PGA Tour Picks: Genesis Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Well, the U.S. Open in June just got a lot more interesting! Of course, that's the only major to elude Phil Mickelson in his Hall of Fame career. On Monday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the same Pebble Beach course that hosts the 2019 U.S. Open, Mickelson finished off a weather-delayed 65, the best final round of anyone in the field, to win that tournament for a record-tying fifth time.
Mickelson entered the final round three shots behind playing partner Paul Casey, who shot a 71. Mickelson and Casey were the only ones to finish off the round Monday as everyone else finished Sunday in the dark. There was also a hail delay on Sunday. It was a very strange weather weekend there. It was Lefty's 44th career PGA Tour victory and he became the eighth-oldest PGA Tour winner.
I did take Mickelson head-to-head over Tony Finau, but that was about it. Went with the Bovada prop of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day vs. the field. Day finished T5 but Johnson disappointed with a T45 thanks to playing the non-par 5s at 3 over.
The PGA Tour heads to another storied California course this week: Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles for the Genesis Open. The first-ever West Coast U.S. Open was held at Riviera (opened in 1927) in 1948. Let's get to the first question most casual golf fans want to know about a tournament: Is Tiger Woods playing?
Yep, he is. His group manages this event and proceeds benefit Tiger's foundation, so he's always going to play here if healthy. Tiger's first-ever pro event was at Riviera in 1992 as an amateur on a sponsor exemption. We also get the nice benefit of Mickelson in the field. He originally wasn't planning on playing but changed his mind last week. Thus, it's our first tournament with both Lefty and Tiger since "The Match" in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend when Mickelson beat Woods in 22 holes to earn the $9 million prize as well as $400K in side bets. Yeah, golfing for a living sucks! Also in the field is Sergio Garcia, which is only notable for his actions and DQ from a European Tour event in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. YouTube that if you haven't seen it.
The defending champion is Bubba Watson, who shot a final-round 2-under 69 to edge Kevin Na and Finau by two shots. Bubba's key shot on Sunday was bunker hole-out at the par-3 14th that gave him a two-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay, who would finish three back in third. Cantlay had a one-shot lead heading to the back nine.
Riviera is a par 71 measuring as long as 7,322 yards. The par-3 sixth is the famous hole with a bunker in the middle of the green. The course record is a 61 way back in 1999 (Ted Tryba) and tournament record a 264 set in 1985 by Lanny Wadkins. Riviera will host the 2028 Olympic tournament.
Golf Odds: Genesis Open Favorites
Johnson is the +900 favorite. No shock there as DJ has been fourth or better six times in his last nine trips to Riviera. He won in 2017 and was runner up in both 2015 & '14. Johnson was T16 last year despite a third-round 64. Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are each +1200 and looking for their first victory here. McIlroy has been T20 his past two times playing here, and Thomas is 4-for-4 in cuts made with a T9 last year his best result.
Bryson DeChambeau is +1400, Jon Rahm +1600 with Tiger at +1800, Watson at +2000 and Mickelson +2200. Watson is a three-time winner here, in the three past even-numbered years. Rahm makes his tournament debut, while Mickelson is a two-time winner and last repeat champion in 2009. Woods has yet to win here and missed the cut in 2018.
Golf Odds: Genesis Open Picks
For a Top 10, like Johnson (-135), Watson (+165) and Hideki Matsuyama (+225). No prices on H2H as of this writing because of the Monday finish at Pebble. Do like Adam Hadwin over Brendan Grace, Matsuyama over Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele over Tiger, and Watson over Mickelson.
Johnson, Thomas and DeChambeau is interesting at +325 vs. the field (-500), although I'd lean field there. Can also get Watson, Woods and Lefty (+650) vs. the field (-1200).
Our long-shot value to win is Martin Laird at +9000. He hasn't finished worse than T11 the past three trips to the Genesis Open. Might actually benefit him he was MDF at Pebble, giving him Sunday off. You can also get Laird at +2000 for top European. Perhaps that's the wiser bet.
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