Genesis Open: Woods Returns but DJ Leads The Pack

The return of Tiger Woods is a big deal for the organisers of this event who see the former world number one coming back to Riviera for the first time since 2006. The media seem particularly anxious to see Tiger return to his best but for the golf betting community, it’s a case of wait and see.

Tiger is out at around 50/1 for the win this week while the pre-tournament favourite is much shorter.

Man to Beat

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is the reigning champion and a string of top performances since the start of 2018 see him listed as the clear favourite this week at best odds of 11/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral. All the signs are good for DJ: He’s the most recent winner of this event and a run of six top four finishes in his last ten tournaments include a win in the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of January, plus a tie for second in the Pebble Beach Pro Am last time out.

If he plays to form, Johnson will be tough to eclipse but there’s a quality field assembling over the next four days.

Bubbling Under

We have joint second favourites with just over 48 hours to go until the first ball is struck as Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth can both be backed at a best price of 14/1 with BetFred. Of the two, Rory has the better form and should have picked up a win in Dubai last month but we are wary after his missed cut at Pebble Beach.

In the case of Spieth, he’s very much due a win and hasn’t lifted a trophy on any Tour since claiming the Open Championship in July but as his price drifts he becomes more tempting.

Further back, Justin Thomas is another player struggling for form right now but will tempt many at his best odds of 18/1 with bet365 and Sun Bets and after that, the market starts to thin out.

Outsiders

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has a really tempting price this week at 28/1 with BetFred. He was an each way winner for us with a tie for second place at Pebble Beach in a tournament where he had enjoyed immense success in the past. Mickelson has also won the Genesis Open twice so we’re keeping a close eye on him.

Paul Casey is another player who can usually be relied upon for regular profits and the Englishman goes off at best odds of 30/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. With 12 Top 20 finishes in his last 13 events, Casey is another contender in the each way markets at least.

Casey’s compatriot Tommy Fleetwood makes a rare appearance on the US Tour and is another player to have enjoyed a strong start to 2018. Fleetwood is available at best odds of 33/1 with Stan James and if he can take that form to the PGA Tour he will be one to watch this week.

Other strong options in the longer priced golfers include Chez Reavie who has started 2018 with a string of consistent low scoring and can be backed ahead of this one at a top price of 40/1 with Coral and Betway. Pat Perez has been one to follow for us and he is available at an excellent best of 60/1 with SkyBet while Matt Kuchar at 60/1 with SportingBet is also worth a look.

For reference, Tiger Woods is quoted in the outrights at best odds of 55/1 with Stan James but we’ll wait to see how he fares before committing any money further down the line.

Trends and Indicators

Tiger Woods

This is another event on the PGA Tour which has been dominated by American golfers in recent years. You have to go back to 2011 to find Australia’s Aaron Baddeley taking the title and ten of the last 11 editions have gone to players from the US.

Multiple winners are fairly common with Bubba Watson the last to complete a double in 2016 so you certainly wouldn’t rule out Dustin Johnson based on those stats.

As for the course, the Riviera Country Club is a par 71 but it does benefit the long hitters in some cases and comes in at a lengthy 7,322 yards. Accuracy isn’t quite as important and that’s evidenced by some of our recent winners but GIR could be a telling stat and it’s one that brings us back to the higher ranked players.

Verdict

2018 has given us some surprise results in the world of golf and on the US Tour in particular but we think there will be less of a shock in this one. Dustin Johnson is our preference and while he may look short at that 11/2 win price, it will still produce a decent profit if he comes home.

Elsewhere, form and history is on Phil Mickelson’s side so we’ll add Lefty as an Each Way option while Paul Casey has been so good to us in the Top Ten markets that we see no reason to overlook him now.

Best Bets:

  • Dustin Johnson to win the Genesis Open at 11/2 with Ladbrokes
  • Phil Mickelson Each Way at 28/1 with BetFred
  • Paul Casey for a Top Ten finish at 7/4 with Stan James
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