2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions: Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay & More

2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions: Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay & More article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured (left to right): Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay & Tommy Fleetwood.

It wasn’t our week at the WM Phoenix Open, so we move on to our 2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions.

I love a good underdog story and all, but I’ve had enough of the longshot wins this year. Every single winner so far this year has been at least +8000 in the outright market. I’ll dabble with deep odds every now and then, but I typically stick to the +2000 to +5000 range.

The bets last week had about as much success as the TPC Scottsdale staff did of regulating alcohol consumption during the tournament. In other words, the bets had no success. None at all.

Jordan Spieth gave it a run late in his third round but never really scared the leaderboard. Denny McCarthy was inside the top 20 all Sunday until he bogeyed one of his last two holes to finish T22. I’m ready to wash my hands of the Phoenix Open and start fresh this week.

The Genesis Invitational is special for a lot of reasons. Riviera Country Club is one of the best stops on the PGA Tour, this Signature Event brings in the strongest field of the season, and Tiger Woods is set to tee it up on the PGA Tour for the first time since last year’s Masters.

He’ll also be donning his new clothing line, Sun Day Red. Deciding to have Sun and Day be separate words was an interesting choice, but let’s be honest, I’ll be the first to buy some of the new apparel.

There are only 70 golfers in the field this week, and we have a Masters-like type of cut as the top 50 and ties plus anyone within 10 strokes of the lead will stick around and play the weekend.

Riviera is a par-71 that measures 7,322 yards. Due to the undulations, the doglegs and the runoff areas around the greens, these are some of the toughest fairways to hit off the tee and some of the toughest greens to hit in regulation on the PGA Tour. In the 2023 Genesis Invitational, the field hit 51% of fairways and 55% of greens in regulation.

Even the most accurate drivers of the ball have a tough time hitting these fairways, which places an emphasis on distance over accuracy. The rough isn’t long, which also plays into the distance angle. It’s not that short hitters can’t play well here, but it’s tougher to gain strokes by hitting fairways than it is on many courses.

Around the green play is also crucial at this event each year. When it comes to the four Strokes Gained (SG) statistics, SG: Around the Green is more important here than at almost any other course on Tour.

The greens at Riviera are large and very fast. They feature Poa annua grass, which many golfers can’t stand. The later it gets in the day, the bumpier these greens get. Experience in California, experience on Poa annua and experience at this course are all positives this week.

This event typically produces an elite winner given the necessity for elite tee-to-green play, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say we don’t see a longshot winner this week.

  • Starting bankroll: $1,000
  • Last week: -$100
  • Current bankroll: $796

2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions

2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions: Outright Bets

Patrick Cantlay +1400: Winner Without Scheffler, McIlroy & Hovland (FanDuel)

Bet $15 to pay $225

Based on their current odds, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland have a 30% implied chance of winning this golf tournament. However, this bet eliminates those three names from the leaderboard. Based on the implied win odds, this bet offers more value than betting Cantlay to win straight up at +1800 (which I still like by the way).

Cantlay has always played well in California and has always played well at this course. He’s made six straight cuts here with four top-20 finishes and two top-four finishes. He’s coming off a tie for 11th at Pebble Beach and is a golfer who has no weaknesses in his game. This course will test every club in the bag, so I like looking to golfers who are strong in all four Strokes Gained metrics.

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Collin Morikawa +1400: Winner Without Scheffler, McIlroy & Hovland (FanDuel)

Bet $15 to pay $225

I’m also betting Morikawa in the same Winner Without Scheffler, McIlroy & Hovland market. Similar to Cantlay, there’s better value on this bet than on his outright number at +1800.

Morikawa is one of the best in Total Driving on Tour, he’s a top-five iron player, he has positive SG: Around the Green in six of his last seven starts, and he’s making strides with his putting. His game is in great shape as he’s posted a win and three other top 10s in his last nine starts.

He’s a perfect 4-for-4 at this event with finishes of second and sixth here the last two years because his ball-striking advantage is accentuated at Riviera.

2024 Genesis Invitational Predictions: Placement Bets

Adam Scott Top 10 +260 (DraftKings)

Bet $15 to pay $54

Scott has always been known for his swing and his ball-striking, but over the last few years, his short game has carried him. He’s turned into an elite putter, especially on Poa annua greens.

Those who don’t pay attention to international golf may not realize how strong his form is. He’s finished in the top 10 in five of his last six starts worldwide. He played great at the WM Phoenix Open last week and gained 8.3 strokes ball-striking in the process.

If that continues, I could see him rattling off a win here soon. I don’t hate his outright number (+3300) but am betting him to finish in the top 10 on my official betting card. He has finished in the top 10 at this event in three of the last five years and has two other wins at Riviera in his career.

Jason Day Top 10 +400 (Caesars)

Bet $15 to pay $75

Day is always a tough golfer to predict. He’ll show up one week and lose eight strokes on ball-striking and then show up the next week and gain five strokes on ball-striking.

Historically, he has been elite on and around the greens. He tends to play his best golf on difficult courses, and Riviera certainly fits the bill there. During his solid run of form at this time of the season last year, he finished in a tie for ninth at this event.

He has plenty of distance off the tee and gained 2.5 strokes on approach in his last start at Pebble Beach. With only 70 golfers in the field, I like the +400 number on Day to finish in the top 10.

Tommy Fleetwood Top 20 +105 (bet365)

Bet $40 to pay $82

And finally, our biggest bet to date is going on Fleetwood to finish in the top 20. He recently won over in Europe and is looking to finally win on the PGA Tour. We aren’t asking him to win this week; we are just asking him to post a respectable finish.

He’s a strong total driver of the ball, he flushes his irons as well as anyone, and his short game has made huge strides over the last few years. Much like Scott and Day, he tends to play his best on difficult golf courses. He finished T20 here last year, and given his form, I think he improves on that mark this time around.

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