the host of this event for 57 years and has also been the site of three major championships.

Tiger Woods is the host of the event, but he is still recovering from yet another knee surgery and is not playing this week. Although the tournament is an invitational with a limited 120-player field, it boasts one of the strongest assemblies of PGA TOUR professionals so far in the 2021 season.

Seven of the top 10, including the top four, and 12 of the top 15 ranked players in the Official World Golf Rankings are entered in The Genesis Invitational. Dustin Johnson, the winner in 2017 and top 10 finisher the last two years, heads the field and the betting odds at +550.

The defending champion is Adam Scott, whose 273 total was two shots better than a trio of players. Scott is ranked 20th in the OWGR and is at +4000 in the betting odds. Last week’s winner at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was Daniel Berger, who eagled the 72nd hole for a two-stroke victory over late-charging Maverick McNealy.

For the second week in a row, Jordan Spieth took a lead into Sunday’s final round only to fall short, this time finishing in a tie for third after a final round 70. After a three-year struggle, Spieth is still looking for his 12th Tour win and first since the 2017 Open Championship. He is also at +4000 on the futures and should break through in the near future.

Seven of the top 10, including the top four, and 12 of the top 15 ranked players in the Official World Golf Rankings are entered in The Genesis Invitational.

Big Names, Big Odds at The Genesis

The top of the betting odds are not quite a mirror image of the OWGR, but they’re close. Jon Rahm is ranked second and has odds of +1200. He is followed by sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy at +1300. 

Another player that is poised for a win is Justin Thomas, who tees off at the Genesis with odds of +1400.

The third-ranked Thomas has three top-five finishes in the 2021 season and hasn’t finished lower than 13th in seven starts. He has 13 career wins, including the 2017 PGA Championship, and finished second in the FedEx Cup in 2020.

Talking about knocking on the door, Xander Schauffele has eight runner-up finishes since his last win at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions. The fourth-ranked player in the world is also second in the current FedEx Cup standings and has odds of +1600.

Bryson DeChambeau caused quite a stir after his dominating win at the 2020 U.S. Open. The ninth-ranked player in the OWGR hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since finishing in a tie for seventh at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He is just behind Schauffele with odds of +1700.

Others to Watch at Riviera

The leader in FedEx points and the 11th-ranked player in the OWGR, Patrick Cantlay, has gone low in his last two starts. Cantlay fired a final-round 61 on his way to a second-place finish at the American Express, then tied the course record with a 62 in his first round at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He tied for third there and is at +1800 at the Genesis.

Some other notables include Tony Finau at +2200, four-time major champion Brooks Koepka with odds of +2500, and two-time Genesis winner Bubba Watson at +5000.

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