The final leg of the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing is arguably the best stop. The PGA pros that played Pebble Beach will drive five hours down the coastal highway to Pacific Palisades outside of Los Angeles for The Genesis Invitational at Riviera. They will be joined by the top four players in the world rankings for the biggest tournament draw yet in 2021.
The 95th edition of the PGA Tour event will have 2020 Masters champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, along with Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele ready to rip it at Riviera. Three other top 10 players make this event a prime stop on the Tour – Rory McIlroy, 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, and 2020 U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau.
The event is in its second year as an Invitational, and 121 players accepted invitations. A three-year PGA Tour exemption is given to the tournament winner.
Genesis Invitational odds 2021
Dustin Johnson opened as a big favorite at all of the top US sportsbooks. DJ was +550 at DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM on Monday morning. Jon Rahm had the second lowest odds at all three of the mentioned books. See below for current outright odds, and click the dropdown for all of the various golf futures markets available at the Genesis Invitational.
Notable golfers in the field
The field features 19 past major champions including Brooks Koepka (who won the recent Phoenix Open), Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland and Scott. A total of 20 of the top 30 players, and 30 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) will compete. Also, 24 of the top 30 golfers in the current FedExCup standings will attempt to win at Riviera Country Club. That includes three-time event champion Bubba Watson.
Top players in the field include:
- Dustin Johnson (No.1 OWGR)
- Jon Rahm (2)
- Justin Thomas (3)
- Xander Schauffele (4)
- Rory McIlroy (6)
- Collin Morikawa (7)
- Bryson DeChambeau (9)
- Patrick Cantlay (11)
- Brooks Koepka (12)
- Viktor Hovland (13)
- Tony Finau (14)
- Daniel Berger (15)
- Matthew Wolff (18)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (20)
- Adam Scott (22)
- Hideki Matsuyama (23)
- Kevin Na (26)
- Abraham Ancer (27)
- Cameron Smith (30)
Other notable and highly-ranked players include Marc Leishman, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, Sergio Garcia and 2021 American Express winner, Si Woo Kim. Also, rising young star Will Zalatoris is playing on a sponsors exemption and is inside the top 50 in the world golf rankings.
Recent Genesis Invitational winners and runner-ups at Riviera:
- 2020 – Adam Scott (-11), Matt Kuchar, Scott Brown, Sung Kang
- 2019 – JB Holmes (-14), Justin Thomas
- 2018 – Bubba Watson (-12), Tony Finau, Kevin Na
- 2017 – Dustin Johnson (-17), Scott Brown, Thomas Pieters
- 2016 – Bubba Watson (-15), Jason Kokrak, Adam Scott
- 2015 – James Hahn* (-6), Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey
Last year’s top finishers returning in 2021:
- Adam Scott (Win)
- Matt Kuchar (T2)
- Sung Kang (T2)
- Bryson DeChambeau (T5)
- Rory McIlroy (T5)
- Hideki Matsuyama (T5)
- Max Homa (T5)
- Joel Dahmen (T5)
- Dustin Johnson (T10)
- Chez Reavie (T10)
- Talor Gooch (T10)
Course and tournament information
- Course: Riviera Country Club
- Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
- Date: Feb. 18-21
- Par: 71 / Yardage 7,322
- Purse: $9.3 Million / Winner $1.67 M
- Fairways/Rough: Kikuyu
- Greens: Poa annua
- TV/Stream: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) and CBS (Sat-Sun), PGA Tour Live
- Twitter & Hashtag: @ thegenesisinv
- Defending Champion: Adam Scott
The greens at Riviera are Poa annua and are smaller than the average on Tour at nearly 5,000 square feet. Bumpy surfaces and near the ocean have made the course among the toughest on Tour to putt. They annually rank among the most difficult inside of 10 feet. There are no water hazards on the course.
Players that are solid Tee-to-Green players in strokes gained stats do well. Driving accuracy is of greater significance on the traditional layout, and hitting greens is an important stat with proximity to hole more significant with the tough-to-putt greens.
Riviera has a unique feature at the 6th hole, a 170-yard Par 3 that features a bunker in the middle of the green, making the putting surface into a doughnut shape. If a player’s tee shot lands on the wrong side of the bunker, he must chip over the sand or take several putts around it.
