Genesis Invitational Tips and Preview

Gary Emmerson:

Riviera Country Club plays host to the Genesis Invitational and it is a stellar field set to tee it up in Los Angeles from February 13-16.

Among the field will be new world number one Rory McIlroy, the man he deposed Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods as they all make a return to PGA Tour action this week.

The Genesis Open is one of the few events missing from Woods’ CV and he sits in the top five in the betting to win in Los Angeles. It is McIlroy who has been made favourite ahead of 2017 winner Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and last year’s runner-up Justin Thomas.

One man who loves Riviera like no other is Bubba Watson, a three-time winner of the event in the last six years. He held off Johnson in 2014 and won the title again in 2016 and 2018…and there is every chance that the every other year sequence could continue in 2020.

Watson has played twice on the PGA Tour this year, recording a sixth place finish in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and then finishing third in the Phoenix Open at Scottsdale. He’s in the kind of form that makes him a big danger this week and $23 (bet365) is too big to resist.

At triple-figure odds, one worth an each-way bet is Jason Kokrak, who has missed the cut just once in the last eight Genesis Invitationals including in 2016 when he was runner-up to Watson.

Kokrak seems to bring a solid game to Riviera with 20th and 22nd place finishes in the last three years and at $126 (Sportsbet) he is one who could give us a run for our money. He missed the cut in the Phoenix Open most recently, but has shown himself to be in decent nick when 21st in the Farmers Insurance Open and a return to Riviera can only be a benefit to him given his liking for the course.