By News Team
17th February 2021
There’s a Major championship feel about this week’s Genesis Invitational with eight of the world’s top 10 teeing it up at the iconic Riviera.
Given the quality of the players at the head of the world rankings these days, it’s become pretty common practice that if they are on top form then the cream usually rises to the top and the same is expected in California over the next four days.
Here’s our preview ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
Course form key
Riviera is a course that requires some getting used to and this is why we’ve seen a number of multiple winners here. Once players get the hang of its intricacies they tend to profit and it’s unsurprising, then, that there’s been only one winner in the last 15 years who has played the course less than five times previously. That’s a negative for the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm (both 12/1) as well as big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau (16/1).
With recent form figures of 2-2-4-1-16-9-10, there is plenty to suggest Dustin Johnson (11/2) will be tough to beat again this week. The world number one has won five of his last 13 tournaments, including most recently at the Saudi International, and as we know, if DJ turns up with his best, the majority struggle to live with him. His five-shot procession in the Masters was evidence of such and he’ll do for many, but in the field stacked as this, he’s a short enough price.
JT could end winless streak
As mentioned, the best players seem to be the ones to focus on at the moment, with the world’s best players a level above the next bracket. One of those is JUSTIN THOMAS and he looks tailormade for this at 12/1. He didn’t show much on his first three appearances at Riviera, but as we know this is a course that takes some getting used to and Thomas showed that with a ninth-place finish in 2018. He then looked sure to follow that up with a win in 2019 as he took a healthy lead into the final round, only to shoot a 75 on Sunday to throw it away.
He missed the cut last year, but the two strong showings the two years before show this is a course that really fits JT’s eye and you feel this test represents a perfect opportunity for him to break his winless streak. Surprisingly, the 27-year-old hasn’t won since July, but with form figures of 3-8-12-2-4-12-3-MC-13 since September, it’s pretty clear that elusive win isn’t far away. He was bang in contention in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, but received some upsetting personal news before the final round which clearly was a huge distraction.
The American will be more than keen to get back in the winners’ circle and Riviera represents the perfect place to do it.