Vincenzi: 2024 Genesis Invitational First Round Leader picks

Feb, 2024

The Genesis Invitational begins on Thursday, and while all eyes will be on the return of Tiger Woods, there are plenty of intriguing storylines this week. The event marks the first limited field “signature” event, that will also feature a cut. Of the 70 players, the top 50 players as well as any player within ten shots of the lead will make it to the weekend.

In the past five editions of the tournament, there have been six first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the six, all six have come from the morning wave. There were co-leaders from the PM in 2018, but there does seem to be a real advantage for AM starters at Riviera.

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As of Tuesday, the wind doesn’t look as if it will play a factor during round one. It will be about 58 degrees and sunny for most of the day.

Wind such a small field this year, most of the golfers will be going out at roughly the same time, so I wouldn’t be too concerned with looking for a tee time advantage.

This week, I used the Betsperts Rabbit Hole to see each players floor/ceiling.  You can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Genesis Invitational First-Round-Leader Selections

Cameron Young +4000 (BetRivers)

First-Round Tee Time: 8:44 a.m. Local Time

Cameron Young was one of the players I considered adding to my outright betting card but ran out of room. Last year, Young finished in a tie for 20th at the event. Two years ago, he got off to a blazing start, shooting 66 in round one and eventually finishing in a tie for 2nd place.

At TPC Scottsdale last week, Young gained 4.0 strokes off the tee, demonstrating once again that he’s an elite driver of the golf ball. That should serve him well this week at Riviera.

Hideki Matsuyama +6000 (BetRivers)

First-Round Tee Time: 10:42 a.m. Local Time

Matsuyama is one of the players who has an incredibly high ceiling when things are going well. He finished 13th at Torrey Pines this year and 22nd last week in Phoenix, so he’s shown some signs of playing well early in 2024.

‘Deki finished 9th and 5th in two consecutive starts in 2019 and 2020 and is clearly a fit for the golf course when he is healthy. He also loves soft conditions as he showed in his 2021 Masters victory.

Emiliano Grillo +6600 (BetMGM)

First-Round Tee Time: 7:56 a.m. Local Time

Emiliano Grillo has finished in the top-22 in all three of his 2024 starts on the west coast. Last week at TPC Scottsdale, the Argentine gained 6.0 strokes on approach, which was his most since the Mexico Open in April.

Grillo is an excellent long iron player who should be able to take advantage of the par-5’s and drivable par 4 at Riviera Country Club.

Tom Hoge +8000 (BetRivers)

First-Round Tee Time: 8:08 a.m. Local Time

In his past two starts, Tom Hoge has finished 6th at Pebble Beach and 17th at TPC Scottsdale. He gained 3.7 strokes on approach in both of those starts and is one of the more consistent iron players on the PGA Tour.

Hoge hasn’t been great at Riviera in the past, but last season he finished 14th, which shows he could have figured something out. The 34-year-old shot a 67 in round one. Another strong start this year will put him in the conversation for the first round lead with the way he’s currently hitting it.

Taylor Moore +9000 (BetRivers)

First-Round Tee Time: 11:18 a.m. Local Time

Taylor Moore struggled early in the year but may have found some form last week at TPC Scottsdale. The Arkansas product gained 3.8 strokes on approach and 4.0 strokes around the green. He was horiffic on the greens, which caused him to fall to 38th on the leaderboard, but the way he hit the ball was encouraging.

Moore finished 21st at Riviera in 2022, shooting in the 60’s for the first three rounds.

Adam Svensson +10000 (BetMGM)

First-Round Tee Time: 8:32 a.m. Local Time

Adam Svensson finished 9th at this event last year, and though it’s been a slow start to his 2024 campaign, a return to Riviera may be what Svensson needs to get things on the right track. Svensson has some of the longest odds on the entire board this week which is enough for me to take a shot given his 2023 performance at the course.

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