By News Team
12th February 2020
It’s the final leg of the west coast swing this week on the PGA Tour as the iconic Riviera Country Club hosts the Genesis Invitational. Host Tiger Woods will be chuffed at the fact that nine of the top ten in the world rankings are teeing it up here and given the legendary status of the course as well as the level of field, there is a bit of Major feel to this week.
Here is our preview of the event in Pacific Palisades.
Thomas and Johnson the most feared market leaders
As mentioned, apart from Webb Simpson, all of the top ten in the world are in action this week and clearly must be respected.
Newly crowned world number one, Rory McIlroy, played well at Torrey Pines and finished fourth here 12 months ago, but he hadn’t shown an awful lot prior to that and can be overlooked at a skinny-looking 15/2.
Of the other leading fancies, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson should both go well.
Thomas was in complete control last year, but he scuppered his chances with a closing 75. That was his second consecutive top ten here, so he’s clearly warming to the intricacies of Riviera. He finished third in Phoenix last time, despite openly admitting his game wasn’t where he wants it and given that, he looks a likely contender at 9/1.
Thomas is respected, but Johnson is probably the most feared given he seems to be verging on finding his A-game and has shown flashes of the brilliance we all know he has. However, as shown by his closing 78 at Pebble Beach last Sunday, the game is still not quite as he’d like and although he has only finished out of the top ten once here since 2014, he is passed over at 12/1.
Bubba must go well at Riviera again
Speaking of course form, Bubba Watson looks a really solid contender here. Watson is a three-time winner at Riviera and throughout his career he has shown that he relishes returning to events or courses that fit his eye. As well as here, Bubba has won on multiple occasions at Augusta and TPC River Highlands, so he’ll be really looking forward to coming back to a course he clearly loves.
He went through a pretty poor patch during the back end of 2019, but a couple of months rest as well as the chance at playing in another Ryder Cup seem to have sprung the Florida native into life. He followed up a good sixth place at Torrey Pines, with an even better showing in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, where he finished third. Torrey Pines, in particular, is one of the toughest tests on the golfing calendar, so to perform as well as he did there shows his game is in really fine fettle.
If he can continue such form, he looks sure to go well and should be backed at 22/1, with William Hill offering six places each-way.
Have a listen to our latest golf podcast where we preview all the action from Riviera.