Despite an ice-cold putter, Dustin Johnson won the Saudi International in fairly comfortable fashion last time out, and the world number one spent the following week refreshing himself in the Florida sunshine.
Johnson’s decision to skip the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to recharge batteries for this week’s Genesis Invitational makes the favourite difficult to oppose for the Riviera Country Club showpiece.
Course Form Boosts DJ
Plenty of punters will be happy to take
11/2 about the Genesis market leader, who can boast course form figures of 2-2-4-1-16-9-10 from his last seven visits to the track.
He won the tournament by five shots in 2017. Given the forecast for clear, calm weather, favourite backers do not need to fret about a poor set of tee-times having a negative impact on their selection.
Johnson has won five of his last 13 tournaments, including an 11-shot victory in The Northern Trust and a five-shot cruise in the Masters. If DJ is focused, he will probably be hard to beat.
Niemann Could Threaten Second PGA Tour Title
An each-way alternative to Johnson at a much more sporting price is Joaquin Niemann, who can be backed at
The 22-year-old Chilean has been growing in confidence on the PGA Tour. He won his maiden title in 2019, then made a Presidents Cup debut a few months later, and he has established himself as a regular contender, moving up to 28th in the world rankings.
He lost a playoff to Harris English for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of the year, then the following week was beaten by only a shot in the Sony Open.
Niemann likes to hit a fade off the tee, which suits many of the holes at Riviera, and he played well at the track in the 2017 US Amateur Championship.
He finished sixth in the strokeplay element of that event, before suffering an unlucky defeat in the knockout stages. Despite going round the tough course in two-under par, he was defeated by Braden Thornberry.
Riviera clearly sets up well for Niemann, though, and he has never carried more self-belief.
Watson Well Equipped to Handle Riviera Test
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has won three of the last seven editions of the Genesis Invitational. There are certain courses where Watson relaxes and feels confident, with a proven track record behind him, and Riviera emphatically falls into that category.
The three-time Genesis champion started hitting his ball with great authority at the end of last year and he showed signs of returning to that form with a strong finish in the Phoenix Open last time out.
Watson carded a closing 65 in Phoenix for 22nd place, a surge which sets him up well for another crack at Riviera glory.
Can the mercurial left-hander make it four wins from the last eight Genesis Invitationals?
40/1 next to his name arguably underrates his chances of success. He is only 42 and still retains most of his ability.
*All odds correct at time of writing.