Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Genesis Invitational & Womens Australian Open 2020

I love Riviera GC ! The Genesis Invitational is for me, one of the best tournaments on the PGA Tour outside of the Majors and the sentiment has to be felt by players alike as yet again we have a very strong field teeing it up in California this week making the SOF ~ 645 pts with 70 OWGR points available to the winner.

The tournament is not without it's shock winners over recent years but I'm approaching this week with the view that the victor on Sunday will be a well established player given recent form of the field assembled. Brooks Koepka for me isn't fully fit, so he's the one exception. JT should have won here last year and he's sure to contend here this week but I'm keen on 2 players at value prices this week; Adam Scott & Marc Leishman. The two Aussies arrive having won last time out, Scott taking out the Australian PGA Championship the week before Christmas and his compatriot winning at Torrey Pines two weeks ago. Scott is available on Betfair @ 42.00, Leishman @ 55.00 with TOP-10 prices available @ 4.50 & 5.60 respectively.

As per my preview for this back in 2017, I backed Leishman @ 75.00 then and @ 67.00 in 2014 and he duly missed the cut both times despite an opening 67 in 2017 and a 69 in 2014. He was 5th the previous year in 2016 and produced a 4th place finish last year with 4 rounds in the 60's. I'm very keen on him this time round considering his form since returning to the Tour after spending time to support his very ill wife and his 9 TOP-10s in 24 starts in 2019 have led him to an early success in 2020, winning the Farmers last month. I'll opt for TOP-10 market to cover the places instead of the 11.00 on offer for TOP5 where dead heat rules always seem to get in the way of strong field tourneys

Adam Scott is mercurial to say the least but as he approaches 40 years of age, I can see Scott challenging strongly this year. (can't believe he's 40 having seen him play at the K Club for The European Open back in 2000). Riviera requires ball striking, and indeed Riviera and Torrey Pines are the only courses on the PGA Tour to feature Kikuyu grass on both fairways and in the rough. West Coast specialists as well as Australians and South Africans have a distinct advantage playing on this with Scott having posted 3 TOP-10s in his last 5 visits on top of a further 2 TOP-20 s within a 6 tournament spell, I'm keen to be with the Adelaide man at the prices.

Collin Morikawa was considered, particularly in the TOP-20 market but the 3.00 was deemed too short given Riviera usually rewards those who have course form

In the Women's Australian Open to be played at Royal Adelaide GC, a links type course requiring accuracy, I'm backing Ireland's Leona Maguire @ 120.00 outright and @ 8.50 for TOP-10. It may be a big step up for former World Amateur No.1 but last week's 4th place finish will exude confidence in the Cavan native and she has to be backed at these prices as she sets about making her mark on the LPGA. The prices will reduce over the months ahead!

Selections/Staking Plan

1.00 pts WIN. A. Scott @ 42.00
1.00 pts WIN M. Leishman @ 55.00

3.00 pts TOP-10 A. Scott @ 4.50
3.00 pts TOP-10 M. Leishman @ 5.60

(Women's Australian Open)
0.75 pts WIN . Leona Maguire @ 120.00
1.25 pts TOP-10 L.Maguire @ 8.50

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