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Sleeper Picks: The Genesis Invitational

4 Min Read

Sleeper Picks


    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    NOTE: Sleeper Picks did not appear in Rob’s Power Rankings, but each presents value for the bet specified.


    Adam Svensson (+15000) … Obviously, there’s no point in spending any time on favorites to prevail. At +8000 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am pre-tournament at BetMGM, Wyndham Clark is the shortest champion of the first six tournaments in 2024. So, let’s continue to swim in the deep end. In his debut at The Riviera Country Club here last year, Svensson tied for ninth despite having far from his best ball-striking, which is his default strength. Instead, the putter cleaned up dutifully, and it didn’t hurt that he led the field with five hole-outs from off the greens. It was his first top 10 since his breakthrough victory the previous fall at The RSM Classic, and he’s connected for one more since (T7, Wyndham Championship), but when a guy clicks instantly with a classic track despite not having his A-game, that portends more is on the way. And lest it be ignored the unique inspiration that he’s among the Canadians in the field gunning for victory in consecutive tournaments (Nick Taylor, WM Phoenix Open).

    TOP 5

    Will Zalatoris (+650) … Sleeper always is an extremely relative term in a small field like this one with only 70 entrants, but the expectation for him to hit for this now has merit. He finished fourth here last year with a field-low 64 in the finale but later he’d have a microdiscectomy and sit almost a full eight months. Since the rust-shedding return at the Hero World Challenge in December, he’s regained some consistency with eight red numbers in his last nine rounds where he finished T13 at the Farmers Insurance Open. But perhaps most important is comfort level on Poa annua putting surfaces. Prior to last year’s close call at Riviera, he finished T15 in 2021 and T26 in 2022. His power and precision tee to green sets the stage

    Will Zalatoris holes 25-footer for third straight birdie at Genesis

    TOP 10

    Hideki Matsuyama (+400) … Another “Sleeper” but only because of the value for the finish. Granted, he hasn’t had a top 10 on the PGA TOUR since, sigh, THE PLAYERS Championship just inside 12 months ago, but he’s been one or two shots too many on several occasions in the interim, so you can’t call it a slump. What’s more, he has three top 10s and a T11 at Riviera among his last five paydays (dating back to 2015), so he’s proven how well his tee-to-green prowess fits the test when he’s feelin’ it. Arrives having cashed in seven consecutive starts worldwide with top 25s in two of his last three. He can’t be any closer to ending his top-10 drought.

    TOP 20

    Matt Kuchar (+350) … Since 2020, there have been six golfers with multiple top 10s at The Genesis Invitational. He’s one of them. The other five are in the Power Rankings, so I’m retreating into this finish because of its attractive value. He’s the elder statesman of the sextet and Riviera rewards patience and wisdom. It also rewards his skill set while not penalizing him off the tee. It accentuates his accuracy. En route to a solo eighth last year, which was his third top 10 in the last eight editions, he slotted inside the top 10 in all Strokes Gained measurements from tee to green. While he surrendered shots with the putter, Riviera’s surfaces are equalizers and can make the best putters seem unprepared.

    TOP 30

    Nick Dunlap (+225) … First of all, BetMGM did us a solid by opening this market. If there’s a compromise for omitting the usual board for top 40s in a field of only 70, albeit with a 36-hole cut, this is it. And darn near the bottom of it is the most recent first-time winner on the PGA TOUR. He’s grouped with and around more familiar talent for whom longer odds are predictable, but there’s value in his mystery. I’m taking the macro viewpoint. He’s way too good to stay this long as time goes by and I’m not at all deterred by his last-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He was going through massive changes personally. Even though he forced it with his breakthrough victory as an amateur at The American Express, it’s still a disruption to what was his norm. Capitalize on this kickback to piggyback the perception of doubt.

    What's in PGA TOUR rookie Nick Dunlap's bag?

    Odds were sourced at BetMGM.

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    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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