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  • Writer's pictureHarry

Leader After 1st Round

Brooks Koepka 30/1

Koepka this past week relinquished his world number one status to Rory Mcllroy. This is a star-studded field at Riviera Country Club this week and when the big names come out, that is when Koepka brings his “A” game. Koepka can’t be happy dropping to number two in the world and at 30/1 he has incentive to come out and get back what was his and fire an opening round 65. Picking the leader of the 1st round is extremely tough, but he will be playing on Thursday with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and that alone is worth the risk.

Whole Tournament Matchups

-105 JB Holmes over Matthew Fitzpatrick

Holmes is the defending champion and fired an opening round 63. In 2016 he finished 11th at Riviera.

-140 Dustin Johnson over Patrick Cantlay

Lifetime Dustin Johnson has shined brightly in Pacific Palisades with numerous top 10 performances. He won this tournament in 2017 and from 2009 to 2016 he has 6 top 10 finishes. In his 2017 victory, Johnson fired three rounds of 66 or better.

-110 Phil Mickelson over Jordan Spieth

Mickelson has 44 career wins and finished 3rd last week at Pebble Beach. Phil has won this tournament in back-to-back years in 2008 & 2009. Mickelson also has two 2ndplace finishes here and is 3rd on the all-time money list at Riviera.

-110 Charles Howell III over Nick Taylor

Howell won here in 2007 and has two top 10 finishes here in the past three years. Taylor was a surprise 125/1 winner at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week and might not have much left in the tank as he heads down the California coast.

Top 20 Finishes

+900 Michael Thompson

This may be a reach, but Thompson has played only one time at Riviera in his career. His only appearance in this tournament was in 2019 and it yielded him a 7th place finish.

+750 Martin Laird

Laird is also a big long shot, but the price is right for a golfer who has three top 15 finishes here in the past four tournaments. Also, with the length of this course his ranking of 37th overall in driving distance on tour should help tremendously.

+285 Ryan Moore

This UNLV graduate has two top finishes here in the last four years and has two top 10 finishes so far this season on tour. Moore is also 11th on the PGA in driving accuracy.

+240 Kevin Na

Na in 2010 finished 10th in this tourney and in 2011 he finished 3rd. Na has already won this season in Las Vegas and is now 28th in the current world rankings. I like him at Riviera this week.

Top 10 Finishes

-125 Justin Thomas

Thomas is currently 1st on tour in the Fed Ex Cup standings and already has 4 top 10 finishes in the 2019-20 season. Thomas also finished second here a season ago.

+105 Dustin Johnson

As I mentioned earlier Dustin Johnson has top 10 finishes here dating back 10 years and that includes last year’s 9th place finish.

Top 10 Finish Top 5 Finish and Tournament Winner

Bubba Watson

+200 Top 10

+500 Top 5

+2500 To Win

Bubba loves Riviera, but mostly loves it on even years. Watson has won here the past 3 even years (2018, 2016, 2014). Watson is off to a solid season with five made cuts in five events and has finished in the top 20 in all of them. So far in 2020 he has a 6th place finish at Torrey Pines and a 3rd in Scottsdale. Plus, it is an even year so with the mix of that and more importantly him playing so well it’s hard not to back Bubba in this spot.


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