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The PGA Tour embarks on its second straight designated event this week at the 2023 Genesis Invitational, so there's no rest for the weary among some of golf's biggest stars. Hosted by Tiger Woods' foundation, the tournament this year will feature 19 of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Rankings including the newly minted world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Woods making his return. 

Fresh off a successful title defense at the WM Phoenix Open, Scheffler will attempt to emulate his spring from a season ago when he rattled off four victories in a six-tournament stretch. Standing in his way are many of the world's best including Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy. These three players have continued to separate themselves from the rest of the competition, and should either European enter the winner's circle at Riviera Country Club, Scheffler's second reign will be short-lived.

Looking to close the gap at the top of the game are Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, all of whom have enjoyed ample success around the Pacific Palisades. Good friends Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth will aim to do the same fresh off stellar results in the Arizona desert. On the other end of the spectrum, Patrick Cantlay, Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young are among the Americans looking to kick start their year with a massive result in Los Angeles.

Event information

Event: 2023 Genesis Invitational | Dates: Feb. 16-19
Location: The Riviera Country Club -- Pacific Palisades, CA
Par: 71 | Yardage: 7,322 | Purse: $20,000,000

2023 Genesis Invitational field, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Jon Rahm (15/2): The difference a year makes. This time a season ago, Rahm's short-game woes were beginning to rear their ugly heads. Now, his around-the-green play and putting are arguably his strengths. He remains the best driver of the golf ball in the world and, despite what the OWGR may say, the best player. The fiery Spaniard has collected four trophies and eight top-15 finishes in 12 worldwide starts since the beginning of the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs.
  • Rory McIlroy (9-1)
  • Scottie Scheffler (10-1): This seems a little disrespectful. The world No. 1 has won five times over the last year, and even when he doesn't have his A-game, still finds a way to be a factor. Scheffler has a victory and only one finish worse than T11 in his last nine starts. If he putts well, chances are he'll win.
  • Xander Schauffele (16-1)
  • Justin Thomas (16-1)
  • Tony Finau (16-1)
  • Max Homa (18-1): Death, taxes and Homa in the state of California. Winning four of his six PGA Tour titles in his home state, Homa's biggest victory to date came at this event two years ago. Getting the better of Finau in a three-hole playoff, Homa has since become a mainstay on leaderboards. His performance at the WM Phoenix Open left some to be desired, but he is only two starts removed from winning at Torrey Pines.
  • Collin Morikawa (22-1)
  • Patrick Cantlay (25-1): There hasn't been a bigger disappointment to begin 2023 than Cantlay. The world No. 5 has yet to sniff the first or second page of a leaderboard despite visiting three historically comfortable venues. He has four top-20 finishes in his last five Genesis Invitational appearances, and has often said Riviera is his favorite golf course in the world.
  • Viktor Hovland (25-1)
  • Sungjae Im (28-1)
  • Cameron Young (28-1): The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year may be experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump. Without a top-10 finish in his first five starts of the season, Young should be licking his chops returning to Riviera. It was here last year where casual golf fans were introduced to his fluid swing and stoic presence. His short game has been pitiful in the early stages of 2023, and while he continues to tinker with different putters, he can't seem to find an answer.

Rick Gehman is joined by Patrick McDonald and Kyle Porter to preview the 2023 Genesis Invitational. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

2023 Genesis Invitational expert picks

Winner (16-1): The two-time PGA champion may have found something in the desert. Finishing alone in fourth, Thomas ranked second on the week in strokes gained tee to green behind only Scheffler thanks to a strong weekend performance. He gained nearly five strokes on approach across his final two rounds and is extremely encouraging considering his recent woes with his scoring clubs. He remains one of the best iron players in the world, is the top player in this field from around the green over the last six months and drove the ball like a stallion at TPC Scottsdale. He should have won here in 2019 when J.B. Holmes slow played him. That is 100% not lost on a competitor like Thomas.

Contender (35-1): Firm and fast conditions that mirror major championship tests are Zalatoris' bread and butter. Two other golf courses come to mind from a correlation perspective when looking at past champions at this event: Augusta National and Torrey Pines. Zalatoris has finished runner-up at both. The iron play has not been great since returning from the back injury, but Riviera represents a prime bounce-back spot. Roughly half the approach shots will come from 150-200 yards where Zalatoris ranks first in terms of proximity over the last 12 months. If the wand holds steady and his historical iron play shows up, he will be in business for win No. 2.

Sleeper (60-1): Bradley has very quietly become the 21st-ranked player in the world. Winning the Zozo Championship this past fall, Bradley gave himself another opportunity to win at Torrey Pines and is now on track to be a surprise addition to the U.S. Ryder Cup team in September. All aspects of his game are clicking -- yes, even his putter -- and should the short game remain competent, the ball striking is capable of carrying him into contention. 

Who will win the Genesis Invitational, and which longshots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard and best bets, all from the model that's nailed eight golf majors and is up over $8,300 since June 2020.