THE GENESIS INVITATIONAL

The Riviera Country Club | Feb. 15-21, 2021

The Genesis Invitational continues a longstanding tradition of professional golf in Southern California. Debuting in 1926 at Los Angeles Country Club as the Los Angeles Open, the tournament was staged at various courses throughout the Los Angeles area before permanently settling at The Riviera Country Club in 1973.

Known as the site of Jack Nicklaus’ professional debut, Tiger Woods’ first PGA TOUR tournament and with 25 champions in the World Golf Hall of Fame, the tournament and Riviera have seen many major moments in golf history.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE (USA) 14/1 – £5EW PP 8 PLACES

VICTOR HOVLAND (NOR) 30/1 – £5EW PP 8 PLACES 

CARLOS ORTIZ (MEX) 60/1 – £5EW PP 8 PLACES 

CAMERON SMITH (AUS) 80/1 – £2.50EW PP 8 PLACES 

BRENDON TODD (USA) 125/1 – £2.50EW PP 8 PLACES 

VAUGHN TAYLOR (USA) 200/1 – £2.50EW PP 8 PLACES 

TOURNAMENT RECORDS

18-hole score     61                         G Archer (R3/1983), Ted Tryba (R3/1999)

36-hole score     130                       S Maruyama-M Weir 2004, D Love III 1992

54-hole score     196                       M Weir 2004, DJ 2017, Justin Thomas 2019

72-hole score     264                       Lanny Wadkins (1985)

Largest margin of victory              9             Phil Rodgers (1962)

Best come-from-behind win         8             Ken Venturi (1959)

Playoffs                17                          2015 (J Hahn def. P Casey and D Johnson)

Holes-in-one since 1983 40           Most recent: Bud Cauley (R2/2020)

HOST COURSES

TIMES                  COURSE                                             YEARS

57           The Riviera Country Club              1929–30, 1941, 1945–53, 1973–82,

1984–97, 1999–2020

17           Rancho Park Golf Course               1956–67, 1969–72, 1983

5             Los Angeles Country Club              1926, 1934–36, 1940

4             Wilshire Country Club                     1928, 1931, 1933, 1944

3             Griffith Park (Wilson course)         1937–39

2             Hillcrest Country Club                     1932, 1942

1             Valencia Country Club                     1988

1             Brookside Golf Course                     1968

1             Inglewood Country Club                 1955

1             Fox Hills Country Club                     1954

1             El Caballero Country Club               1927

PAST RESULTS

2009      Phil Mickelson    269        Steve Stricker     270

2010      Steve Stricker     268        Luke Donald        270

2011      Aaron Baddeley 272        Vijay Singh           274

2012      Bill Haas               277      Keegan Bradley  277

                                                           Phil Mickelson    277

2013      John Merrick       273      Charlie Beljan     273

2014      Bubba Watson   269        Dustin Johnson   271

2015      James Hahn        278       Paul Casey           278

                                                            Dustin Johnson   278

2016      Bubba Watson   269        Jason Kokrak      270

                                                            Adam Scott         270

2017      Dustin Johnson   267      Scott Brown        272

                                                           Thomas Pieters  272

2018      Bubba Watson   272       Tony Finau          274

                                                           Kevin Na              274

2019      J.B. Holmes         270      Justin Thomas    271

2020      Adam Scott         273       Scott Brown        275

                                                           Sung Kang           275

                                                           Matt Kuchar        275

PLAYERS SUITED

The greens at Riviera are Poa annua which is common for the west, but the fairways and rough are Kikuyu grass. A tough, dense pasture grass imported from Africa. Kikuyu provides optimal lies on close mown fairways, but is very challenging in the spongy rough. So will be looking for players who have experience playing from Kikuyu grass.

Some very challenging Par fours’ this week, so look for strong stats tee to green and driving distance along with accuracy will be a key factor. Look for players that have an imaginative touch around the greens should go well.

THE RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB

“I shall always remember Riviera not only for the quality of the course,

but for the whole club and the membership.” – Ben Hogan

The Riviera Country Club was founded in 1926 by the members of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Their vision was to build the premier golf course and outdoor facility in Southern California away from the traffic and congestion of Los Angeles. The serene escape they imagined became a reality in 1927 when the golf course opened to critical acclaim. The main clubhouse, built in a Spanish revival style, followed in 1928.

The club called upon George C. Thomas to design a course that would challenge the world’s best. After 18 months and 15 iterations of his design, his masterpiece and crowning achievement opened for play. Thomas’ design has withstood the test of time. The Riviera Country Club is a consistently ranked a top 50 golf course in the world and in the top 25 courses in the United States. True to its founder’s intentions, it welcomes the world’s greatest golfers each year for the Genesis Open and has played host to major events such as the US Open, PGA Championship, US Amateur, US Senior Open, NCAA Championships and will be the golf site of the upcoming 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles.

