The 2022 Genesis Invitational Power Rankings

Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele
Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele stand on the 18th tee during the third round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan 9, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

It might not be a major, but it sure is stacked like one.

The PGA Tour moves from Phoenix to Los Angeles this week for The Genesis Invitational, a tour mainstay dating back to 1926. In what appears to be the most star-studded event hosted at Riviera Country Club since the 1995 PGA Championship, only world No. 12 Bryson DeChambeau (injury) is missing the top 15 in the OWGR.

With the event being hosted by Tiger Woods on the one-year anniversary of the car crash that forced him off the links for who knows how long, and the $12 million purse ($2.1 million to the winner), it’s easy to see why all the world’s greats were clamoring to spend the week in Southern California.

The strength of field means that some very surprising names had to be left out of the top 15 this week. The following are who we like most when the dust settles:


15. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson Wins Genesis Open
Bubba Watson plays a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC on Feb 18, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, CA. Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

Bubba has been pretty quiet the last two years on Tour, but the three-time Genesis winner (tying him with Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer) obviously cannot be forgotten this week. The lefty bomber is rounding into form again too; he somehow shot four rounds in the 60s at TPC Scottsdale last week, despite having to make the long trip from Saudi Arabia the week prior – an event where he had bookend 64s and finished runner-up. Fatigue could settle in. Or Bubba could be flying too high to care how his body might feel. Similar to Thomas, though, he has missed the cut here the past two editions.

Odds: 40-1
World Rank: 53rd
Field Rank: 38th
Last Six: 14, 2, MC, 46, 51, 6
Best at Riviera: 1st (2014, 2016, 2018)


14. Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland Wins Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic 2022
Viktor Hovland tees off on the par-5 18th hole during the playoff with Richard Bland in the final round of the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at The Emirates GC on Jan 30, 2022 in Dubai, UAE. (Photo by David Cannon via Getty Images)

That missed cut at last week’s WM Phoenix Open, where he shot 1-over 72 both days was downright shocking given how close the 24-year-old looks to superstardom, and how tremendous he was last season with a win, two runner-ups, and two third-places. Also among his 2021 finishes was a T5 at Riviera last year, which is what has us believing that TPC Scottsdale was a fluke. Hovland dropped to No. 4 in the OWGR, being passed by Patrick Cantlay, who is on an absolute tear. He will need to play better around the greens than he has this season, although that has been true since he burst onto the scene.

Odds: 25-1
World Rank: 4th
Field Rank: 4th
Last Six: MC, 1, 4, 30, 1, 18
Best at Riviera: 5th (2021)


13. Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama Wins Sony Open 2022
Hideki Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 13th green during the final round of the Sony Open at Waialae CC on Jan 16, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

The reigning Masters champ and current FedExCup points leader continued his stellar play last week when he was relevant late, finishing T8 at the WM Phoenix Open. Matsuyama is the Tour’s only two-time winner in 2022, capturing both the ZOZO Championship and the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has three top-10s in his seven-start Genesis Open history, including a T5 just two years ago. As usual, you just hope he picks this week to make his putts.

Odds: 22-1
World Rank: 10th
Field Rank: 10th
Last Six: 8, 30, 1, 13, 1, 59
Best at Riviera: 5th (2020)


12. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy Wins The CJ Cup @ Summit 2021
Rory McIlroy waves in celebration after winning THE CJ CUP at The Summit Club on Oct 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Alex Goodlett via Getty Images for CJ Cup)

Back inside the top 5 of the world rankings, the four-time major winner makes his first official Tour start since winning THE CJ CUP @ Summit in October. He has been kind of up-and-down worldwide, and missed the cut here a year ago after an atrocious 73-76 start, but he finished in the top five in his two previous attempts, and was T20 in both attempts before that. Rory is the ultimate wild card every time he plays. He could dominate just as easily as he could fizzle. With 20 Tour wins in his career, we’ll probably continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Odds: 20-1
World Rank: 5th
Field Rank: 5th
Last Six: 3, 12, 18, 1, 14, 4
Best at Riviera: 5th (2020)


11. Matt Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick Wins Andalucía Masters
Matthew Fitzpatrick celebrates after winning the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club Valderrama on Oct 17, 2021 in Cadiz, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba / Quality Sport Images via Getty Images)

First-time winners have been all the rage on the PGA Tour recently, and the 27-year-old Brit fits the profile well, given that he is the highest-ranked player in the world without a win on the U.S. tour. With top-10s in each of the past two weeks, he looks very close, and this is an event where he finished T5 just a year ago. And it’s not like Fitzpatrick does know what it feels like to win: he has seven titles on the European Tour, most recently winning a tournament by three in Spain last October. Fitzpatrick currently ranks second on Tour in strokes gained: approach-the-green and is sixth in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

