Hello, friends and degenerates! This week, the PGA Tour continues its West Coast Swing, rolling into Los Angeles and Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Open.
Perhaps more than any event that doesn’t take place at Augusta National, the Genesis Open at Riviera is one of the most predictable tournaments of the year. For some reason, there are a ton of horses for this course… es. Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and, of course, Bubba Watson, just to name a few who routinely populate the leaderboard here.
In fact, reading the recent list of winners here sounds pretty close to George Steinbrenner running down the list of people he’s had to let go for George Costanza — just replace “Billy Martin” with “Bubba Watson.”
So, who will take home the title this week? Here’s a look at your can’t-miss, no-doubt, slam-dunk, mortal locks for the Genesis Open.
Riviera Country Club – Pacific Palisades, California
February 14 – 17, 2019
ODDS to Win:
|Charles Howell III||50/1|
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||60/1|
|Si Woo Kim||80/1|
|Harold Varner III||125/1|
|Field (all others)||14/1|
Dustin Johnson — It seems like anywhere you go the first 10-12 weeks of the PGA Tour season, Dustin Johnson’s name appears as one of the favorites. It stands to reason as DJ seems to do most of his winning early in the campaign. To say Johnson’s resume at Riviera is good is an understatement. With six top-3 finishes — including a win here in 2017 — I’d be taking the action on DJ regardless of the odds. At 8/1, he’s as sure a thing as you’ll find.
Bubba Watson — The number of great betting choices at 20/1 at the Genesis Open are insane, and includes three-time and defending tournament winner Bubba Watson. Any time a guy has won three times at a venue, you have to put him in the “horses for courses” category and at least give him a look. Watson last teed it up at the Waste Management where he finished T-4. Take the good form and good vibes at Riviera and you’ve got a recipe for some more victory tears from Bubba on Sunday.
Tiger Woods — Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up watching Big Cat demolish people routinely without so much as appearing to break a sweat, but I find it next to impossible to NOT to take the action on anything he’s involved in. In my opinion, its a crying shame he’s not in the Hall of Fame. His numbers might be a little skewed based on his time in Colorado but, come on — don’t punish the guy. He still hit 399 homers during the steroid era without… oh, sorry. Wrong Big Cat. I’ll take Tiger at 20/1 and you should, too.
Phil Mickelson — Let’s be honest, going back-to-back on the PGA Tour is tough. I’d imagine going back-to-back on the PGA Tour at age 48 is even tougher. That said, Phil Mickelson has a chance to do just that this week at Riviera and, just like the previously mentioned Big Cat, Lefty is getting 20/1 money. That’s hard to ignore before you consider his incredible track record at Riviera. In his last nine starts here, Mickelson hasn’t missed a cut on the way to collecting two wins and two runner-up finishes. Please, sir, I’d like some more.
Fun Under $5:
Fred Couples — One of these days, a guy like Boom Boom or Bernie Langer are going to show up at a PGA Tour event with their walkers and AARP cards and take the young bucks to the woodshed. At 300/1, my love of Freddie Couples and my desire to see the aforementioned happen far exceeds my desire to hang on to this $5 bill.
There you have it, friends and degenerates. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go find out how I’m going to get on Team Eldrick for next year’s Celebrity Cup. I mean, really — Kid Rock? More juice than Golfstradamus? Is it 1999? I need a better publicist. Err, a publicist.
Until next time, go and choose wisely…