2023 Genesis Invitational Open Odds, Picks: Target Schauffele, Hovland
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images. Pictured: PGA Tour golfer Viktor Hovland of Norway
Click arrow to expand the Genesis Invitational odds via PointsBet
|Si Woo Kim||+10000|
We have yet to hit our stride with the golf picks, but that’s all part of the game when it comes to betting on golf.
This week we turn our attention to The Genesis Invitational, which is the event of Tiger Woods. The host will be in the field this week, which brings even more attention to an already-stacked field.
Add in one of the best courses on the PGA Tour, and we should be in for an absolute treat this week.
Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles is a Par 71 that measures 7,233 yards. It is a classical golf course that features tree-lined fairways and large poa annua greens. The fairways are uneven and tough to hit on average. The rough isn’t overly penal, and there are quite a few long holes on the scorecard, which makes distance more of a premium than accuracy. Playing from the fairway is always an advantage, but even the most accurate drivers of the ball will find themselves in the rough often this week.
Despite being large in size, the greens here are difficult to hit on average. This makes scrambling and around the green play very important.
Even when golfers get on the green, it’s no easy task getting the ball in the hole. The poa annua greens are extremely tricky, leading to a high three-putt percentage and a lot of missed putts inside of 10 feet. Ultimately, experience on these greens and on poa annua greens in general should come in handy at this event.
Riviera is routinely in the top 10 on tour in terms of difficulty, and there’s really nowhere to hide. It will test every aspect of a golfer’s game, so targeting those who are solid all-around isn’t a bad approach.
Xander Schauffele (+1600 on BetMGM)
Betting on favorites has been a profitable strategy so far this season, but golf is an extremely volatile sport. Rather than taking short odds with Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy, I’ll go down the board a little and take Schauffele (+1600 at BetMGM) as my first outright.
If you take out the event in which he had to withdraw, he’s posted six straight top-15 finishes. His tee-to-green game has been terrific, and he gained 10 strokes ball-striking last week in Phoenix. He should be able to keep it going this week, as he’s a perfect 5-for-5 at Riviera with all five of those finishes in the top 25.
Pick: Xander Schauffele +1900
Viktor Hovland (+2800 on BetMGM)
I mentioned the importance of around-the-green play this week, and that’s easily the biggest weakness for Hovland. However, he lost 1.3 strokes around the green here in 2022 and finished in fourth and he lost 0.6 strokes around the green here in 2021 and finished in fifth.
Even while losing strokes around the green, he’s come in the top five in both of his appearances. His recent ball-striking is solid, and he’s a better putter than most realize. This is a solid number on one of the game’s best ball strikers.
Si Woo Kim Top 20 (+320 on FanDuel)
It’s amazing the transformation that Si Woo has undergone over the last year or so. He went from being one of the most volatile golfers on the PGA Tour to being one of the most consistent. He’s showing up and playing well week in and week out.
Even last week in Phoenix, he finished T23 despite struggling there many times in his career. He’s gaining strokes in all facets, and he’s shown some upside at Riviera in the past (T3 in 2019). With the current state of his game, I like his chances to finish in the top 20 (+320 at FanDuel).
Pick: Si Woo Kim top 20 (+320)
Tommy Fleetwood Top 40 (+130 on FanDuel)
We haven’t seen much from Fleetwood this year. He had two middling finishes on the DP World Tour and then missed the cut last week in Phoenix. However, the missed cut was right on the number, and this week is a much better course fit.
He’s one of the best on tour around the green and one of the best on tour on difficult golf courses. He’s 2-for-2 at this event with two top-40 finishes. Easy enough; let’s replicate those performances this week Tommy.
As always, thanks for reading and good luck this week.
Pick: Tommy Fleetwood Top 40 (+130)
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