In 1963 the club’s polo grounds were transformed into what is now the tennis facility. The Riviera Tennis Club features 24 courts and provides tennis programming for all ages and abilities. Boasting one of the largest teaching programs in the United States, The Riviera Tennis Club’s 10 teaching pros and 3 hitters are available exclusively to members and their families.

As the club nears its centennial, it’s as vibrant and extraordinary as it has ever been. In the words of the club’s owner, Mr. Noboru Watanabe, “It is people’s passion that moves reality and brings dreams to life. I will continue to improve the great traditions that have been passed down from my predecessors, and pass them along to the next generation.”

OUR TOP PICKS

CAMERON SMITH (AUS) 80/1

The last time I backed Cameron was at the Masters 2020 he was at 80/1 that week and returned us £85.45 finishing in second place betting £5EW.

I am liking the look of his game right now, I am not taking too much notice from his missed cut at the Farmers. He opened with a solid 69 and then everything went wrong in round two. Which is very unlike him and cannot see him preforming that poorly this week.

The bookies have him a quite a big price this week and the missed cut has a lot to do with that but we like the feel and he seems in great spirits out there in practice and has been making lots of birdies and a few eagles from what he team have seen. He had a top ten finish here in 2018 and feel he is in a much better place this year so should improve on that this week.

VIKTOR HOVLAND (NOR) 30/1

This young Norwegian star has become a world class player over the past couple of years and plenty more to come, he has now moved into the top fifteen in the world rankings and at 23 years of age we have some exciting times ahead. What a player to have on team Europe this year.

He has yet to play around this venue so will be watching him with interest on day one, he should be a horses for courses fit around to be fair. And there are not many players in the field playing as well as Viktor. Winner at the Mayakoba runner up at the Farmers just recently so no reason why this form will not continue into this week.

Off the tee around here is key and he makes nearly one stroke gained per round on the field, also his strokes gained tee to green is very impressive, so he always sets up plenty of birdie chances.

The putter has been cold of late but he putts well on Poa annua greens so could be a turning point for him and us to bag a winner here.

BRENDON TODD (USA) 125/1

We have made a few pounds out of Brendon over the years and feel this week could be the right time to play him for 2021. He has played three events so far in 2021 and made the cut in all three, a good week at the Sentry and also the Waste Management so his game is on.

Now inside the top fifty in the world rankings he seems at home playing on the PGA Tour and should have a couple of wins in him this year.

What we like the look of this week from Top tracer and his range work has been his iron play, it looks as good as it was back in 2019 where he looked like winning every event he played in.

Greens in regulation is always around 70% and his driving accuracy is always good, combine that with one of the best putters in the game right now he has the potential to shoot really low this week.

He has also had a lot of previous around here and came close to winning this back in 2015 so lots of good thoughts to bring into this week.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE (USA) 14/1

It’s hard to believe that Xander has not won since 2018 but what a run he is on right now:

  • Waste Mang – 2ND
  • Farmers – 2ND
  • Sentry – 5TH
  • Masters – 17TH
  • ZOZO – 17TH

He is also such a fan of Fazio designed courses and has played well around Quail Hollow when covering the Wells Fargo.

Strokes gained over all aspects of your game will be needed around here this week. He fair’s pretty well at the top of most of the key stats which should be a course fit for me.

SG Putting 5TH – SG Tee to Green 5TH – SG Off the Tee 21ST – SG Total 2ND

We saw plenty of him at the Waste Management and he said he really looks forward to playing the Genesis and you can see why, he has managed three cuts made one top ten and two top twenties.

I know he is low on the odds market but he should feature a lot this week.

VAUGHN TAYLOR (USA) 200/1

Some players just feel at home when playing certain events, for Vaughn it is here at the Genesis.

He has had plenty of experience around here, over the past six years he has managed 22/20/9/13.

But prone to a missed cut so very temperamental week in week out, but his record here on making the cut is good reading and should be good value. He is coming of a good week at the AT&T closing just outside the top twenty.

What the team did like from his overall game is his going for green hit percentage which is as high as 35%, he has also got a great proximity to hole percentage which is another big plus around here to scoring low.

I feel a small each way bet will do here and might also look at a top twenty bet as well.  

CARLOS ORTIZ (MEX) 60/1

Another player in a great run of form of late, since winning the Houston Open back in November he has been so close to winning again at the Waste Management, and just seems to be so comfortable at any event against any player. So his previous around here is also good reading for us, he has played four times here made the cut in four he has gone 20/26/9/26 so a top ten two years ago.

I feel he will improve on that this year. His strokes gained off the tee is impressive and his around the green is also good reading.

He was nearly two shots better than the average field on the greens at the Waste and this could be the turning point to getting his second win on the board.

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