- Full preview of the Genesis Invitational with The Golf Insider
- Four value picks between $41 and $251
This Genesis Invitational is a regular feature on the PGA Tour and one that usually attracts a good field – this year being no exception.
Genesis Invitational: The Tournament
It’s relatively new name, with the sponsor Genesis only taking over in 2017, but a long-standing tournament on the PGA Tour. The event now known as the Genesis Invitational (previously the Los Angeles Open, Nissan Open, Northern Trust Open, and the Genesis Open) has been held in California since the 1920s. Usually the final leg of the early season residency on the West Coast, it always attracts a healthy turnout of big names. However, recent history gives the lesser known players more than a fair chance – James Hahn, John Merrick and JB Holmes being prime examples.
Genesis Invitational: The Course
The Riviera Country Club at Pacific Palisades is a 7,322-yard par 71 course, designed by George Thomas and William Bell. The club first opened in 1926 and it’s a very well-regarded venue, having hosted a US Open and a couple of USPGA Championships in its time. The weather can certainly impact on scoring… and with the course being long for a par 71 and the fairways tight, the average winning total is never very low. We can expect around 12-under to 15-under-par.
264: Lanny Wadkins (1985).
61: Ted Tryba (1999).
Genesis Invitational: Past Winners
2019: JB Holmes
2018: Bubba Watson
2017: Dustin Johnson
2016: Bubba Watson
2015: James Hahn
Genesis Invitational: Past Winners
A limited PGA Tour field this week with 120 in the line-up. Rory McIlroy is the $8.50 favourite with BetEasy.
Genesis Invitational: The Weather
It looks to be a dry week in the Golden State, with no rainfall on the forecast and temperatures around 20 degrees throughout. Cloud cover is minimal on all four days, and wind speeds generally sub-10mph. A very decent week’s golfing weather.
— Harold Varner III (@HV3_Golf) February 6, 2020
Genesis Invitational: Outright Value Bets
Bryson DeChambeau (currently $51 with BetEasy)
I’m sticking with the “mad scientist” again this week because his driving looks incredibly good right now, and long hitters tend to dominate the leaderboard on this ball-strikers paradise. Last time out in Phoenix he ranked third in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, but his approach play was terrible by his standards and he could only finish 52nd. However, his approaches can’t get any worse as there’s no questioning he is a great ball-striker the majority of the time With his new found length off the tee combined with what looks to be immense accuracy, DeChambeau should set up a lot of good opportunities again this week. We forget sometimes just how much of a prolific winner this man is – with six wins in his career already from just 111 starts, which also includes 15 additional place finishes! His course form is progressive with 15th place here last year – his best finish, which is encouraging. With so much quality at the front of the market it’s really hard to separate the leading pack, but I definitely think DeChambeau represents value at around 50/1 and I’m happy to take a chance on this driving machine once again.
Branden Grace (currently $51 with BetEasy)
“Grace looks to have found his form again after a poor 2019 by his standards. The South African came 3rd at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, before we backed him when he won his national championship a week later. He then finished 17th in Abu Dhabi, and looked in great nick from tee-to-green in Phoenix, where he finished 9th, but played much better than this finish suggests. He missed the cut last week at Pebble Beach, but it’s an odd event and I wouldn’t be too bothered by this. Grace at the top of his game is a man to be feared and I definitely think he’s on the way back and his confidence has been restored. His form at Riviera is moderate with two Top 35’s from three starts, but it’s a course that should definitely be suited to his game. At around 80/1 I think he looks a great each-way proposition.”
Cameron Champ (currently $101 with BetEasy)
Another player we stick with this week. When ball-striking and great driving is the name of the game, Champ is usually near the top of my list… and when you can get him at triple figures he’s an automatic play. Champ has been really solid after his win in California earlier in the season, and looks primed to go well on a course that should be ideal for his long straight hitting. He played well last week at Pebble until a Sunday 79 saw him finish in 55th spot. He still ranks first this season for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and more importantly he’s still first in this category over the last two weeks. He also ranks fifth in Ball Striking for the last two weeks, so his game is nicely set for a charge this week. He’s missed both cuts here in the past, but his form at the time was terrible and he’s a totally different player now. Champ looks a cracking bet IMO.
Luke List (currently $201 with BetEasy)
List’s current form and course form is trending in the right direction and he looks a prime candidate to compete this week at a big price. He’s known for his long hitting off the tee and solid iron play which, like I’ve already mentioned, should be the key this week. He finished 36th at the Farmers Insurance Open in similar company to this, and then 25th in Phoenix, but he was a lot higher up than that heading into Sunday. His numbers are looking good again and his form and stats here are encouraging. He’s finished 26th and 15th the last two years, and lies 14th overall in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green from the last 24 rounds here (out of all competitors in the field this week). List is long overdue a win and the signs are there that his game is back to somewhere near his best. At around 200/1, the each-way part of the bet looks tremendous value.”
Harold Varner (currently $251 with BetEasy)
“Varner looked supremely good on Thursday at Pebble Beach, shooting a 67 that could have easily been a 62! He missed the cut, and there’s no doubt that his putter would have been to blame. Varner has been hitting the ball extremely well over the last few months but he’s missed his last four cuts in a row – largely down to a stone cold putter. Despite missing his last four cuts he still ranks 19th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green this week (from all the players in the field) which is quite phenomenal. This tells me that his long game is in great shape, and he just needs to find some magic on the greens and he’ll turn it all around. This week’s course will be well-suited to Varner and he ranks third in the field here for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, so it clearly fits his eye from the tee box. He’s definitely worth chancing at the price considering he’s actually playing some really good golf.
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