The Tour is moving down to Southern California for the Genesis Open this week. As usual, this event will be played at Riviera CC. It is a Par 71 course that plays just about 7,350 yards. The course features poa annua grass greens but kikuyu for the rough and fairways. Riviera usually plays as one of the more difficult courses on tour. Over the past five years, it has been anywhere from the fifth to the 24th most difficult course on tour. Let’s take a look at some of the bets being offered this week to try and find some value.
Group BThe headliner of this group is obviously Tiger Woods (+240). It will be the first time that we’ve seen him since his T20 effort at the Farmers. His game seemed largely intact from how he wrapped up the 2018 season, but his putter was lukewarm throughout the week. The rest of Group B has some firepower in their own right and it’s easy to get behind any of these guys at plus odds. I’ll take Patrick Cantlay (+400), though. He’s a local kid who just pulled out from last week’s event in anticipation of this week. It’s hard to imagine that Cantlay only has a 20 percent chance of coming out victorious in this group. My course fit model for this week gives him the highest chance of these five golfers at a Top 20 finish at nearly 70 percent.
Play: Patrick Cantlay +400
Group CThis group runs the gamut from some of the young, bright stars on Tour to the old reliable cut-makers and everything in between. I wouldn’t mind taking the favorite with Tony Finau (+275) here, though the price is a bit steep. Giving Tommy Fleetwood (+350) those odds seems like an overreaction to one bad round and a cold short game last week. Fleetwood still managed to hit 75 percent of greens in regulation last week. That brings his streak of hitting at least two-thirds of greens to ten events worldwide. Continuing to target ball-striking at that level seems like a winning strategy. In his PGA starts, the Englishman has shown his best putting performances on poa greens.
Play: Tommy Fleetwood +350
Group DBubba Watson (+250) has shown that he can perform well on this course with a few wins under his belt. It’s been an all or nothing proposition for the eccentric lefty, though. He’s only made 5-of-9 cuts since 2010. Adam Hadwin (+350) popped highest in my model, with a 34 percent chance at a Top 20. He was solid on approach last week, hitting 78 percent of greens in regulation. Hadwin finished in 18th place last week and is only a few weeks removed from a runner-up finish in the desert. Poa is by far his preferred putting surface as well.
Play: Adam Hadwin +350
Winning MarginThis is an interesting one to me every week. It’s very difficult to project if you’ll have a golfer just completely run away with the tournament, but with this being a difficult course in potentially tough weather conditions you can see a close tournament on the horizon. In my database, there are 1,310 events dating back to the 1990 season. Over that timeframe, 388 (29.6 percent) have ended in a one-stroke victory. If you break it out to include playoffs and one stroke victories, you have 722 (55.1 percent) of all events played on Tour. A 55 percent chance of something should be offered at -122 on a money line but you’re getting plus odds on both a one-stroke possibility and playoff.
Play: Split a unit between Playoff (+400) and One-Stroke Victory (+275)
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