Odds: 33-1
World Rank: 23rd
Field Rank: 17th
Last Six: 10, 6, 12, 2, 64, 30
Best at Riviera: 5th (2021)


10. Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele 2022 WM Phoenix Open
Xander Schauffele hits a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Feb 11, 2022 in Scottsdale, AZ. (Photo by Christian Petersen via Getty Images)

The four-time Tour winner, and world No. 7, Schauffele, may have an Olympic gold medal on his mantle now, but somehow is in an extended slump, at least in terms of closing events. A missed birdie putt on 18 last week at TPC Scottsdale would have put him into the Scheffler-Cantlay playoff, a T3 that gives him a shocking 12(!) top-3 finishes since his last Tour victory, which came in January of 2019. The California native has finished in the top 15 in three of four starts at The Genesis, including a T15 a year ago. He has been very consistent at Riviera round-to-round.

Odds: 22-1
World Rank: 7th
Field Rank: 7th
Last Six: 3, 18, 34, 12, 12, 28
Best at Riviera: 9th (2018)


9. Max Homa

Max Homa Wins Genesis Invitational
Max Homa talks with his caddie during the final round of The Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA on February 21, 2021. The tournament was played without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With Riviera being the place that made him “fall in love with golf,” Homa had a storybook ending a year ago, winning The Genesis in a playoff against Tony Finau. It was Homa’s second career victory, to which he has added another at the season-opening Fortinet Championship. Homa also spent most of last week at the WM Phoenix Open in the top 10, before a mediocre final round forced him to settle for a still-strong T14. With his intimate course knowledge and history (he also finished solo-fifth in 2020), Homa is a better bet than usual for a rare repeat champion.

Odds: 50-1
World Rank: 35th
Field Rank: 27th
Last Six: 14, MC, 15, MC, 35, 72
Best at Riviera: 1st (2021)


8. Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris RBC Heritage
Will Zalatoris looks over his putt on the first green during the third round of the RBC Heritage on April 17, 2021 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour winner has seen a first-time champion in each of the last three weeks. Could Zalatoris make it four in a row? Now that Scottie Scheffler has a win on his resume, the 25-year-old Masters runner-up is arguably the best player in the world (inarguably the best American) to have not yet won. Zalatoris has thrived against elite fields in his young career, so don’t expect him to be intimidated at Riviera. It helps that he is coming off of top-6 finishes in his last two starts, including a playoff loss to Luke List in his most recent start at the Farmers Insurance Open. He finished T15 a year ago in his Genesis debut.

Odds: 28-1
World Rank: 29th
Field Rank: 23rd
Last Six: 2, 6, 37, MC, 54, MC
Best at Riviera: 15th (2021)


7. Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas plays his shot from the 15th tee during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 15, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Ezra Shaw via Getty Images)

After an inconsistent 2021 season, the 14-time Tour winner looks on the verge of being completely back, having posted top-10s in three of his last four starts, including a T8 at last week’s WM Phoenix Open, where he was ridiculously good tee-to-green (12.7 strokes gained). Shockingly, JT has missed the cut in this event the last two years, and opened with an unfathomable (for him) 77, but he was runner-up to J.B. Holmes in 2019, where he held a considerable 54-hole lead. We just can’t see him posting three duds in a row here.

Odds: 16-1
World Rank: 8th
Field Rank: 8th
Last Six: 8, 20, 5, 5, 3, 18
Best at Riviera: 2nd (2019)


6. Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson 149th Open Championship Royal St Georges
Dustin Johnson tees off on the 16th during his second round on day 2 of The 149th British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, England on July 16, 2021. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN for AFP via Getty Images)

The 24-time Tour champion has made just two PGA Tour starts in the current season, with the most recent being a T25 three weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open, where a final round 73 dropped him after he looked like he was approaching contention. One of those 24 victories came at Riviera in 2017 where he reached 17-under for the week, tying the lowest to par score since 1990, winning in a five-stroke runaway over Scott Brown and Thomas Pieters. That was far from his only success in this event: he has a mind-boggling 10 top-10s in 14 career starts (7 in his last 8 attempts),with two runner-ups and three additional top-5 finishes. He was tied for second through 54-holes and stayed in the mix until an uncharacteristic five bogeys in his last 10 holes dropped him to T8. He is supremely confident on this course.

