Golf Tips: A bagful of best bets for this week’s Genesis Invitational

Ben Coley from Sporting Life returns with some more prize punts.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

After picking Scottie Scheffler last week, I’m hoping we can go back to back. It’s the best tournament of the year, this, and I do think the winner will come from the top 10 or 11 in the world. My two selections to win outright are two who have slipped off the radar a little bit of late.

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Outright picks

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson won this by a five of shots in 2017, he’s been 2nd a couple of times. When he was 2nd the first time Bubba Watson beat him with a pair of weekend 64s, he was very unlucky not to win, and he lost a playoff in the other one. He absolutely loves the Riviera Course.

Without question this is the No.1 course for him on the PGA Tour. While he has been a little but quiet he went 5-0-0 and unbeaten at the Ryder Cup. He started this season very encouragingly. Everything’s coming together and I expect him to go close.

Collin Morikawa

As far as Collin Morikawa is concerned he’s the hometown hero here, he’s from LA. He says he loves the course and although he’s finished down the field the last couple of years he’s putted so badly. Last year he was experimenting with a new putter and it did not go to plan.

He actually won the next week when he fixed that and that’s Morikawa for you. He solves problems very, very quickly. I think he’ll figure this course out. It’s perfect for his iron play. Those two have loads of form in California and I think they’ll be right up there on Sunday.

Each-way plays

Joaquin Niemann

I think we’ll see a classy winner but that doesn’t mean we can’t find one at a bit of a price and Joaquin Niemann certainly fits the bill. He’s only 23 and has just the one PGA Tour win so far. I think there’s a lot more to come from the former World No.1 Amateur.

He’s best on tough golf courses. When Jon Rahm beat Dustin Johnson in the BMW Championship in 2020, Joaquin Niemann was 3rd. This is a very similar test and if you go back to last year’s edition he was 2nd at half way. He had a bad weekend but his preparation’s better this time. He’s in good form and is a quality driver, all the things you need at Riviera.

Marc Leishman

I’ll stick with Marc Leishman, I’ve given him a couple of chances recently but his confidence is definitely back. He’s not missed a cut since The Open last July and when you consider he’d missed seven in the previous 12 months, to have gone from July to February without missing one tells you he’s transformed his game.

We know he loves courses like this, he’s won up the road at Torrey Pines. He’s got a couple of top-six finishes here and I think a top eight is well within his compass. He’s got the bit between his teeth now.

Top Englishman

Matthew Fitzpatrick

There’s only four Englishmen and I’ll take Matt Fitzpatrick. Matt Wallace is in really bad form, Aaron Rai still has to prove himself in this type of company and Paul Casey’s got a new caddy this week.

When you put all that together with the fact that Fitzpatrick has started the year with two top 10s, both of them here in California, I think everything is in Matt Fitzpatrick’s favour.

First round leader

Jhonattan Vegas

Obviously this is the most volatile market you can get in golf but you get big-price winners all the time so we’ll have a go. I’ve got two South Americans up my sleeve and the first is Jhonattan Vegas from Venezuela.

Vegas has got a 50% striker rate in terms of being in the top 10 after day one over the last year. It’s a remarkable record, he just keeps starting well. Funnily enough the last time we saw him in Saudi Arabia he was the best golfer over the weekend so he’s playing really, really well now.

Sebastian Munoz

As far as Sebastian Munoz goes, he’s a really streaky player. He birdied five of the last six holes on Sunday at Phoenix just to underline that point. He’s got six first-round leads in his PGA Tour career. He’s only played just over 100 events.

When you consider you’re going to be getting a big price here, already you can see there’s a bit of mileage in following him. we’ll need 66/65 here and he’s got it within him on a good day.

Top 20 finish

Cameron Tringale

It’s been a great event, this one, for locals. California’s James Hahn won it at a massive price, John Merrick, when he was a shock winner, he was a massive price. Phil Mickelson’s won here a couple of times. Cameron Tringale’s not yet reached those heights.

He’s played 300-odd Tour events and is yet to win. But what he is, is absolutely rock solid and in the form of his life. He’s at a career-best world ranking and is playing well most weeks. He’s got three top 10s in his last six starts and this is his favourite tournament and course on the PGA Tour.

He’s made nine cuts in 10, he’s got six top 30s, a couple of top 20s, but he’s never been in this kind of form. He’s much simply a better golfer now than he has been before. I don’t think he’ll win this tournament but I do think he can sneak into the top 20.

Genesis Invitational tips

Outright picks
Collin Morikawa
Dustin Johnson

Each-way plays
Joaquin Niemann
Marc Leishman

Top Englishman
Matthew Fitzpatrick

First round leader
Jhonattan Vegas
Sebastian Munoz

Top 20 finish
Cameron Tringale

* Read more of Ben Coley’s top tips at SportingLife.com

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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