Once again the PGA Tour takes centre stage this week with the Genesis Open in Los Angeles boasting a world-class field.
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are the leading lights teeing it up at the Riviera Country Club, whilst the little known Tiger Woods is also continuing his comeback this week.
The European Tour, meanwhile, remains in Asia but is breaking new ground with a first ever event in Oman although they may be disappointed by the field they have assembled which features few big names.
We run through both tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing expert Cliff Jackson and Betfair.
- It is played at the Riviera Country Club in California
- First staged in 1926
- Current champion is Dustin Johnson
FIELD: A brilliant line-up in LA, which is the norm with plenty of Hollywood stars on hand to give the Genesis Open the glitz. Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas head the line-up but perhaps still the biggest draw in golf – Tiger Woods. His comeback continues this week.
QUOTES: Defending champion Dustin Johnson is happy to see Tiger in the field as he will take away some of the media attention from him. “Tiger hasn’t played in such a long time so he’ll obviously get a lot of attention,” said Johnson. “It takes the pressure off me.”
— Genesis Open (@genesisopen) February 14, 2018
ODDS provided by Betfair: Dustin Johnson 12/1 Jordan Spieth 12/1 Rory McIlroy 14/1 Justin Thomas 22/1 Phil Mickelson 25/1 Paul Casey 30/1 Tommy Fleetwood 33/1 Alex Noren 33/1 Marc Leishman 35/1 Chez Reavie
40/1 Kevin Chappell 40/1 Ollie Schniederjans 40/1 Patrick Cantlay 40/1 Thomas Pieters 40/1 Tiger Woods 45/1 Branden Grace 45/1 Daniel Berger 50/1 Brendan Steele 50/1 Bubba Watson 50/1 Matt Kuchar
- It is played at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman
- First staged in 2018
FIELD: Quite a weak field on show, with French ace Alexander Levy favourite to take the title ahead of Ryder Cup star Andy Sullivan and rising Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma.
QUOTES: Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn is one of the big names in Oman, and he is delighted to be there. “It’s great to have new events come up on the European Tour like this one,” he said. “In golf you lose some events over time and you gain some and if this kind of event – with such a beautiful golf course, a great venue and a great place to come – is the kind that we gain, it bodes well for the future.”
— Ken Brown….⛳️ (@KenBrownGolf) February 14, 2018
ODDS provided by Betfair: Alexander Levy 18/1 Shubhankar Sharma 20/1 Andy Sullivan 22/1 Joost Luiten
25/1 Thomas Detry 28/1 Jeunghun Wang 28/1 Pablo Larrazabal 28/1 Romain Wattel 30/1 Clement Sordet 33/1 Matthieu Pavon 33/1 Richie Ramsay 35/1 Alexander Bjork 35/1 Andrew Johnston 35/1 Sean Crocker
35/1 Soren Kjeldsen 40/1 David Horsey 40/1 Haydn Porteous 40/1 Jorge Campillo 40/1 Lucas Herbert 40/1 Nino Bertasio
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
The Genesis Open has a wonderful looking field, and yes the big boys liken Johnson, Spieth, Thomas and McIlroy are going to be hard to look past and I like Johnson from those big names, but I think Phil Mickelson – who played well last week, is the one to watch in LA although I would also keep an eye on Tommy Fleetwood too.
In Oman, an interesting looking tournament but hard to pick with a level looking field but I think Andy Sullivan is due a big tournament and he is my pick.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action
There’s a distinct contrast to this week’s two major golf tournaments with the PGA Tour back at a course that has hosted 54 events and the European tour debuting an entirely new track at a fresh out of the box tournament.
Betting interest is likely to be focused on the Genesis Open, played at the classic Los Angeles links of Riviera, where Dustin Johnson heads up an extremely strong field. The defending champion, a runner-up at last week’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, goes off at 5/1 to retain his crown with Betfair paying 1/5 the odds for a place.
Johnson is followed up by Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, who can both be backed at 12/1, Justin Thomas a few ticks back at 16/1 and Phil Mickelson rounding out the top five at 22/1. Big Phil is the selection for Betfair’s Dave Tindall – you can read his preview here.
Might Tommy Fleetwood be of interest at 33/1? The Southport Swinger has started 2018 in fine fettle and his long, accurate driving looks tailor made for this course. Few are playing the game as well as Tommy at the moment and he is the Betfair bet for this week.
It’s a bit of a guessing game on the European Tour with so many imponderables to contend with. The betting has an open look – Alex Levy the 12/1 favourite, Shubhankar Sharma an 18/1 shot and Andy Sullivan 20/1. The Challenge Tour has passed through Oman in recent years and a few past winners are in action this week including Clement Sordet, Bernd Ritthammer and Ricardo Gouveia, although finding a link between the three is tricky.