Odds Outlook: Jon Rahm rumbles into Riviera as the favorite at The Genesis Invitational
4 Min Read
Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott
For the 60th time the bright lights of Hollywood will shine on The Riviera Country Club. After a week of celebrations at TPC Scottsdale, golf returns this week to one of its iconic, historical layouts.
The backdrop known as "Hogan's Alley," located just minutes west of Hollywood, will feature its own Walk of Fame. All the stars from the top 30 in the FedExCup standings, plus 19 of the top 20 eligible players in the OWGR, will tee it up this week.
The elevated event features a field of 131 players, including tournament host Tiger Woods as makes his first start of 2023. On the line this week is a prize pool of $20 million, with $3.6 million plus 550 FedExCup points going home with the winner.
This week’s odds are headlined not by the new world No. 1 or the man he replaced, but by the leader of the FedExCup standings. Jon Rahm (+750) ran third last week at TPC Scottsdale to increase his streak of worldwide top-10 finishes to eight. Similarly to his time in Phoenix, Rahm has never missed the weekend at The Riv but has also never cashed better than T5, and he’s the man to beat in a star-studded field according to oddsmakers at BetMGM.
Rory McIlroy (+1000) returned to the States last week and knocked the rust off with T32 at WM Phoenix Open. Another demanding tee-to-green track awaits this week and that should be right up his, ahem, alley. He'll look to add to three top-10 paydays in his last four visits, but like Rahm, he's never hit the podium in Pacific Palisades.
Ah, there he is! World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+1000) picked up his fifth win in the last calendar year, defending his WMPO title last week in Scottsdale. Grinding through his final round Sunday saw him sign for 65, his fourth round in the 60s, en route to a two-shot victory. The win vaulted him back to the top of the OWGR rankings, and he’s alongside McIlroy and behind only Rahm in the odds this week. The Texan cranked out his best Genesis result (T7) last season, playing the week after his first career victory. Now he's playing the week after successfully defending his first title!
Making his ninth stop in Los Angeles, Justin Thomas (+1600) has seen just about every part of the George C. Thomas classic design. In his last five appearances he's hit the top 10 three times and missed the weekend twice. He'll argue after sitting 17-under through 54 holes in 2019 that he should have won.
The Southern California combo of Xander Schauffele (+1600) and Patrick Cantlay (+2500) sit Nos. 55 and 56 on the all-time money list. Both have rattled off five consecutive paydays in their last five visits over the last five years. Both have one top 10 paycheck from those five appearances, each achieved in 2018. Weird! Schauffele cashed T10 last week while Cantlay went home early (MC).
Local Max Homa (+1800) has made The Riviera Country Club his personal ATM. The 2021 champ and Burbank, Calif., native looks to increase his streak of weekends to five and his top-10 bounties to four. Didn't have much trouble on the Poa annua at Torrey Pines in winning three weeks ago!
Closing the deal for Tony Finau (+1800) is no longer an issue after his three wins from July of last season. He's threatened here twice in 2021 (P2) and 2018 (T2) and has cashed in five straight.
The last two winners here have won in their fourth and fifth appearances respectively, so that sets up nicely for Collin Morikawa (+2200). He'll be making his fourth consecutive start and will be looking to improve on his T2 finish from last season.
Sungjae Im (+2500) is making his fourth start as well, but the Korean's T33 last year is his only weekend appearance. Form isn't the issue as he cashed T6 last week and T4 in his previous outing at Torrey Pines on Poa annua.
Australian Adam Scott (+5500) sits No. 1 on the all-time event money list and won this tournament the first time it was designated for invitational status in 2020. He racked up his seventh top-10 finish (T4) in 14 visits last season.
Of course, there’s also the return of a certain 15-time major champion. Tiger Woods (+10000) sits at lofty odds as he makes his first official start since The Open in July, and his first start in a non-major since the 2020 ZOZO Championship. Woods famously made his PGA TOUR debut at this event as a 16-year-old amateur back in 1992, but he has yet to win this tournament in 14 prior attempts. His best results came a quarter century ago, finishing second in 1998 and T-2 in 1999, and he was 68th in 2020 in his last appearance at Riviera.
Other notable odds to consider as the TOUR wraps up its annual West Coast Swing:
+2800: Sam Burns, Viktor Hovland
+3300: Cameron Young
+4000: Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tom Kim, Tyrrell Hatton, Will Zalatoris
+5500: Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
+6600: Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, Si Woo Kim
+8000: Seamus Power, Taylor Montgomery, Wyndham Clark
+9000: Alex Noren, Keith Mitchell
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