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The Genesis Invitational: Best Bets and Course Info

While hard to follow the WM Phoenix Open’s exciting finish and electric, yet controversial, atmosphere, The Genesis Invitational will be one of the most thrilling events of the season. 70 golfers will tee it up for the 3rd Elevated Event of 2024. Unlike most of the Elevated Events, The Genesis will in fact have a cut. Albeit small, the Top 50 and ties (or within 10 strokes) will play the weekend.

All 6 victors in 2024 have come with pre-tournament odds of 100/1 or longer. Although it’s an incredible run, I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that this streak ends at Riviera. The Riviera Country Club requires absolute precision in every facet of the game, and the cream truly rises to the top. If you take a look at the leaderboards from recent years, you will only find the world’s best at the top. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Riviera so challenging.

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The Course: The Riviera Country Club

The par 71 course will play close to 7,300 yards, although that number feels like an underestimate. Many doglegs and thinning fairways will require a club less than a driver on a lot of tees. And should golfers miss the fairways, the incredibly challenging rough will require longer shots as well. Scrambling will be extremely telling for those who can find success at Riviera.

Approach is important as always, but birdies will not be coming very often. Pars will often be considered a success. Golfers who can limit bogeys will be primed for the top of the leaderboard. To do so, putting must be at an all-time high. Putting is an underrated monster at Riviera, as year after year it proves to be one of the toughest challenges of the year.

Best Bets: The Genesis Invitational

Justin Thomas (+1600)

For the 3rd consecutive week, I am betting on Justin Thomas to win a golf tournament. No, it’s not because I’m lazy. It’s because JT will be a winner on the PGA Tour this season, and I won’t miss out when finally he does it.

You could argue his Tee-to-Green play is even better than Scottie Scheffler right now. He’s averaging gaining over 3 strokes per round in 2024. While his putter has been hit or miss, he’s generally been very solid at Riviera. He’s gained more than a stroke per round putting in 4 of the last 6 years!

I am very happy to see Justin’s odds as high as 16/1. I bet him last week at 10/1. Considering it’s a small field event in which maybe 20 golfers can truly win, these are great odds. Again, it is only a matter of weeks before he wins again, and I can see it happening at The Genesis.

Tony Finau (+3000)

Tony Finau is seemingly trying to mimic Scottie Scheffler’s game. His ball-striking has been about as good as it has ever been. Unfortunately, the putting could not be any worse.

He’s gained strokes putting in just 6 tournaments in the last year. He’s also gained strokes Tee-to-Green in all but 2 of those events. Just like Justin Thomas, he’s found success with the putter at Riviera. He has the exact same splits as JT, gaining on the green in 4 of the last 6 years here. If he can muster this once again, he can certainly compete.

Tony has 2 runner-up finishes at The Genesis Invitational, coming in 2018 and 2021. He’s simply too good on this course to not bet him at 30/1. For a course that demands a dominant, strong player, Tony Finau fits the build perfectly. If he can keep his putter in check, look out…

Si Woo Kim (+5000)

I will not be looking any further than 50/1 this week. I didn’t have this number set in stone, but I truly believe there are only a few guys that can actually win this tournament, and it will not be anyone with super long odds. Si Woo Kim is as low as I will go.

Si Woo is peaking at the right time. In his 5 events in 2024, he has gained strokes Approaching the Green and Off the Tee in all 5. He’s also gained Around the Green in 4 of the 5. His putting has been suspect to start 2024, but that does not worry me too much. It has never been a strong suit of Si Woo. However, he’s been decent putting at Riviera.

His best finish at The Genesis came in 2019, where a solo 3rd was his best finish that year. He gained across the board, including over 7 strokes putting. The following year, he gained over 5. If he can couple this putting success at Riviera with his HOT Tee-to-Green play, Si Woo Kim undoubtedly has a chance to steal this tournament. While it’s not the triple-digit odds we’ve grown accustomed to, I would consider Si Woo Kim an unexpected victor. He’s my longshot pick of the week.

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