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Genesis Invitational: Preview, Props, Best Bets

All eyes will be on Tiger Woods’ first competitive rounds of golf of 2023 when the PGA Tour heads to the Genesis Invitational this week.

The event begins Thursday at the Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles, and our golf experts provide a tournament preview along with their favorite prop picks and best bets to win.

GENESIS INVITATIONAL Location: Pacific Palisades, Calif., Feb. 16-19 Courses: Riviera CC (Par 71, 7,322 yards) Purse: $20 Million (Winner: $3.6M) Defending Champion: Joaquin Niemann FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm

HOW TO FOLLOW TV: Thursday-Friday, 4-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC); 3-7 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC); 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS) Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET; Saturday, 12-1 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m-1 p.m. Twitter: @thegenesisinv


–Tiger Woods to make the cut (+150 at DraftKings): “If I’m playing, I’m playing to win,” Woods said Tuesday ahead of the event. It’s very reminiscent of Woods’ remarks before making his grand return at the 2022 Masters, where he made the cut before finishing 47th. The crowd will be behind him more than ever. Woods also has stated he can still hit any shot he wants; getting around the course is the challenge. After so much time away to rest and heal up, there’s reason to believe he can get on the right side of the cut line Friday.

–Adam Hadwin to win Round 1 3-ball (+120 at PointsBet): Hadwin has decent course history at Riviera (sixth place in 2018, seven of eight made cuts) but more importantly, he looked sharp at the start of last week en route to a T10 finish at Phoenix. The veteran from Canada has had seven top-10 finishes in the past 12 months, and in this 3-ball he’s up against Scott Stallings (+140) and Max McGreevy (+330). Though Stallings has a fourth-place finish under his belt at Riviera, he’s missed the cut in four of his past five Genesis starts, while McGreevy will be playing the event for the first time.

–Hole-in-one any time (+110 at BetMGM): Since 1983, the par-3 sixth hole at Riviera has seen 19 aces, tied for the most of any hole on tour. The 16th at Riviera has been home to an additional 12 holes-in-one, making this perhaps the best week all season to bet “Yes” on this prop. Three of the four par-3s here measure less than 200 yards. Rickie Fowler just holed out for his third career ace at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday; maybe something’s in the air.

2023 Prop Picks Record: 6-9-1


— Rahm (+750 at BetMGM) finished third at the Phoenix Open for his ninth consecutive top-10 worldwide, including two PGA Tour wins in January. He’s finished in the top 10 twice in four starts at the Genesis.

— Rory McIlroy (+900) settled for a tie for 32nd last week coming off a victory in Dubai. He has three top-10s in his past four Genesis starts.

— Scottie Scheffler (+1000) shot a third-round 65 at Riviera last year en route to his seventh-place finish. For the second straight year, he heads to L.A. off a victory in Phoenix. Last year’s Phoenix title launched him on a run of four victories in six starts.

— Justin Thomas (+1400), the runner-up at Riviera in 2019, hasn’t missed a cut on American soil since the Charles Schwab Challenge last May. His final-round 65 on Sunday propelled him to finish fourth at Phoenix.

— Tony Finau (+1600) lost to Max Homa here in a playoff in 2021. He is also playing the best golf of his career, with top-20 finishes in six straight starts and top-10s in four of those starts, beginning when he won the Houston Open in November.

— Xander Schauffele (+1600), a Southern California native, finished ninth in his tournament debut in 2018 and has placed between 13th and 23rd in the four events since.

— Homa (+2000), from nearby Burbank, made the 2021 Genesis his second career victory on tour. He’s won four more titles since and has averaged a 68.5 in his past 12 rounds at Riviera.

— Another California native is Collin Morikawa (+2200), tied for second last year just two shots behind Niemann after shooting 67-67-68-65. After placing second and third in two starts in January, he missed the cut last week in Phoenix.

— Jordan Spieth (+3300) has made six straight cuts at the Genesis, though he hasn’t grabbed a top-10 finish since 2018. He carded a 10-over 81 in the final round in 2019.

— Adam Scott (+5500) was named the unofficial winner here in 2005 when the event was shortened to 36 holes due to rain. He’s since proven himself at Riviera over and over again by earning seven total top-10s, placing second twice and breaking through again in February 2020.


— Woods will play in an official PGA Tour event for the first time since the Open Championship last July. Woods, the tournament host, badly injured his right leg and foot in a car crash in Los Angeles two days after the Genesis in 2021. This will be his first start in a non-major since winning the Zozo Championship in October 2019.

— The Genesis is the tournament Woods has played the most without a victory, with 14 starts. He tied for second back in 1999.

— This will be the second straight week featuring a “designated” event and an elevated $20 million purse. The $3.6 million winner’s share is tied for the largest in PGA Tour history.

— Of the top 20 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking, everyone but Australian Cameron Smith (No. 4), a member of LIV Golf, will be competing.

— The tournament will also be missing defending champ Niemann, who left the PGA Tour for LIV last year.

— 2021 champion Homa and 2020 champ Adam Scott of Australia are among those in the field. Homa already has one win under his belt this season, at last month’s Farmers Insurance Open.

— Scheffler surpassed Northern Ireland’s McIlroy for the world No. 1 ranking by winning in Phoenix last week. Scheffler placed seventh at the Genesis last year.

— Riviera is home to the longest-standing tournament scoring record on tour. Lanny Wadkins shot a 20-under 264 at this event in 1985.

–Field Level Media


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