World No. 1 Jon Rahm is the favorite, but the field is loaded at Riviera.
Three straight weeks, three first-time PGA Tour winners.
However, the new WM Phoenix Open champion is someone we’re all familiar with and knew it was only a matter of time. Scottie Scheffler has been on the precipice of glory for a couple of years now and finally put a bow on his early career success. He had a chance to win on the 18th hole, but missed a putt to allow Patrick Cantlay, one of the steadiest players on Tour, into a playoff. Scheffler redeemed himself on the third playoff hole with a long birdie putt to clinch his first Tour title.
Just when we thought our picks last week could not get any worse, Webb Simpson dropped out of the field due to injury and both Viktor Hovland and Rickie Fowler missed the cut. We can only go up from here, so let’s get to it.
The final stop on the west coast swing is The Genesis Invitational hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation at Riviera Country Club. This week will mark a year since Woods’ horrific car crash and he will make his first public appearance since the PNC Championship in December. The top 10 players in the world arrive along with many other stars to the fabled layout just outside Los Angeles. Riviera is one of the hardest courses on Tour, so look for a close battle among the game’s titans this week.
According to SI Sportsbook, world No. 1 Jon Rahm is the favorite at +850. Next is last week’s runner-up Patrick Cantlay at +1200. Justin Thomas is +1400, also coming off a solid week in Scottsdale. To round out the notables are 2017 champion Dustin Johnson at +1500 and world no. 2 Collin Morikawa at +1600.
For our favorite, we’re going to step just outside those stars and take the value in Cam Smith at +2200. The Aussie began his year with a win at Sentry Tournament of Champions but has not played since leaving the island of Hawaii. However, Riviera favors those with a strong short game and Smith has one of the best on Tour. Since the fall swing, Smith ranks top-five in putting and top-15 in strokes gained: around-the-green. He’s finished in the top-15 in four of his last five events and finished T-4 in 2021 and T-6 in 2018 at The Genesis. Smith’s strengths should shine this week.