The PGA Tour is ready to welcome in arguably its most important weekend of the season to this point. We've reached the last leg of the California swing, which offers up the best field with all the stars coming out for one of the best courses on tour at Riviera Country Club for the 2021 Genesis Invitational. Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are among the megastars headlining this field as the PGA Tour prepares to head back east.
Let's take a closer look at this week's contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: Genesis Invitational
When: Feb. 18-21
Where: Riviera Country Club -- Pacific Palisades, California
Three things to know
1. Hey, Mr. DJ: Dustin Johnson's numbers are comical right now, and we might be underrating the absolute tear he's currently on. Since Aug. 1 of last year, only Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are averaging over 2.0 strokes gained per round. Schauffele is at 2.71 per round. Johnson is at 3.62. He's been about twice as good as No. 5 on that list, Tony Finau, who is at 1.87 strokes gained per round. Additionally, 70% of his starts have been top-five finishes, and he's the leader in strokes gained at this course over the last 10 years (by another wide margin).
2. Bryson noise: You could pick any number of things -- including the course itself -- as the second-biggest storyline this week, but I'm going with Bryson DeChambeau. He finished in the top 10 here last year -- pre-weight gain -- but has been incredibly quiet since winning the U.S. Open in September. He's played just four times with two top 10s and no real challenges to win. He's always (always!) fascinating, but even more so this week at a classic like Riviera.
3. Three for Spieth: Jordan Spieth said recently that he was not in a good head space following the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines three weeks ago. Then he ripped off two top-five finishes in a row and is headed to a course he said was "arguably my favorite golf course in the world." As macho as the last two performances have been, if he does it this week in this field at this course, we can definitively say that Spieth is back and ready for Augusta National.
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Grading the field
All it's missing is Tiger Woods, who will be hosting instead of playing. In all, 16 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings will be in attendance, and the strength of field this week (628) is akin to a playoff event and very nearly to a major championship. Throw in the fact that world No. 1 (D.J.) is coming off a win in his last start and Adam Scott won here last year over Rory, Bryson and D.J., and you can see why excitement is high. Grade: A+
Genesis Invitational picks
|Winner (30-1): Hovland's run has been mega quiet. Stealthy, even. He has four top-six finishes in his last five starts -- including a win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at the end of 2020 -- and is cruising from tee to green right now (only D.J., Joaquin Niemann and Rory have been better). I'm not in love with the Riviera fit for him nor the idea of winning in his first start there, but I do very much love the way he's playing golf right now.|
|Top 10 (-162): D.J.'s odds to top 10 this week are shorter than Patrick Cantlay's to top 10 last week in what was a not very good field at Pebble Beach. That's how automatic Johnson is right now, even with the rest of the best in the world prominently involved. It's not difficult to envision him swiping multiple wins in a row ahead of his Masters title defense in April.|
|Sleeper (40-1): A long number for somebody who did not finish outside the top two spots at either Hawaii tournament. Niemann is sandwiched between Johnson and McIlroy of players in this field who have been the best from tee to green over the last three months. Pretty good company.|
Who will win the Genesis Invitational, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard and top picks, all from the model that's nailed six golf majors and is up over $11,100 since last summer's restart.