The PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing concludes this weekend with the Genesis Open at famed Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles. This tournament, formerly known as the Northern Trust Open (Genesis is a car model of new sponsor Hyundai), typically has one of the best fields of the year’s first two months before the Tour heads to Florida, and that’s the case again this week with 16 of the world’s Top 25 set to tee it up Thursday. Jordan Spieth is the +700 betting favourite on Sports Interaction golf odds.
Genesis Open Odds Favourites
Hard to argue with Spieth as the player to beat as he dominated another good field last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am up the California coast. Spieth took a six-shot lead into Sunday and cruised to a four-shot win over Kelly Kraft, a former U.S. Amateur champion and friend of Spieth’s from the Dallas area. Spieth didn’t have a bogey over his final 28 holes in winning for the ninth time career on the PGA Tour – that’s tied for the most victories since 2013 with world No. 1 Jason Day.
Spieth was 23 years, 6 months, 16 days old Sunday and became the second-youngest player in modern history to win nine times on the PGA Tour – Tiger Woods holds the mark at 23 years, 5 months and 7 days. More on Tiger momentarily. Spieth did become the youngest to win five times by at least three shots. It was his 100th start as a professional on the PGA Tour.
Perhaps most important, Spieth also held on to his 54-hole lead. I say that because the last time Spieth held a lead going into Sunday was at the 2016 Masters when he appeared to be a runaway repeat champion but collapsed on the back-nine.
It’s extremely difficult to win on the PGA Tour in back-to-back weeks so I’m already a bit skeptical about Spieth this week at Riviera, but Justin Thomas has won consecutive tournaments already in 2017, both in Hawaii. Spieth has played this tournament four times as a pro with a best result of T4 in 2015. He missed the cut last year. He also led the University of Texas to the NCAA title at this course in 2012.
Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama are each +900 on golf odds. Johnson, the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, was third last week and has been no worse than fourth the past three years at Riviera. He spends plenty of time in the L.A. area being married to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Matsuyama took last week off after winning the Waste Management Open in the Phoenix area on Super Bowl Sunday. He was 11th here in 2016.
Day is +1400 and two-time champion Bubba Watson is a longer-shot at +3300. Watson won last year at 15-under 269 by a shot over Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott and won on the same score in 2014 by two shots over Johnson. However, Watson has really struggled on the PGA Tour in recent months. Day was fifth last week and plays Riviera for the first time since 2012, when he was 62nd.
Two big names who originally committed are not playing this week: Tiger, who already has pulled out of next week’s event as well due to continued back problems (his chances of playing the Masters are dwindling), and Rory McIlroy, who is recovering from a rib injury. Tiger’s first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old amateur was here in 1992.
Canadian Golfer Odds
Adam Hadwin, the highest-ranked Canadian golfer at No. 106, is +10000 to win the tournament. The Moose Jaw native is looking for his first PGA Tour win. He did have a runner-up at the CareerBuilder Challenge last month. Hadwin was 39th last week at Pebble Beach and 16th here a year ago.
Mackenzie Hughes is +15000. He was the winner of the RSM Classic back in November and was tied for 10th last week. It’s his first time playing this tournament. Graham DeLaet is also +15000. He has two Top-10 finishes in six events this season. DeLaet was T9 at the Waste Management Open and didn’t play at Pebble Beach. He missed the cut at Riviera a year ago but was T8 in 2015.
David Hearn is +30000. He has missed six cuts in eight tournaments this season, including last week. Hearn also has missed the cut the past four years in this tournament. A Canadian has won this event twice: Mike Weir in 2003 & ’04.
Genesis Open Odds And Prediction
Take Johnson, Matsuyama, Scott and Sergio Garcia all for Top-10 finishes. Garcia and Scott are playing in their first Tour events of 2017 and have good track records at Riviera. An American has won this tournament nine of the past 10 years so Johnson is the pick.