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The PGA Tour continues this week with the Genesis Invitational in Southern California. Paddy Power Golf Trader Iain McLaughlin is on hand to deliver his picks for the tournament, which we’re paying eight places for.
The first player I fancy is Marc Leishman. He started 2021 really strongly and was good for the Sony Open and followed it up with an 18th-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. He should be suited to the test the Riviera poses this week. Since the start of the year he’s impressed. He ranks high in all the key stats. He ranks third in stroke approach and he ranks well in proximity to the hole.
Those metrics are predominant at Riviera in the 150-200 yard markers. Over 70 per cent of shots at Riviera are within that distance. That will bode well for him in this tournament. Leishman should also be able to display his strong medium-long iron play at Riviera – and he’s coming into the tournament in fine form.
He has two top-five finishes in his last five appearances and he’s a big price heading in. He can outplay his odds this week.
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My second pick for the Genesis Invitational is Will Zalatoris. He’s an ever-improving player and his upside looks really strong. Zalatoris has just broken into the top 50 in the world rankings which is a really impressive feat for a player who has just got onto the PGA Tour. He also secured a top-10 finish at the US Open, which was very impressive.
He impressed recently at the Farmers Insurance Open, finishing seventh. Zalatoris also had a good run at the Phoenix Open, where he finished 17th. Those two courses have similarities to the Riviera, which will bode well for him ahead of the tournament. He finished 57th last week at Pebble Beach but I’m willing to forgive that because it’s more of a wedge-play course.
Riviera will suit his style. Much like Leishman, he has a really good medium-long iron game. He ranks really well in all the key stats needed to contend. He can continue to show his tremendous upside here.
(Paddy Power are paying eight places)
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