A field of 144 golfers will vye for the $7.4M purse with 500 FedEx points going to the winner as the 2019 Genesis Open unfolds at the Riviera Country Club on Thursday.
This year’s tournament is the 93rd running of this PGA tour golf tournament. The first Genesis Open was was played in 1926 at the Los Angeles Country Club. Over the years, the tournament has evolved from several names such as the Los Angeles Open, Northern Trust Open and Nissan Open due to sponsorship. Chicago’s Northern Trust Corporation sponsored the tournament for nine seasons until Hyundai Motors subsidiary Genesis took over in 2017 while Nissan sponsored the event for 21 years prior to Northern Trust.
The 2019 Genesis Tournament will be held at the fabled Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California which has hosted the tournament a total of 56 times and exclusively since 1999. This year’s tournament will held from February 14-17, 2019.
Who Are The Favorites?
Leading the list of favorites is Dustin Johnson at +900 who has seven top 10 finishes at Riviera. He is followed by Justin Thomas at +1200, whose T-9 finish last year was his best in four appearances at the Genesis Open. Then there is Rory McIlroy at +1400 who is coming off a T4 finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T5 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Next is Bryson DeChambeau who has four wins in his last 10 starts worldwide. Then there is Spanish superstar Jon Rahm who has four Top 10 finishes in his last five starts this season.
Ant then of course, who could omit defending champion Bubba Watson who is aiming to become the first since 1956 to win the tournament four times. Should he go on to win and defend his title, Watson will be the first to win back to back here since Phil Mickelson in 2008-09.
Here are the top favorites to win the 2019 Genesis Open. Odds were taken from betonline.ag as of 2/12/19:
|Charles Howell III||+4000|
The field for the 2019 Genesis open is as good as it can get. 13 of the Top 20 golfers in the official World Golf Ranking are participating in this $7.4M event. It includes 87 golfers who have won a combined 516 PGA Tour titles and 21 Majors winners who have won a total of 50 majors.
With a cast this loaded, it’s hard to pick one winner. Therefore, I narrowed down my choices to three and included a dark horse pick to win the tournament. Read on.
Dustin Johnson is justified as the top favorite in this tournament. The world’s #3 ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings is coming off a win in the inaugural Saudi International. In January, Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions by eight shots, posting an impressive 24-under par score of 268. Johnson is also a former winner here, winning the Genesis Open by five strokes in 2017. Overall, Johnson has seven Top 10 finishes at the Genesis Open in just 11 starts.
Bubba Watson isn’t just the defending champion in this event but he’s won the Genesis Open three times in the last five years. Watson has made the cut at the Riviera Country Club a total of seven times and he’s never finished lower than 17th place. Watson is also coming off a 4th place finish at the Phoenix Open and given that he is at +2000 with five other golfers priced higher than him, you can’t just make a pass on Bubba Watson. I think he can make a case as the player to beat here along with Dustin Johnson.
At one spot lower than Bubba Watson, find Phil Mickelson at +2200. Not only has Mickelson enjoyed plenty of success in California, he’s fared pretty well in his last three starts: T-2 at the Desert Classic , missed the cut in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am most recently. Mickelson said early this season that he would be playing in fewer tournaments this year and with this a late addition,I’m not sure if Phil can keep the pace. However, Mickelson has won the Genesis Open twice and has two 2nd place finishes as well. He’s made the cut in his last nine appearances and finished 6th here last year. No doubt, Phil’s worth the money at where he’s currently priced.
Aside from the three favorites that I just mentioned and the three that I’m looking at, I have a dark horse pick in FedExCup leader Matt Kuchar who is nicely priced at +3300. Kuchar has won two out of his last five events, going double-digits stroke below par in three of those events and not finishing lower than 22nd in any one of them. Kuchar has been very consistent at the Riviera, making the cut in 11 out of 12 appearances and is averaging an 18.6 finish in his last three outing here. Given his consistency at this course and how well he’s played as of late, there’s definitely good value in Matt Kuchar here.
Pick: Dustin Johnson +900, Bubba Watson +2000, or Phil Mickelson +2200
Dark Horse Pick: Matt Kuchar + 3300