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The Genesis Invitational Betting Tips: 5 against a strong field at Riviera Country Club

Genesis Invitational Tips: Jordan Spieth features.
Genesis Invitational Tips: Jordan Spieth features.

Genesis Invitational Odds (selected)

  • PROB
Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Justin Thomas
Xander Schauffele
Collin Morikawa
Patrick Cantlay
Viktor Hovland
Jordan Spieth
Im Sung-jae
Sam Burns
Hideki Matsuyama
Si Woo Kim
Adam Hadwin
Each Way Terms
Odds correct as of 2023-03-20 21:14 Odds subject to change.

In form golf tipster Jamie Worsley returns this week hot off the back of successive winners across both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to preview the Genesis Invitational getting under way this week at the renowned Riviera Country Club....

With multiple holes-in-one and eagles aplenty, the noisiest of PGA Tour events concluded yesterday evening. Though it was Texan, Scottie Scheffler who made the most noise of all at the Phoenix Open, showing guts to overcome Patrick Cantlay in a play-off after initially missing a glorious chance for his first PGA Tour title in regulation play, landing us a 28/1 winner in the process.

Genesis Invitational Tips

This week the tour completes its West Coast swing as we head to Riviera Country Club for The Genesis Invitational. This will be the 58th time Riviera has hosted the event, which has its roots in the 1920s. Having played sole host to the event and it’s various other iterations since 1973, barring ’83 and ’98.

Riviera Country Club is simply one of the most highly regarded courses on the planet. The George C. Thomas design is a classic tree-lined par 71, measuring 7322 yards and stacked full of brilliant golf holes. 

Starting with the 505 yard par 5 opening hole, in which the players tee off from a highly elevated position, this short par 5 gives them the ideal chance to get their rounds off to a fast start. A few holes later we arrive at the quirky par 3 6th hole, where players will be faced with the unusual prospect of navigating a green with a bunker right in the middle of it.

Onto the back 9 and the drivable par 4 10th hole, one of, if not the most famous hole on the course. It’s innocuous in distance but not in difficulty, possessing one of the smallest greens on the course and completely bordered by bunkering from which you’re not guaranteed to get up and down in three, let alone in two to make your birdie. 

The course finishes with a trio of fantastic holes. The simple but difficult par 3 16th has the smallest green on the course, testing players in contention to produce an iron shot with the required precision when under pressure. It’s followed by the par 5 17th, in no way a guaranteed birdie. With a corridor strewed with bunkers awaiting even the slightest of errant tee-shot. 

We finish with the excellent par 4 18th hole, which requires players to hit a blind tee shot to an uneven fairway and then an approach into a large, heavily sloped green. All ensuring that we have a golf tournament still up for grabs entering the closing holes, such is the amount that can happen over them.

Fairways are tight, guarded by an abundance of strategically placed bunkers and snatchy kikuya rough. While the slick poa-annua greens are predominantly large and undulating, abound with false fronts and run-off areas waiting to repel inaccurate approach shots. With more of that clever bunkering offering further trouble.

No two holes are the same and there’s a theme around the course in which the next hole heavily contrasts the previous one. Requiring players to hit various types of shot in quick succession and keeping them continually on their toes.

With that it’s no surprise to see Riviera Country Club is, pound-for-pound, the most difficult regular season course on the current schedule from a ball-striking point of view. Ranking 2nd to only the Valspar Championship’s Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Golf Club in terms of difficulty in finding greens over the last six years, whilst also ranking as the 3rd toughest course to finding fairways.

This makes for one of the toughest tests on the tour, which is well reflected in the scoring. Only once has the winning score bettered -15 in the last ten years, when Dustin Johnson lapped the field by 5 shots in 2017, shooting -17. Possessing an average winning score of -12 over those last ten renewals. 

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing you have to do well here, as you pretty much have to do everything well. You may be an excellent ball-striker but with a course that averages just over 50% in greens hit over the last six years and around 57% for fairways hit, your short game and ability to scramble around the slick surfaces is going to be called into question at some point regardless.

Whilst past winners often do everything at least adequately, they have excelled in different areas. Max Homa last year was excellent across the board but particularly good off-the-tee and on the greens, something which was very much the case for DJ in 2017. Whilst Adam Scott and Bubba Watson in 2020 and 2018 respectively produced all round quality tee-to-green and putted solidly. JB Holmes very much reliant on a superb putting week and quality iron play in 2019.

Having said all that, one common theme amongst all players was their simple ability to hit the greens, with none of those past five winners ranking lower than 7th in greens-in-regulation. On a tough, old fashioned golf course it may be a week where it pays to play close attention to this simple, old fashioned statistic. 


The course is situated not far from the Pacific coastline, which often brings wind into the conversation, very much the case in last year’s installment early on. Though as of now, there is nothing but a mild breeze predicted throughout the four days. This, as always is subject to change. 


