In this June 2019 file photo, Jack Nicklaus (left) presents Patrick Cantlay with the trophy for winning the Memorial.
In this June 2019 file photo, Jack Nicklaus (left) presents Patrick Cantlay with the trophy for winning the Memorial.|Jay LaPrete | Associated Press

Golf: Mike Kern picks the Genesis Open, from Riviera in Los Angeles and likes Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, and more

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

Last week at Pebble Beach some of our guys played well. But, unfortunately, not well enough. Which is mostly what counts.

So it’s on to the Genesis Open, from Riviera in Los Angeles. Where, yes, Tiger Woods is playing. As is Brooks Koepka. And just about everyone else that you would want in your field.

Here’s some odds to peruse:

Rory McIlroy is 7-1, followed by Justin Thomas at 8.5-1, Jon Rahm at 9-1, Dustin Johnson at 14-1, Woods and Patrick Cantlay at 16-1, Xander Schauffele at 18-1, Tony Finau at 20-1, Bubba Watson at 22-1 and Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama at 25-1.

So much for the A-listers.

Then there’s Jason Day, who’s coming off a real good showing, at 33-1 along with Adam Scott. Paul Casey, Marc Leishman and Justin Rose are 40-1. Matt Kuchar and Collin Morikawa are 45-1. Phil Mickelson, coming off a near-miss at Pebble Beach, is 50-1 with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Those at 55-1 are Bryson Dechambeau and Sergio Garcia. Abraham Ancer, J.B. Holmes and Sungjae Im are 66-1.

A few others of note: Kevin Na is 75-1, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Joaquin Neumann are at 80-1. Ditto Nick Taylor, who went wire-to-wire last week. Scottie Scheffler, one of the promising youngsters out there, is 90-1. And Max Homa, coming off a decent performance as one of my longshots a week ago, is 100-1.

After that you’re on your own.

Johnson won in 2017. Bubba Watson won in 2014, ’16 and ’18. Yo. Last year Holmes won, with Thomas second and Si Woo Kim third. So naturally I took Kim this time and he’s 500-1. Oh well. It happens. Maybe I should put a buck or two on him just in case.

Rory, by the way, was fourth last year, his best showing in three tries. And Tiger has finished in the top 10 only three times in 12 appearances. So you might see where this is going.

I’m going to stay away from the heavier favorites and try to hit a longer shot, which sometimes isn’t the best strategy either. But Johnson at 14-1 is certainly tempting. So obviously is Watson at 22. I would throw just a little something on him in case he fourpeats. Or, in case he comes close, you can get 5-1 on him to finish in the top five. Similarly, I might throw just a little on Koepka, simply because you’re not usually going to get odds like this on him too often. Again, there’s a reason. And he did just lose his No. 1 ranking to McIlroy. So maybe he’s a little extra motivated.

That being said, since you can always hedge and have more chances to cash, let’s go with Patrick Cantlay, who I had last week, and Xander Schauffele, at 16-1 and 18-1, respectively. I was also looking at Jason Day, at 33. Yet for my stretches I will try Collin Morikawa, at 45-1, and Bryson Dechambeau at 55-1. Don’t ask why. Somebody had to be the chosen ones.

I realize that’s a lot to throw out there. Just trying to give you enough to think about before you do whatever it is you have to do. Because it’s your money. That’s why I prefer to throw a little on a bunch of possibilities and hope one of them hits.

Mike's picks:

Patrick Cantlay (16-1)

Xander Schauffele (18-1)

Jason Day (33-1)


Collin Morikawa (45-1)

Bryson Dechambeau (55-1)

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