The Genesis Invitational odds, preview, and course notes
Last week, we correctly keyed in on Daniel Berger for a win at Pebble Beach. This week, we turn our attention to historic Riviera Country Club, where a top-tier field will compete in the Genesis Invitational.
The final leg of the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing, this year’s Genesis Invitational will feature 120 premier golfers, including World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the +500 favorite of the tournament.
2021 Genesis Invitational Odds
Johnson, who most recently won the Saudi International on the European Tour, is a master of this Los Angeles-based event. Since 2010, the two-time major winner has posted eight top 10 finishes and six top fives, including a five-stroke victory in 2017.
Genesis Invitational course layout and relevant statistics
One reason Johnson has played so well at Riviera is his ability to bomb the ball off the tee.
Back in 2016, four of the top five on the Genesis leaderboard ranked 13th or better on Tour in driving distance. That year, Bubba Watson earned his second of three career victories at Riviera, while last year’s champion, Adam Scott, tied for second with Jason Kokrak.
All three golfers are in the field this year, and currently rank in the top 50 on Tour in distance off the tee.
A group of past champions highlights the pairings for rounds 1 and 2 at Riv.— The Genesis Invitational (@thegenesisinv) February 16, 2021
While length will take you far at Riviera’s par-71, 7,322-yard course, accuracy is equally important. Fairways are difficult to hit, and the thick Kikuyu rough can derail scoring opportunities.
Riviera’s fast and firm poa annua greens are also known to challenge golfers.
Best bets at Genesis Invitational
The game’s best ball strikers are most likely to ace this all-around test at the Genesis Invitational.
One such player is Patrick Cantlay (+1500), who came in third last week at Pebble Beach. The 28-year-old from Long Beach has finished in the top five in three of his past five appearances on Tour, including a victory at the Zozo Championship last October.
Cantlay ranks eighth on Tour in strokes gained tee to green, sixth in strokes gained around the green, and 28th in strokes gained putting.
The PGA Tour heads south this week for the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, a favorite venue of both the players and of golf architecture nerds like me. This 1926 George Thomas design in Santa Monica Canyon is just a wildly fun course on which to watch or play golf. pic.twitter.com/QyyftzRRpm— LinksGems Golf Photos (@LinksGems) February 15, 2021
His best finish at Riviera was fourth in 2018, and he has landed in the top 20 in his two most recent appearances.
A longshot to look out for is Carlos Ortiz (+7000). The 29-year-old from Guadalajara collected his first PGA Tour win in November at the Houston Open and has since tallied two top 10 finishes at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and the Phoenix Open.
Ortiz is a solid ball striker who can get length off the tee. He also saw his flatstick catch fire in early February at the Phoenix Open, where he ranked second in strokes gained putting.
In four starts at Riviera, Ortiz has placed 20th (2015), 26th (2016), ninth (2019), and 26th (2020). Look for him to jockey for position at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
How to watch the Genesis Invitational
The winner of the Genesis Invitational will receive $1.67 million of a $9.3 million purse, 550 FedEx Cup points, and a three-year PGA Tour exemption.
You can catch all the action Thursday and Friday, 2 to 6 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 6:30 p.m.