Odds: 16-1
World Rank: 6th
Field Rank: 6th
Last Six: 8, 25, 45, 8, 6, MC
Best at Riviera: 1st (2017)


5. Sam Burns

Sam Burns
Sam Burns plays his shot from the 9th tee during the third round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort on May 01, 2021 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

Through two rounds a year ago, Burns was on the verge of winning The Genesis in a runaway. He then bogeyed 12, 13, and 14 in the third round, and then 12, 14, and 15 in the fourth round, and was still only one shot short of joining the Homa-Finau playoff. In the year since, the world No. 16 has won twice, in addition to notching five other top-5 finishes. His weekend issues on the back-nine were forgivable given his lack of experience, but now? Burns knows he can win. He is coming off back-to-back missed cuts, but it feels awfully fluky when you compare it to his other recent results.

Odds: 16-1
World Rank: 16th
Field Rank: 14th
Last Six: MC, MC, 19, 3, 7, 5
Best at Riviera: 3rd (2021)


4. Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm The Northern Trust
Jon Rahm walks to the 17th green during the first round of THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National GC on Aug 19, 2021 in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The world No. 1 could not quite get off the periphery of contention at last week’s WM Phoenix Open, yet still finished T10 for his third top 10 in five starts, coming off a season where he had 15 of them in 22 starts. It well illustrates the standard the Spaniard has set that a mere T10 feels like a disappointment. He arrives at Riviera again as a favorite, and it is difficult to see him not being in the mix. With a final-round 66, Rahm was T5 here a year ago and has finished 17th or better in all three of his Riviera attempts. He currently ranks in the top 2 on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee (1st), strokes gained: tee-to-green (2nd), and strokes gained total (2nd).

Odds: 9-1
World Rank: 1st
Field Rank: 1st
Last Six: 10, 3, 14, 2, MC, 17
Best at Riviera: 3rd (2021)


3. Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay Wins Tour Championship Round 4
Patrick Cantlay putts on the 18th green during the final round of the Tour Championship on Sept 5, 2021 at East Lake GC in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Austin McAfee / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 29-year-old UCLA product (local!) is playing the best golf of his career. Validating his controversial PGA Tour Player of the Year award, Cantlay has finished 4, 9, T4, 2 in four 2022 season starts, respectively. He very nearly picked up his fifth win since the beginning of the 2021 season, missing a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at last week’s WM Phoenix Open, that later led to a short birdie miss on the same hole on the third playoff hole against Scottie Scheffler. With seven straight starts of T11 or better, it feels unlikely that this will be the week that the man with the Tour’s second-best scoring average will cool off. Cantlay has finished T17 or better in his last four starts at Riviera, with a best finish of T4 in 2019.

Odds: 14-1
World Rank: 3rd
Field Rank: 3rd
Last Six: 2, 4, 9, 4, 1, 1
Best at Riviera: 4th (2019)


2. Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa Wins 2021 DP World Tour Championship
Collin Morikawa pumps his fist during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Nov 21, 2021 in Dubai, UAE. (Photo by Mateo Villalba / Quality Sport Images via Getty Images)

After taking the past month off, the world No. 2 arrives at Riviera with top-7s in all four of his season starts. The Los Angeles native is clearly comfortable playing against the best, given that the 25-year-old has already won two majors that he hadn’t played for among five Tour victories. Strangely, he has posted bookend 73s in both of his attempts at his home course, but his ball-striking is too pure to expect him to not contend every time he goes out there. His rise to No. 1 in the world is inevitable, even if it doesn’t happen this week.

Odds: 18-1
World Rank: 2nd
Field Rank: 2nd
Last Six: 18, 62, 5, 5, 1, 7
Best at Riviera: 26th (2020)


1. Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith Wins Sentry Tournament of Champions 2022
Cameron Smith plays his shot from the 6th tee during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua GC on Jan 9, 2022 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

The 28-year-old Aussie fell out of the top 10 of the OWGR, by virtue of not playing. If he is motivated to get back in, it would be difficult to see him struggle. He has been MUCH less hit-or-miss in the 2022, with four top-15s (three top-10s) in five season starts, including a victory at the 2022 calendar year opening Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he shot four rounds of 65 or better to set a Tour record 34-under-par winning score. His T4 at Riviera last year bettered his T6 in 2018, and if he continues to putt out of his mind, we think he becomes the season’s second two-time winner. He is finally realizing his talent.

Odds: 22-1
World Rank: 11th
Field Rank: 11th
Last Six: 4, MC, 1, 4, 15, 9
Best at Riviera: 4th (2021)


Next Five: Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here