Such a course often attracts a stellar field and this year it’s no exception, with the entirety of the world’s top ten teeing it up this week in Pacific Palisades. This now includes last week’s victor, Scottie Scheffler who has risen to #9 in the world as a result of that win. Also notable is Thomas Pieters, who’s been in excellent form on the DPWT and not only finished 2nd in this event in 2017 but also won the NCAA Championship here as an amateur back in 2012. It will be interesting to see the talented Belgian back amongst the big boys with his newly returned confidence. 


Jon Rahm heads the market at 9/1, followed by Patrick Cantlay at 12s. Rahm is continuing to put up quality finishes despite not having his best game, any negative is enough to put me off at such a short price and he’s not a player I’d feel like I’d missed out on should he win. Cantlay was under consideration, he’s in excellent form and has a solid record here but he’s failed to put away a couple of chances so far this year and has had difficulties on these greens before, meaning the 12/1 was easy enough to ignore.

In truth I found enough question marks about all those under 20/1. Justin Thomas has shown some improvements with the putter of late but not enough to tempt me into him here and though possessing a strong record in the event, it’s over 12 months since Dustin Johnson won. At 16/1, if he was to put that right this week it will have to be without my money on him. 

Of those at the front it’s actually last week’s victor, Scottie Scheffler who made the most appeal. A good record here in three visits and clearly in great nick but it would be such a huge ask for him to follow up that victory with another this week in such an esteemed field. 

Instead I start a little further down the betting with Jordan Spieth, who I’m hoping can bounce back from the late faltering performance at Pebble Beach and a poor week on and around the greens in Phoenix to pick up a victory here at Riviera.

Golf odds
Jordan Spieth each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2022-02-14 19:35 Odds subject to change.

Jordan started 2022 lacking a little bit of spark but finally came to life at Pebble Beach two starts ago. He for all the world looked like the winner with a few holes to play but partly down to his own failing, and partly due to the brilliance of Tom Hoge, failed to get it over the line, finishing +1 for his final five holes. Though there was still plenty of promise in terms of the shape his game looked to be in, as he gained strokes in every area across the two rounds played at Pebble Beach. 

He’ll no doubt be disappointed not to carry on that form into last week, where he finished 60th in Phoenix. Though his ball-striking was again in good shape over the two rounds before the week-long struggles with his short-game finally caught up with him.

His record in this event is strong, with a best of 4th in 2015. Possessing four other top 25s and has just two missed cuts in nine visits. He manages to drive the course solidly, despite his inaccuracies and the short game fires here more often than not. 

Further to a strong record here, he’s a past winner at the Valspar, which as mentioned above is the only event tougher to hit greens at than the Genesis. Which is sure to be a positive. Just looking at the leaderboards from both events last year, we find Max Homa, Sam Burns and Viktor Hovland finishing no worse than 6th in either event. Strengthening the belief that the courses correlate nicely with one another. 

In addition to that are two 12th place finishes at the St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind, another course where greens and fairways are tough to find and rather interestingly I thought Firestone CC, that hosted the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational until 2018 could offer further clues. It regularly ranked as one of the toughest courses on tour tee-to-green during its tenure and Spieth finished 3rd there in 2016, with finishes of 10th and 13th either side of that.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Spieth for differing reasons but I’m counting on him to put things right this week. He not only has the game but the mentality for this type of test. If he can tighten up around the greens and produce the type of short-game performance he’s famed for, there’s no doubt he can add a win to an already strong record at the course. 

Sungjae Im each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2022-02-14 19:40 Odds subject to change.

Sungjae Im has been in excellent form since the back end of last year. Carrying that form into this new season, where he’s finished top 11 in three of his four starts, he can make up for his disappointing final round at Torrey Pines and redeem himself here at Riviera.

The most recent of those quality performances was his previous start in the Farmers Insurance Open, when finishing 6th. There, almost every part of his game was in good shape and if it wasn’t for an off week with his irons, he’s sure to have gone very close.

That all round quality from Im isn’t a new development as he’s been playing well in every aspect since the end of last year. Excelling with his short-game, ranking 1st in scrambling and 3rd around-the-greens this season. 

In addition to that, he’s been excellent off-the-tee, where he ranks 7th for the season and 21st in driving accuracy will be hugely important in avoiding the danger that awaits aside the fairways this week. 11th for greens-in-regulation rounding up to a compelling case as to the form he’s in with his ball-striking. 

The putter is a little in and out, but he was excellent on-the-greens at Torrey Pines last time out, ranking 7th in the field and though he’s missed the cut on his two previous visits here, he putt well on the 2nd of those missed cuts in 2020. Generally possessing a good record at putting poa annua.

Despite two missed cuts at Riviera, he’s another with form at the Valspar, finishing 4th there in 2019, which strengthens my belief he has the game to go well here. The same can be said about his victory in the Honda Classic, though not as tough a driving course as Riviera, there’s a big premium on finding the greens. 

