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Genesis Invitational: Expert Picks

Dustin Johnson has the history and recent trend

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Tournament Information

Genesis Invitational
Date: February 19th – 22nd
Course: Riviera Country Club
Purse: $9.3MM ($1.7MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Adam Scott (-11)
OWGR Points: 68


Riviera Country Club — Built in 1927 under the then Los Angeles Athletic Club, this event has hosted under the name Los Angeles Open dating back to 1929. At 7,300 yards, the par 71 course, the course runs pretty easy if you don’t get caught up trying to get ahead too quickly and cheat through sections of the course. It has a course rating of 75.6 and a slope rating of 137. It’s fairways utilize kikuyu grass (similar to Torrey Pines) which was brought in to supplement the polo course and it spread quite well. The thickness of Kikuyu gives great lies on fairway but makes rough shots tough. Wind can be an obstacle at times across this longer course, especially without a lot of trees to block cross drafts.

Genesis Open - Round One Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

My Starting 4

Dustin Johnson (second selection this year) — Johnson has finished in the top 20 here over the last four years. He’s first in world ranking, third in FedEx points and has finished in the top 12 in all four tournaments he’s played in this year.

Rory McIlroy (first selection this year) — McIlroy is right up there with Johnson only he’s landed in the top 20 the last three years at Genesis. He’s finished in the top 25 in all six tournaments that he’s participated in this year.

Adam Scott (second selection this year) — Three of the last four years at Riviera, Scott has finished among the top 12. Currently in 23rd in OWGR, he’s among the top 100 in strokes gained everywhere except around the green. He’s made the cut in all six tournaments this season.

J.T. Poston (second selection this year) — Poston has been among the top 30 here three of the last four years (he didn’t participate here in 2018). After four consecutive missed cuts, he rebounded with a 18th place finish at Farmers Insurance and a 11th place finish at Waste Management. He has a powerful bookend of golf talent, ranked 39th in driving distance and 9th in strokes gained putting.

My Bench 2

Patrick Rodgers (first selection this year) — Rodgers is quite comfortable here. He’s been among the top 30 the last four years. He’s 66th in strokes gained off the tee thanks largely to being 29th in driving distance. He’s missed the last four straight cuts but don’t be too alarmed, this happened the same way in 2019 leading up to the Genesis Open and he finished 15th.

Kang Sung-hoon (first selection this year) — Sung has been among the top 25 here three of the last four years. He would be a long shot as he’s 164th in FedEx points and currently has missed the cut in 7 of the 12 tournaments this season. He’s been average around the greens but has largely struggled with driving and putting.

Fun Fact: Known originally as the Los Angeles Open, this is typically the end of the “west coast swing”, next week the golfers will travel to WGC in Florida.

2020-2021 Stats (1st percent would be the top golfer picked every week)
Starting 4: avg finish 35th (27th percent)
Bench 2: avg finish 50th (39th percent)