Barry Plummer studies the field as the PGA Tour heads back to California
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Despite the Phoenix Open being one of the most enjoyable events to watch on the PGA Tour calendar, I didn’t get much satisfaction from my tips last week. With all three making the cut, but never really threatening to challenge throughout, I can’t wait to move on to another fan-favourite at the Genesis Invitational. With plenty of top quality names in the field this week I have narrowed it down to just three who I believe can challenge at Riviera Country Club. But before I get into my free golf betting tips…
Genesis Invitational details
Venue: Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, California
Date: February 17-20, 2022
Course stats: Par 71; 7,322 yards
Course summary: One of the most popular stops on tour, Riviera is a strategic, shot-maker’s heaven. Ball striking is key, with a hot putter also required to challenge in what is usually a fiercely contested event. Riviera has a number of links with Torrey Pines, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. The challenging, tree-lined, Kikuyu fairways are similar to those at Torrey. The comparisons do not end there, with both venues using Poa Annua greens, making previous form at the Farmers Insurance Open very interesting when studying the field here.
Purse: $12 million
Defending champion: Max Homa (-12)
Genesis Invitational TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 10:30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 11:15pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 4pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 8:30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 4pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7:30pm
Genesis Invitational golf betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: Cameron Smith – 2.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with Bet365
I make no apologies for running back to our first winner of 2022, as Smith ticks a lot of boxes at this event. The Aussie has already secured a couple of top-6 finishes at Riviera, including when 4th last season, and when you consider he is perhaps playing his best stuff right now its a pretty hard case to argue against.
Smith isn’t just boasting solid course form, he also has a win (thank you again) and a 4th place finish in his last three starts on the PGA Tour. His recent performances in the last three months see him rank 5th for SG: Total, with the putter proving to be his secret weapon time and time again. Come on Cam, bring home the brace for the previews.
The Each-Way Play: Matthew Fitzpatrick – 1.5pts e/w @ 45/1 with Bet365
Seeing Fitzpatrick stroll around the 16th green at TPC Scottsdale last week in his Sheffield United shirt would be enough to catch most people’s eye, but it is his blistering recent form that has convinced me to tip him for a second year running in this event.
The Ryder Cupper was 5th here last season, when bookies got it all wrong at an early 70/1 price, so I am not surprised to see him priced more conservatively this week. The Englishman has been in great form of late, with back-to-back top-12 finishes including when 10th at the Phoenix Open. Fitzpatrick is also crushing it with the flat stick, ranking 1st for SG: Putting in the last three months. With course experience and confidence growing, I like his value as an each-way selection.
The Longshot: Marc Leishman – 1pt e/w @ 66/1 with Bet365
When I tip Smith I always tend to find myself taking a closer look at compatriot Leishman, who often comes with a value-packed price in comparison. Truth be told, there are many comparisons in their game, and at a course where Leishman has two top-5 and two top-20 finishes previously I feel compelled to have a gamble at small stakes.
Leishman has had a great start to the PGA Tour season, with a couple of top-5s, a top-10 and a couple of top-20 finishes in eight events. He also ranks pretty consistently across all key measures for strokes-gained data, leading to an overall SG: Total ranking of 32nd in the last three months. At 66/1, there are certainly some strong reasons to believe he could return us at least some each-way cash on Sunday.
For more prices, visit the Bet365 website.