Bubba Watson loves the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. The 41-year-old has won this Southern California event in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Being an even numbered year, I want to back Watson with this week’s One Bet, $100.

Bubba Watson Genesis Invitational
Bubba Watson has won the Genesis Invitational three times, 2014, 2016, and 2018. (Image: AP)

The only problem is I am a little hesitant to wager on him straight up. Nine of the world’s top 10 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings are playing the Genesis Invitational this week. Watson is ranked 45th. Even with Watson at attractive 22/1 odds there is so much talent in the field this week, I am not sure I want to take a chance.

One Bet, $100

This Week’s Pick                         Last Result                    Season Total

Bubba Watson Group winner       Lost Max Homa               0-1, -$100

Instead I am going to go back to group play. Ladbrokes has Watson in with Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, and Tony Finau. With this week’s One Bet, $100 I am taking Watson to prevail over Cantlay, Koepka, Schauffele, and Finau. I am getting 4/1 odds on Watson, so it is not as big a payday as a straight bet, but I believe one that is far more probable.

Watson Dominant at Genesis Invitational

Even when Watson isn’t winning the Genesis Invitational he is placing high up on the leaderboard. Last year Watson finished tied for 15th, and in 2015 he tied for 14th. He also finished tied for 13th in 2012.

Some courses definitely fit better for golfers, and Rivera Country Club is a great match for Watson’s length off the tee, as well as his putting success on the bumpy poa anna greens.

Another reason for Watson’s admiration for the classic layout is it allows him to use his imagination when making shots. He told reporters two years ago he believed that is why he has won there so many times.

“Oh my gosh, they’re so much fun to pull them off,” Watson said. “Around here it’s all about visualization. That was a big word. It’s all about seeing your shots, using your imagination. When you have the confidence that this is the right shot, this is the right thing at this moment, you’re going to swing it better, you’re going to hit it better, you’re going to have full trust in that shot and that motion.”

Bad Beat at Pebble Beach

I am beginning the golf betting season in a deficit with my bankroll. I thought I had a pretty good bet last week at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, taking Max Homa in group play and for 71 holes my wager was winning. When Homa reached the par 5, 18th at Pebble Beach all he had to do was make par, and he would have finished one shot ahead of Kevin Na.

Homa, however, made a bogey on the final hole, and tied with Na at -6 under.

No problem, I thought, assuming a tie would mean my bet would be a push and I would get my money back. I was shocked when I checked with Ladbrokes and the clerk told me that ties in group play are the same as a loss. Hopefully I won’t have the same result with Watson at the Genesis Invitational.