GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Genesis Invitational.
Genesis Invitational | 13th-16th February 2020 | Sky Sports
We returned to action last week with a dead rubber attempt although two runners were merely a couple of shots from placing.
Now we head to the Genesis Invitational where a star-studded field takes centre stage, it's so strong that we could almost call it a WGC or a major.
- Riviera CC
- Par 71, 7,340 yards
- Flat and tight parklands course with dog-legs; small POA Annua greens; clever bunkering.
- Course knowledge is key.
- Shot-making, tee-to-green.
- Scrambling/short-game, GIR.
- 3 x Par-5s
- Strong correlation to major winners, particularly Masters/Augusta National.
- Winners tend to have played one of the two weeks before.
Xander Schauffele (22/1 SkyBet)
First up is the big-game hunter himself, Xander Schauffele.
Given the high-quality nature of the winners at Riviera over the years, seeing this 26-year-old up there would be no surprise. He's won at East Lake, he's won a WGC, he's won the Tournament of Champions. He's been runner-up at two majors, at East Lake and TPC Sawgrass too.
The key theme with everywhere he shows up is the ability to rise to a test of accuracy with controlled power, so it is hardly a shock to see that in his last two visits here, X man finished 15th and 9th.
He's one classy operator and I have no doubts that he can give us a good run for our money.
Justin Rose (40/1 SkyBet)
When scanning the market, I was pleasantly surprised to see a regular contender at Augusta sit some way off the top of the market in Justin Rose. He's the world number ten and isn't out of form at all, yet is priced up as if he's on the cusp of breaking into the top-15.
The Englishman is a major winner, WGC winner, won the FedEx Cup and has two runner-ups at the Masters. He also has three top-15s in his last five outings around Riviera.
Rosey has been working hard during the off-season going by his social media posts and comes into this one with form reading 2nd-T5-MC, which can be attributed to the amount of travel he faced in such a short space of time. His price is far too tempting this week.
Jordan Spieth (45/1 SkyBet)
I will take a dive on an actual Masters winner too. Jordan Spieth is back on the rise and this spot could be a neat fit for him. His tee-to-green and iron game seemed to finally be there last week as he topped the charts for both facets during his final two rounds last week, while his short game speaks for itself.
Spieth has two top-10s around here in five attempts, which suggests he can compete here when he's on it. I also think there could be a bit of a subconscious boost this week as he only just snuck into WGC Mexico, so he can come and play without much pressure. You'll be getting him at half these odds for a similar field at the Masters so you may as well take the punt on him this week.
Kevin Na (66/1 SkyBet)
Kevin Na nearly sneaked into the places last week but his performance was an encouraging sign of competing at the Genesis this week. Had he started round one better, then he may have had every chance. He did rank sixth for Approach, however. Whilst his short-game has always been a strong point of his game.
The South Korean-born American used to be known for not winning, but over the past two seasons, he's picked up three more PGA Tour titles after a seven-year wait. Na let slip of a chance to win around here only two years ago before finishing T2, two points behind Bubba Watson. And that was just one top-10 of many at Riviera.
Two top-20s in his last three events as his form is trending upwards, maybe he can go a tad closer for us this week. I'll take a chance on him again.
Carlos Ortiz (150/1 SkyBet)
This is probably my favourite bet of the week and had the field been a little weaker, then I would certainly be more confident about him landing us some form of success.
Course history is key around here and the Mexican has it in abundance. Three top-26s in his first three trips around Riviera is impressive, and he comes into this on the back of a top-25 last time out. He's a quality player T2G and could certainly outplay this three-figure price to cause a shock.
Genesis Invitational – Xander Schauffele (22/1 each-way SkyBet)
Genesis Invitational – Justin Rose (40/1 each-way SkyBet)
Genesis Invitational – Jordan Spieth (45/1 each-way SkyBet)
Genesis Invitational – Kevin Na (66/1 each-way SkyBet)
Genesis Invitational – Carlos Ortiz (150/1 each-way SkyBet)