2021 Genesis Invitational Sleeper Picks: Our Favorite Longshot Bets at Riviera
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Ortiz
The field for the 2021 Genesis Invitational is absolutely loaded with starpower. Not only is World No. 1 Dustin Johnson a prohibitive +550 favorite, but he will be joined by 11 other golfers inside the OWGR’s top-15 at Riviera this week. That isn’t necessarily what you want to hear if you love betting longshots, but the silver lining is that an elite field like this will inflate the odds on some terrific golfers.
Here are our favorite sleeper picks and longshot bets for the 2021 Genesis Invitational:
Doug Ghim (+20000)
So, how deep do you like your sleeper? I mean, I can go Max Homa (+7000) deep, or Carlos Ortiz deep (+8000), or Lanto Griffin (+15000) deep, or even Keegan Bradley deep (+17500). But I’ll go even deeper for you guys, with a 200/1 shot who’s enjoyed some success at Riv in the past.
Just four years ago, Ghim was the U.S. Amateur runner-up to Doc Redman (a favorite play of mine recently and, yes, another potential sleeper at +27500). Ghim has really started to come into his own lately, with six top-25 finishes in his last 10 starts, including a T-21 at Pebble last week.
I’m not ready to believe he can cash us a 200/1 ticket against this strong field, but he’s certainly worthy of top-10/20 plays this week.
Cameron Tringale (+9000)
We are left to wonder if Tringale will ever get to the winner’s circle, as he’s still searching for that maiden victory after over 300 events as a pro. That said, I’ll take a chance on him based on his recent form. Tringale has finished inside the top-20 in four of his last five events and he’s gained strokes with his ball-striking and putting in each of those four events.
From top to bottom, Tringale’s game is clicking about as well as it can, so I’ll back him at these odds.
Carlos Ortiz (+8000)
I think it’s likely that this week’s winner will come from the top of the board, but I keep coming back to Carlos as a player that could get it done from further back. He has taken his game to the next level over the last year, which included his first win on TOUR where he outdueled Dustin Johnson down the stretch in Houston.
With that win under his belt, Ortiz should be playing with a different level of confidence, and his ball-striking skillset is exactly what I am looking for at Riviera.
Ortiz has already posted a Top 10 at this event in 2019, and he fits the mold of a longshot that could come through and contend this week.
Kevin Na (+9000)
This is simply a win equity play on Na. This is a guy who has proven time and time again that if he gets in contention he has the confidence to win the tournament.
Despite his recent win at The Sony Open, Na plays his best golf on the West Coast. At Riviera it is important to be able to get up and down and make tough par saves. Na has an excellent short game, gaining in Strokes Gained: Around the Green in seven of his past eight starts.
If you get a 90-1 on Kevin Na, you take it first and ask questions later.
Scottie Scheffler (+5000)
I am fully aligned with Mr. Chris Murphy this week on Carlos Ortiz, but he already laid out beautifully why he’s a strong bet at 80/1, so I will be siding with Scheffler here instead.
He’s not been the same player since being diagnosed with COVID, but that can easily be coincidence being that he’s now a few months removed at this point. We did see some signs of life both at the WMPO and at Farmer’s despite his MC there.
Scheffler gained strokes tee-to-green all four rounds at TPC Scottsdale and looked like his old self for much of the tournament. His long-term form is very strong as he ranks 17th in this field in both SG: Tee-to-Green and total strokes gained over his past 48 rounds.
We know Riviera is a bomber’s paradise and Scheffeler’s distance will certainly play here. He finished 30th last year and I will gladly take my chances at 50/1 that he finds his first career win this week. Getting players of his caliber at this number usually don’t last very long