When: February 16-19, 2017
Where: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
Format: 72 holes - Stroke Play
TV Coverage: Golf Channel, CBS
Defending Champion: Bubba Watson
The Genesis Open, formerly known as the Northern Trust Open, Nissan Open and originally the Los Angeles Open, gets underway February 16-19, 2017. New sponsor this season but same great venue. Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California will host the tournament and has done so since 1973.
Riviera, better known as “Hogan’s Alley” is a ball-strikers paradise that forces the players to work the ball both ways practically every shot. Driving the ball in the right position off the tee is paramount to play well at Riviera.
Defending champion Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods headline a betting pool that will attract a world-class field that should include Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and a host of other elite players.
Watson has won two of the past three years at Riviera, while Woods has fallen off the face of the earth in the rankings. The former No. 1 player in the world is all the way down to No. 652 in the current Official World Rankings.
D. J. is always a force and has come close several times in L.A. while Mickelson thrives playing in California. Aussie Scott won here all the way back in 2005. Garcia is a regular at the tournament but still is without a win and Reed was probably the most consistent player on the tour last year.
The distinguished list of winners at what was originally the Los Angeles Open and more recently the Nissan Open also includes Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Mickelson.
Round by round coverage with all the latest golf news, draws, tee times, prize money, golf betting odds, tv times and golf scores shall be provided on a daily basis, so please stay tuned into Gambler Palace Golf Updates.
The PGA Tour wraps up the West Coast Swing in Los Angeles at the Genesis Open which gets underway February 16-19, 2017. It’s by far the strongest betting field of the year and features eight of the top 10 players in the world. The only ones missing from the top 10 are Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.
Defending champion Bubba Watson, World No. 1 Jason Day and red hot Hideki Matsuyama headline the betting field. Watson looks to make it three wins in four years in LA, Day is making his first trip to Riviera since 2012 and Matsuyama is arguably currently the best player in the world. Continue...
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The Southern Californian course is not one of the longest in terms of average to the green, and Riviera is very much a place for course specialists, producing six multiple winners in its three decade history of hosting this event.
Course experience is very important on a layout that requires sound management. Smaller than average greens place a great emphasis on long game accuracy, So there is a prerequisite for a player to have a fantastic short game. A key to performing well at Riviera is the ability to shape the ball as there are very few straight holes on the course. In fact, Riviera has been described as a ‘fader’s paradise’ because of the many left to right doglegs players have to contend with.
When placing golf bet, it might be worth looking away from the favorite odds as several winners in the past have included slightly lesser lights from the tour. The names of Steve Stricker, Rory Sabbatini and Mike Weir come to mind, but Phil Mickelson, who has won the PGA Championship in the past, has enjoyed success in the Northern Trust Open recently and is likely to be at the head of the ante-post betting.
The winner receives $1.152 million so there is plenty to play for with some stellar names sure to be well backed in the betting before and during the tournament.
Riviera Country Club Course
As the PGA TOUR heads to Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles next week for the Nissan Open, a number of players who have been playing well will be looking to end a victory drought. The course was designed by George Thomas in 1926. It is an old fashioned course with multiple doglegs, narrow tree lined fairways, small slopey greens and deep bunkers.
