PGA Tour Tournament Preview: Genesis Invitational

PGA Genesis Invitational

One of the PGA’s most entertaining tournaments returns this week. The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club features some crazy holes that are worth tuning in for. One of these being hole six with its famed bunker in the green. Defending champion Max Homa and the field take on this challenging course, and our staff makes their picks as to who will come out the champion.

Mike QuinteroChris Gallagher, and Charlie Parent contributed to this article. 

Mike’s Picks

Favorite: Max Homa

The 2021 Genesis Invitational winner is looking to return to form at Riviera this weekend. Tracking a familiar course, Homa is in position to become a repeat champion at the event. Carding a 19-under at the Fortinet Championship in September, he is eager to find the win column again. By the end of the week, look for the 31-year-old to push his way back into a top-10 finish. The California native should impress in front of a home crowd this week.

Favorite: Cameron Smith

The young Aussie has intent to make a statement this week. His last win came in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January where he led the field through three rounds. While an underdog pick in many tournaments, Smith is perfecting his craft and making the Top 10s of the golfing world check their rear view. Sitting at No. 11 in the OWGR leaderboard, the 2020 Sony Open winner will look to make a push.

Sleeper Sahith Theegala

Following a monster week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Theegala is gaining momentum. While the young 24-year-old is new to the spotlight, it has suited him well. After posting a 15-under for the tournament, Theegala left Phoenix $434,600 richer. Expect the Chino Hills native to show out in front of a home crowd at Riviera.

Chris’ Picks

Favorite: Colin Morikawa

Morikawa will play in his first PGA Tour event since he placed fifth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The 25-year-old was taking part in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. With three top 10 finishes in his last three starts, look for Morikawa to score well at Riviera this weekend. In the conversation to be the best iron player in the world, he is currently gaining 1.4 strokes from tee to green while hitting nearly 80 percent of the greens in regulation. He is also one of the most accurate players off the tee in the field. The 2021 Open Champion is also hitting over 71 percent of the fairways with his driver.  

Favorite: Dustin Johnson

Johnson is starting to return to form after a lackluster 2021. The current sixth-ranked player in the world finished in a tie for eighth at the Saudi International in his final event on the European Tour. He has a proven track record at Riviera over the course of his 13 years. The native of South Carolina captured the victory at this event in 2017 while finishing as a runner-up twice. He has also finished in the top 16 or better seven other times. One of the longest hitters off the tee in the field, Johnson is averaging more than 316 yards per drive. However, the key for the 37-year-old will be with his putter. Struggling on the greens all season long, he is just 146th on tour in strokes gained, putting at minus-0.131 per round.   

Sleeper: Matthew Fitzpatrick

Still searching for his first win on the PGA Tour, Fitzpatrick has started off his 2022 season strong. The 27-year-old finished sixth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He also shot 67 on Saturday and Sunday at the Waste Management Open a week ago to finish in 10th place. Possessing the short game to navigate the challenging course layout of Riviera, the England native is 20th on tour in strokes gained putting. Furthermore, he is also 75th in scrambling percentage. A fifth-place finisher at the Genesis Open a year ago, he made one eagle and 17 birdies while playing an all-around game. Currently listed at +4000 to capture the victory, Fitzpatrick offers tremendous value as a player who will eventually break through.

Charlie’s Picks

Favorite: Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay is a seriously hot pick this week, and for good reason. He came in second in that playoff with Scottie Scheffler last week at the Waste Management Open, and looked for a good minute like he’d win the tournament. He is playing the best golf of his life right now, probably the best golf of almost anyone in the field as well. In a course that suits him, Cantlay is sure to make a run.

Favorite: Collin Morikawa

This one almost makes too much sense. We know Morikawa is one of the most accurate players in the world, which is the key to conquering Riviera. He’s also currently the second-ranked player in the world and has obviously gotten it done on every stage at just 25 years old. If Morikawa can get the putter going, he has a huge chance at winning this tournament.

Sleeper: Abraham Ancer

It seems Ancer is always at the top of the pack for driving accuracy and here he is again this season. Leading this category always makes him a threat, though lately he’s not been playing his best golf. One of these weeks everything will have to come together and Ancer will begin to capitalize off his tee shots to shoot low, perhaps he even does so enough to win it here.

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Embed from Getty Images

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