Sungjae is in fine form and I’m hoping with a few weeks off since that 6th place finish at the Farmers, he’s feeling fresh. I believe that despite his underwhelming record here, he has the game to tackle everything Riviera can throw at him.

Golf betting tips
Sam Burns each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2022-02-14 19:40 Odds subject to change.

I mentioned being tempted by Scheffler again, though it’s another of last week’s quartet, who missed the cut, that makes this week’s selections. That man is last year’s 3rd place finisher at Riviera, Sam Burns and I’m taking him to kickstart his 2022 back here this year. 

I think that performance here last year was a bit of a breakthrough moment for Burns. Always a big talent, he’d threatened without truly contending, something that he put right, though ultimately ending in disappointment. 

However, just five starts later he did go on to pick up his first PGA Tour title in impressive fashion, with a three-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley at the Valspar Championship. Going on to add another title to that in 2021, when he won the Sanderson Farms Championship at the back end of the year.

He’d have learnt something in the disappointment of that 3rd place finish which played a huge part in him getting the job done the next time he had a chance.

He was in fine form at the end of last year, following the win at Jackson Country Club with five top 20s in his next five starts, three of them top 10s. However, he’s not quite got going yet in 2022. 

Burns followed an underwhelming 19th place finish in the Tournament of Champions by missing the cut at the Farmers three weeks ago, thanks to an unusually poor approach performance and missed the cut again last week in Phoenix. Though in those two missed cuts he has shown quality in every area of his game.

He’d clearly put the issues with his irons right last week as he gained strokes for both of his two rounds in approach. A rare, poor round on the greens during round two ultimately leading to his missed cut. And going back to the Farmers, he drove it well in his one round on the tough driving South Course.

That win at the Valspar not in isolation as correlating form, as, like Spieth, he’s also gone well at TPC Southwind in the St Jude Invitational. Finishing 2nd to Abraham Ancer there last year, losing out in a playoff.

With his game in better form than the bare results suggest, I think Burns bounces back from those two missed cuts in style and shows everybody why he was being talked about as a real major prospect heading into this year.

Siwoo Kim each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2022-02-14 19:45 Odds subject to change.

Korea’s Siwoo Kim was showing plenty of form towards the end of 2021 and is continuing to bubble in this early part of 2022. With a 3rd place finish here in 2019 showing he has the ability to handle the course he looks a good price to go well again here this year.

That strong start to Siwoo’s year has seen him make every cut and finish inside the top 26 in four of his five starts. A pair of 11th place finishes at the American Express and Farmers Insurance Open representing the best of those.

All parts of his game have been firing, though the iron play less so than the rest. He’s been excellent off the tee, currently ranking 21st on tour this season and has been hitting a bunch of fairways. With his short game firing more often than not. 

He started life in this event missing three cuts on the bounce but rectified that in 2019 with a superb 3rd place finish, where his brilliance on and around the greens was once again on show. Since then, he’s finished 37th and recorded a MC in his next two starts but what is noticeable throughout all of the times he’s teed it up at Riviera is his ability on and around these greens. 

If he can keep up the quality driving he’s shown this year and find a little bit with his irons he looks a danger this week. Proving with a victory at the Players Championship in 2017 that he’s not afraid of taking down a strong field.

Adam Hadwin each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2022-02-14 19:45 Odds subject to change.

Back on the theme of form at the Valspar and Canada’s Adam Hadwin is another who has tasted victory at Copperhead, when winning in 2017. Also possessing a solid record here at Riviera, I’m taking Hadwin to capitalize on the strong start he’s made to this year and go close to picking up his first title since that very win in Florida five years ago.

This accurate hitter was involved in that bunched leaderboard heading into last week’s final round in Arizona. Starting it three off the lead before a final round of +3 dropped him down to 26th. That result a part of him kicking off the year looking in good form, recording two top 25s in three of his other starts in 2022.

All of his game has fired at some point, besides a couple of off weeks on the greens a Pebble Beach and in the Farmers Insurance. Tee-to-green he’s looked strong and he’s the sort of steady, accurate type who can so often go well around here, with Matt Kuchar and Scott Brown runners-up over recent years. Ranking 32nd in driving accuracy and 33rd in greens-in-regulation.

Saying he has a merely solid record here probably does him a disservice. He hasn’t missed a cut in seven visits to Riviera. 6th in 2018 his best finish but has finished no worse than 34th in five of his other six appearances. He putts these greens well, gaining strokes in five of those seven appearances, also showing quality around the greens and in finding these fairways.

Not only a good record here and a winner of the Valspar but he’s also recorded a top 5 at Firestone in the Bridgestone Invitational in 2017. Further encouragement found in a 16th place finish at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship in 2018, another course that correlates hugely with Riviera, and another course where it’s tough to find those fairways and greens.

He’ll need to step up on previous performances but he’s been showing good form for a while now. I’m going to take this straight, steady type to use his quality short-game and achieve his best finish at this course yet. Adding to an already great record.

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