2022 Genesis Invitational course notes and pick
Following a raucous and rowdy weekend in TPC Scottsdale, the PGA Tour will descend upon picturesque Riviera Country Club for the 2022 Genesis Invitational, the final event of the West Coast Swing.
Featuring the top 10 golfers in the world rankings, the nearly 100-year-old tournament will welcome a limited field of 121 players, including World No. 1 Jon Rahm, the favorite to win this weekend (+850), as well as defending champion Max Homa (+5000), who won last year’s event in a sudden-death playoff with Tony Finau (+4500).
Genesis Invitational 2022
Mon, February 21 2022, 12:00 AM
The victory marked the second on the PGA Tour for Homa, a California native who grew up near Riviera and frequently attended the Genesis Invitational as a spectator when he was younger.
Home-field advantage may play a factor for World No. 3 Patrick Cantlay (+900) this weekend as well. Arguably the hottest golfer on Tour at the moment, Cantlay was raised in Long Beach, which is located less than an hour from the George C. Thomas Jr. and William P. Bell design.
Before the first group of golfers tee off on Thursday, let’s further examine Riviera’s course layout, and select the best bets for the 2022 Genesis Invitational.
Riviera Country Club course notes
Originally known as the Los Angeles Athletic Club Golf Course, Riviera opened in the Pacific Palisades in 1926 and became not only the site of a prestigious golf tournament, but a filming location for a number of Hollywood movies.
Famous club members included Humphrey Bogart, Peter Falk, Dean Martin, Walt Disney, and Gregory Peck, but the course is most associated with golf legend Ben Hogan, who won the 1948 U.S. Open and the L.A. Open (the previous name of the Genesis) twice at Riviera.
Nicknamed "Hogan’s Alley," the par-71, 7,322-yard course could just as well be known as "Bubba’s Alley."
Power hitter Bubba Watson won this tournament three times, in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and has posted eight top-25 finishes in 14 appearances.
Bubba Watson wins the Genesis Open, his 10th career PGA TOUR victory and his 1st since winning the tournament 2 years ago.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 18, 2018
He joins World Golf Hall of Famers Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum as the only players to win 3 PGA TOUR events at Riviera. pic.twitter.com/tjF0bma5MB
Long bombers tend to dominate Riviera
While the course length is fairly average for the PGA Tour, longer hitters have seemingly developed an edge in recent history.
Since 2017, Dustin Johnson, Watson, J.B. Holmes, and Adam Scott have each earned a win at Riviera, while Finau (ranked 31st in driving distance last season) nearly tallied another victory for the bomb squad in 2021.
Riviera Country Club hole locations, 2022 Genesis Invitational
Length alone, won't get you far, however. Riviera's Eucalyptus-lined fairways ranked as the second most difficult to hit last season, (47.2%) while its greens ranked third (54%). Considered one of the toughest courses from tee to green, it challenges players with some unusual hole designs, such as the par-3 Hole 6, which has a sand trap placed right in the middle of the green.
Menacing Kikuya rough poses another threat for golfers who spray errant shots, while fast and firm poa annua greens will test even the best flatsticks.
Here's a photo of the infamous kikuyu grass at Riviera. It doesn't look imposing, but it's very thatchy & tough. pic.twitter.com/OEVQElx0— Iowa State Men’s Golf (@CycloneMGOLF) May 31, 2012
Best bets at 2022 Genesis Invitational
Based on Riviera's unique layout, a few golfers look primed for a big weekend on the West Coast. Cantlay (+900), for one, should contend for the top of the leaderboard, as he continues a run of excellent form in the early part of the season.
The 29-year-old ranks 10th in ball striking, 14th in strokes gained tee to green and putting, plus 24th in greens in regulation. He has not finished worse than ninth in four Tour appearances this season, and he landed 15th at Genesis last year.
For better value, consider Xander Schauffele (+1800), who placed third at the Phoenix Open last Sunday. One of the longer hitters on Tour, he also ranks 12th in strokes gained tee to green, 14th in ball striking, and has finished ninth, at best, and 23rd, at worst, at Genesis.
10. @Collin_Morikawa— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 15, 2022
8. Cameron Smith
6. Hideki Matsuyama
5. Viktor Hovland
Power Rankings for @TheGenesisInv.
For a top-20 finish, look to Talor Gooch (+5000). The 30-year-old has never finished worse than 20th in three tournament appearances and ranks in the top 25 in strokes gained tee to green, greens in regulation, and ball striking.
He won the RSM Classic in November and has two more top-five finishes, plus seven top-20s in the 2021-22 season.
How to watch the 2022 Genesis Invitational
The winner of the 2022 Genesis Invitational will receive $2.16 million of a $12 million purse and 550 FedExCup points.
You can catch all the action on the following days and times:
4-8 p.m ET
4-8 p.m. ET
1-3 p.m. ET
3-7 p.m. ET
1-3 p.m. ET
3-6:30 p.m. ET