The PGA Tour continues this week as we head to Riviera Golf Course in Los Angeles, California for the annual Genesis Open. Tiger Woods will make his 2nd official start of the 2019 PGA Tour season in one of the more star-studded fields we’ve had so far this year.
We take a look at the event and give our betting tips below!
The Riviera Country Club is a 7,322 par 71 will provide a start contrast in challenge to the one that Pebble Beach offered on the weekend. Designed by course architect George C. Thomas Jr in 1926, the Riviera Country Club has hosted three major championships. The US Open in 1948 and the PGA Championship in both 1983 and 1995, the latter of which was won by Australian Steve Elkington.
Riviera is quite a long course and has extremely tricky fairways to hit. Finding the fairways and in particular the right part of the fairway will be key this weekend if players wish to attack the pin, and we will most certainly be targeting players who are strong with the big stick.
As players ready themselves for the all-important Players Championship in March and the Masters in April, the Genesis Open has attracted arguably the most stacked field we have seen in a PGA Tour event so far this season. Tiger Woods will make his first start since the Farmers Insurance Open back in January and just his second official start of the season while some key overseas players will be prepping themselves for a lengthy stint in the states as Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy and John Rahm will also make the start.
The Genesis line-up is set to feature 20 of the top 30 ranked golfers in the world with some of the key names being Dustin Johnson, McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Rahm, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Hideki Matsuyama.
As we mentioned above, we’ll be targeting strong and accurate drivers this weekend for the Genesis Open. The two tests at Riviera are generally finding the fairway and taming the greens. When looking for strong players off the tee, it’s hard to look past Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has been ranked inside the top six on the PGA Tour in shots gained off the tee for the past three seasons in a row and already has an early lead in the stat in 2019. He is consistently in the top few in driving distance and has started 2019 in hot form with a T4 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a T5 at the Farmers Insurance a few weeks ago.
McIlroy finished T20 at the Genesis Open last year and we expect him to be right in the mix once again.
The longest and one of the best drivers on tour so far this season has been Cameron Champ, and he represents our value pick this weekend. He leads the PGA Tour in driving distance at just over 318 yards per drive and while his accuracy leaves a little to be desired, he has been steadily improving in that area over his last few tournaments.
Champ has already played a bunch of golf this season, racking up 10 official events including three top 10’s and one win coming at the Sanderson Farms Championship late last year. Was good at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the weekend, finishing T28 and shooting under par in rounds two, three and four.
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