TIPS RE-CAP 

  • BUBBA WATSON (USA) 22/1 – BET £5 EW – SKYBET 8 PLACES – 25/1 EXCH 
  • ALEX NOREN (SWE) 100/1 – BET £5 EW – SKYBET 8 PLACES – 156/1 EXCH  
  • KEVIN NA (USA) 66/1 – BET £5 EW – VAROIUS AT 66/1 – 107/1 EXCH  
  • MARC LEISHMAN (AUS) 40/1 – BET £5 EW – CORAL 7 PLACES – 60/1 EXCH 
  • LANTO GRIFFIN (USA) 150/1 – BET £5 EW – SKYBET 8 PLACES – 185/1 EXCH 
  • AARON BADDELEY (AUS) 300/1 – BET £2.5 EW BETFRED 7 PLACES – 362/1 EXCH  
  • AARON BADDELEY (AUS) 10/1 – TOP 20 BET £5 

Riviera CC, Pacfic Palisades, CA, Feb 13th – 16th 2020 

The world’s best head to The Riviera Country Club this week for the 2020 Genesis Open. 

Annually considered among the best fields in golf, the Genesis Open attracts the world’s best golfers. 

The Course 

The course is a par 71, at a length of 7,013 yards from the back tees which is lengthened to 7,322 yards for Tour play.

The course record for competitive play is 61, ten under par, shot by Ted Tryba in 1999 in the third round of the Nissan Open, and included a bogey on 18. Tryba was the runner-up that year to Ernie Els. The course record for the lowest nine holes is 28 shot by Andrew Magee in the opening round in 1991.

The Par three sixth hole is the famous green with a bunker placed bang in the middle, normally throws up some challenging shot choices early on in your round if you find yourself on the wrong side. I would say the back nine is the easier of the two nines but still a challenge.

Riviera’s 10th hole is often described as the best short par 4 on the planet, with architect George C. Thomas giving the PGA Tour stars at the Genesis Open a variety of options on the 315-yard gem. Players can lay up short of the cross bunkers with a mid-iron, but that leaves a tricky short iron into a green that slopes hard from right to left. Going for the green isn’t necessarily easier, with only a small flat area to land and many shots funnelling to a collection area left of the green. It’s the definition of an exciting risk-reward hole: anything from eagle to double bogey is in play here.

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.

Past Results 

  • 2019   JB Holmes 150/1
  • 2018  Bubba Watson 50/1 
  • 2017  Dustin Johnson 9/1 
  • 2016  Bubba Watson 25/1 
  • 2015  James Hahn 200/1 
  • 2014  Bubba Watson 33/1 
  • 2013  John Merrick 250/1 
  • 2012  Bill Haas 50/1       

Mike’s Picks

BUBBA WATSON (USA) 22/1 

I think this is a no brainer bet here this week, as you know I tipped him at the Waste Management when he was 30/1, I can understand the drop in odds. His record here speaks volumes: 

  • 2019 – 15th  
  • 2018 – Winner  
  • 2017 – WD 
  • 2016 – Winner  
  • 2015 – 14th  
  • 2014 – Winner 

Out of the players that are lower than him this week I feel he is in the better form coming in and if he follows the trends 2020 should be another win here :o). Strokes gained off the tee is a big plus for me here this week, he sits inside the top ten on the PGA.  

The putter seems switched on as well lately, with his total putting stat is the best of any of the top ten in the field this week only Jon Rahm is close to him.       

Another key trend to look at this week which has factored in a few of the past winners here, it’s the streaks players have. What I like: 

  • Streak without a 3-Putt – 118 
  • Consecutive Birdies/Eagles Streak – 16th PGA Tour 

I know he is a low odd’s pick but he is too good to miss here.  

ALEX NOREN (SWE) 100/1 

This is one of our best calls I believe for a while. The bookies have missed a trick here and at this price we are all over Alex.  

Ryder Cup year and he will be gunning for a space on the Yellow and Blue team for sure.    

He has played here once before in 2018 and managed a sixteenth-place finish. That for me is the key factor when the team said how good he has been swinging it on Monday out on practice. 

With his main focus this season playing on the PGA Tour it has only helped him. Fifteenth in Bermuda followed that with a top ten at the RSM Classic. Last month at the America Express was another good performance tied fourteenth. Last week he started well with rounds of 69/67 only to tale off over the weekend with two poor 74/74 to close an ok week.  

He is due another good week and is a player who when he is against the best in the world seems to up his game and enjoy the challenge.    

What with this being the only event this week I am going to stay with £5 each way bet here, if he starts well, we could also see some very good cash out values over the weekend.   

KEVIN NA (USA) 66/1 

Talk about a player and course fit here at the Riviera. Kevin loves this place and has been knocking on the door for the win here in 2017 and 2018. 

I tipped him once already this year at the America Express where he was at the same price and finished in 17th place. I just feel this week feels a better value bet with him. 

Remember I said that streaks this week seem to always feature, Kevin is one of those can be the worst stats player one week then come out on top the following week and win.  For a good example of this take his season so far. 

14th at the Greenbrier, follows that with a missed cut at the Safeway. Wins the following week at the Shriners, top twenty at the CJ Cup. 17th place at the American Express, another missed cut at the Waste Management. Then follows that with a great week last week at the AT&T tied in 14th.  

Key trends that make him stand out here for me are his ability to scramble well at 68.25% and his Strokes gained putting, where he sits inside the top ten on the PGA.  

Could be a hot/cold bet here, but will still be sticking with a £5 each way bet.

MARC LEISHMAN (AUS) 40/1

Marc comes into this week well rested after his last outing where he won the Farmers Insurance Open. I like this because he looks so much more relaxed out there, and full of confidence and why not.  

He has a very mix bag at this event, if you take his last five appearances, he has managed three missed cuts along with a 5th and a 4th place finish.      

He is only this low in the market because of the that win, he would normally be coming in around the 60’s or higher.    

What stands out for me with Marc this week is the fact he has been here many days more than the rest of the field who played at the AT&T. His tee to green looks sharper than ever along with his approach to green could be one hell of a combo this week.  

The putter is not always his best friend but we did see him tinkering with a few bits of kit on Sunday/Monday, he seemed to be focusing a lot of work from 5 to 15 feet, which for me is where he needs to improve so if that translates to the course it could be a birdie feast.  

Again going £5 each way here.   

LANTO GRIFFIN (USA) 150/1 

Very happy to see Lanto this big in the market. So, no real past experience around here for him, does that bother me? No not really   

He has proved to himself that he can bounce back from some of his worst golf ever at the Farmers and the Waste Management, and turn his game around in a matter of weeks shows what sort of player he really is. 

To play as well as he did last week at some tough courses at Pebble shows real character.      

I feel he could be close to going on another one if those great runs, and playing a course he has no real fears over should be just the tonic to come out firing early on Thursday.  

Smaller wager here £3 each way. 

AARON BADDELEY (AUS) 300/1 + TOP 20 BET 10/1  

Few of us have known Aaron a very long time in camp GBT. Seasoned campaigner for many years.   

He is coming of his best finish so far on the PGA this season, with a top twenty-five last week. Not much to write home about but I like his experience he has had here.  

He won the event back in 2011, he has also had eight top thirty’s finishes here spanning as far back as 2003.   

His short game is still mustard and always been a great putter, he has of course lost distance over the years but that scrambling and short game he has good be a winner here this week. 

At this price going to bet £2.50 each way, I also like a top 20 bet here you can get 10/1 with BetVictor taken on the 11/2/2020.  

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