The Genesis Invitational has one of the strongest fields of any non-major championship golf tournament. Nine of the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings are scheduled to play. The PGA Tour communications department said it is the strongest field since the 2007 Wells Fargo Championship.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy is the favorite at 7/1. He is followed by No. 3 Jon Rahm and No. 4 Justin Thomas at 8/1. Tiger Woods, who will be trying to break Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour career victories with a win at Southern California’s Riviera Country Club is at 16/1.
We take a look at some of the golfers that bettors should think about backing, and others that it would be probably best to avoid this week.
Players to Back at Genesis Invitational
Rory McIlroy 7/1
The favorite to win the Genesis Invitational has another motivating factor. McIlroy was just ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time since 2015, and he would like to stay there. A solid finish here could keep Brooks Koepka at bay. He finished tied for fourth at Riviera Country Club last year.
Bubba Watson 22/1
The lefty loves to win this event on even number years, having taken the Genesis Invitational in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Will he win again in 2020? His recent play certainly won’t be a hinderance. Watson finished tied for sixth at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines three weeks ago. He followed that up with a tie for third at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
Jon Rahm 8/1
The Spaniard played the Genesis Invitational for the first time last year and finished tied for ninth. So far this season he has finished 10th at the Tournament of Champions in Maui, second at the Farmers Insurance Open, and tied for ninth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, He is 10th on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation and scoring average.
Golfers to Avoid
Tiger Woods 16/1
It is the one significant tournament the 44-year-old hasn’t won. He has finished twice here, but that was more than 20 years ago. Riviera Country Club has frustrated Woods for most of his career, and this week should be no different. Whether it’s the small greens, or the classic layout, something doesn’t fit Woods’ eye.
Xander Schauffele 18/1
Schauffele seems to be regressing when it comes to the Genesis Invitational. In 2018 he finished tied for ninth. Last year he was tied for 15th. Not the type of momentum that gives bettors a comfortable feeling. Also after a tie for second at the Tournament of Champions, he has missed the cut at Farmers, and tied for 16th at Waste Management.
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Look at the long odds for the No. 2 ranked golfer and it seems like stealing money. Only problem is Koepka has only played this event once, in 2017, and he missed the cut. There are also questions on how his knee will hold up with the hilly conditions at Rivera Country Club. There are too many variables to risk any money on Koepka.