Fun fact: Adam Scott won this tournament when it was known as the Nissan Open. However, it was considered an unofficial win in 2005, as Scott won an event shortened by rain to just 36 holes. Official PGA Tour wins are at least 54 holes.
Genesis Invitational golfers to watch
While the golfers at the top of the odds board and power rankings take most bets to win, you can still find value and take a shot on other players while adding top finishing position bets. This week’s field at Riviera is the strongest yet in 2021, and more than 10 players have finished top 10 in this event in the last five years. That includes top-ranked and highly-rated players Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, who have all won, along with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Na and Marc Leishman.
McIlroy (69.25) leads the entire field in best scoring average at Riviera in his four past events. But Dustin Johnson (67.27) is so close and played 13 events, while Jon Rahm (69.50) in two events and Xander Schauffele (69.58) in three events, Adam Scott (69.59) in 12 events and Hideki Matsuyama (69.77) in six events are also elite level pros and power players that have scored exceptionally well at famed Riviera.
So outside of the leading eight players on the odds board, the next tier of Golfers to Watch start at +2500. Power has its place at Riviera, as distance is advantageous. But the course differentiates itself not only as a Ball Strikers course, but with Putting and Around the Green play more in play and of significance. Note there are currently 75 golfers on the PGA Tour that average at least 300 yards driving distance, including the Golfers to Watch below as mid-tier players and longshots in your ‘Fairway Foursome’ of outright win bets, top finishing position and in select matchups at Riviera.
Adam Scott (+4000 DraftKings): Scott won this event last year and has three other top-11 finishes in recent years including T2 in 2016. Clearly he’s a proven player at Riviera, where course form also matters more than most other events. His scoring average is among the very best at Riviera, and using courses with Poa annua greens from players last 36 rounds, Scott ranks No. 2 in this field in SG: Total, No. 5 in Tee-to-Green, No. 4 in Short Game and Around the Green, and No. 6 in Putting on Poa. The last five winners have all ranked Top 25 in driving distance, and that too fits Adam Scott to a Tee.
Hideki Matsuyama (+4500 DraftKings): Hideki’s problems remain with the putter, and his worst metric is Putting. He’s 76th in this field over his last 36 rounds on Poa. But Matsuyama’s Approach play is elite, and he ranks Top 20 in this field in Ball Striking, Tee-to-Green and Around the Green. Hideki’s Scrambling from inside 30 yards is solid, although his bunker play is not. Matsuyama is not a trending or popular pick for those following FanShare Sports, but he’s just solid all around and has also finished Top 5 last year and Top 10 in 2019 to go along with two other Top-11 finishes in this event.
Carlos Ortiz (+8000 DraftKings): Ortiz is as low as +5500 at William Hill, and that’s a significant difference in price when getting to these bigger longshots. He’s finished T26 or better in four starts at Riviera including T9 in 2019. Carlos Ortiz is quietly amongst the better golfers in Short Game plus Driving Distance in this field with his strengths Around the Green, Short Game and Putting on Poa. His scoring average of 70.0 in four starts and four made cuts at Riviera is also very solid, and Ortiz is up to No. 45 in the world rankings having won the Houston Open in November.
Lanto Griffin (+15000 DraftKings): These odds are getting obsurd for an improved and quality player like Griffin, even in a stronger field. Griffin is currently No. 53 in the world rankings, and finished T37 on debut last year at Riviera with his worst round on Sunday. In his recent event in the Farmers Insurance Open on Poa greens at TPC Scottsdale, Griffin finished T7 and was in the mix Sunday after a slow start to the tournament. He was owned by less than 3% of DFS players at DraftKings in that tournament. Over his last 36 rounds on Poa, Griffin ranks No. 21 in SG: Total in this field and is pretty solid across the board in all categories with strength in Approach, Short Game and best Putting on Poa.
Mulligans – Chez Reavie (+25000 DraftKings): It only gets crazier that Reavie is +25000 but +16000 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Over his last 36 rounds on Poa, Reavie ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach, and Top 10 in Tee-to-Green, Around the Green and SG: Total. Chez cashed a Top 10 in this event last year and was 7th in 2016. He’s also missed the cut a few times. He won’t win, as he’s short off the tee, but a Top 20 is possible at +500 and three times that for a Top 10.