|1||5||503||A great starting hole. The tee rests 75 feet able the fairway. With a big tee shot, players can set themselves up a birdie or possible eagle. With out-of-bounds left and trees right, an errant tee shot could spell trouble.|
|2||4||463||The most demanding hole on this course. Members play this hole as a par 5. A slight dogleg with out-of-bounds left and trees on the right makes for a narrow tee shot. Once the player has negotiated the tee shot, he is left with a long iron or wood into a green that is only 25 feet wide and heavily bunkered.|
|3||4||434||This is the first hole designed to play dead into the wind. A slight fade off the tee sets up your second shot. However, you must be careful as your second shot is played to a hard, shallow green that slopes away from you. A huge bunker also comes into play in front and along the right side of the green. Four is a good score here.|
|4||3||236||One of the toughest par 3's I've ever played. Most players will be using anywhere from a 3-iron to a 3-wood, depending on the wind conditions. The green is well-guarded by a large bunker in front and slopes severely from right to left. Most players favor the left side of the green when planning their approach.|
|5||4||444||"We've returned the tee to Thomas' original placement on a small hill to the right of its previous location. This brings the wind into play, whereas before it was shielded by the hill. The preferred drive will now be a slight fade for most golfers, whereas before the hole favored a draw from the tee|
|6||3||200||There's no other par three like it! A two-tiered green with a bunker right in the middle. A good birdie opportunity if you're on the correct side of the green. But if you're not you are faced with the decision of whether to chip over the bunker or putt around it. A great vantage point for the spectators.|
|7||4||408||"This is now the toughest drive on the course because not only do you have to hit a fade, but there is a hump in the fairway right at the preferred landing area. If you land the ball on the left side of the hump, it could careen into the bunker. If the ball hits on the right side of the hump, it could kick out of bounds into the barranca.|
|8||4||462||"The shorter hitter, or a player choosing to lay-up, can play in front of the left fairway bunker. He or she then faces a middle iron into a narrow green, which offers the option of running the ball onto the putting surface. Driving down the right fairway leaves a shorter iron shot to the green. Depending on the pin placement, the golfer now has better angle with which to approach the green, which has been slightly enlarged to accept such shots. The bigger hitters can risk hitting a power fade past the left fairway bunker for an easy wedge pitch to the pin|
|9||4||496||"Thomas intended these fairway cross-bunkers to be in play, but today's pros, with the vastly improved equipment and ball, just hit their drives well over them. Lengthening the hole makes these strategic bunkers again as they were originally designed to be and not the 'target' bunkers they had become. Now the shorter hitter will be forced to lay up short or to the right of the left bunker, while the longer player can hit over or around the right cross-bunker,|
|10||4||315||Jack Nicklaus call this "one of the best tenth holes in major championship golf." A short hole, but by no means easy. Longer hitters can drive this green, but extreme accuracy is required. The ideal spot to come into this green is from the left side of the fairway. An extremely narrow green with bunkers right, left and behind gives this hole its character.|
|11||5||564||This is the first hole where the barranca really comes into play. If the player's tee shot finds the rough, he is now faced with the option of laying up or going over it. Two well-placed shots will set up an easy pitch and a realistic birdie chance. Under favorable conditions, some of the longer hitters can reach this green in two.|
|12||4||460||"This now becomes one of toughest holes on the course because it is obviously more difficult to play a longer iron into this narrow green guarded on right by a deep bunker and on the left by Bogey's tree, which is named after Humphrey Bogart|
|13||4||459||"The restoration of the barranca holes is historic for Riviera Country Club. Everyone has wanted to restore them for a long time and we have finally done so. This is a great thing for Riviera Country Club, its members and for the Nissan Open|
|14||3||176||Although it is considered the easiest hole on the course, many players will be happy with par. An extremely wide green often causes the player to lose his sense of aim. Two large bunkers in front of the green, one left and one right, will catch any errant shots.|
|15||4||443||Come Sunday, this becomes a very important hole. A birdie here will gain ground on the field. As on many other holes at Riviera, this tee shot will test the player's ability to hit a power fade. A long drive off the tee makes your approach shot to a two-tiered green that much easier.|
|16||3||166||This par 3 requires an accurate mid iron shot. Any shot that finds the small green will be a legitimate birdie opportunity. Hitting the green, however, is not such an easy task. Several steep faced bunkers that guard the entire green catch numerous shots. Large overhanging lips of these bunkers can create difficulties for even the best sand players.|
|17||5||576||The longest hole on the course. It requires two big shots to put you in position for a possible birdie. The two-tiered green that slopes from back to front, makes all downhill putts quite treacherous. Most players try to keep their third shots below the hole.|
|18||4||451||One of golf's most unique and most recognized finishing holes. The green rests below the clubhouse in a natural amphitheater. A blind tee shot from well below the level of the fairway must carry the hill and fly approximately 220 yards to reach safely. The second shot requires a long iron or even a wood to a kidney shaped green.|
Dustin Johnson came into the 2017 Genesis Open with an incredibly distinctive record at Riviera Country Club. He had finished in the top five at this tournament five times without having ever hoisted the trophy. That’s difficult to do, and Johnson proved that a sixth was impossible.
Johnson started the morning with a lead, but he put the tournament out of reach with a third-round 64 that built his advantage to six shots. It allowed him to cruise to the finish line while challenging the tournament scoring record until a pair of back-nine bogeys. The victory vaults Johnson to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career and extends his streak to 10 straight seasons with at least one PGA Tour win.
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