Collin Morikawa grew up 30 miles from Riviera Country Club but had no interest in visiting one of the most pristine courses in the country. Now, the 25-year-old five-time PGA TOUR winner can’t get enough of it. And BetMGM bettors can’t get enough of Morikawa this week at the Genesis Invitational.
“It was never my interest when I was a kid to go and watch golf. That was just never my thing. I went a couple times to Sherwood, but other than that I never came here,” Morikawa said prior to last year’s tournament.
“I loved playing Riv in the U.S. Am [in 2017], I liked it, but last year I actually fell in love and I know why my caddie [J.J. Jakovac] loves this golf course. I keep falling in love with it and it just makes it a little more special being in L.A.,” he added.
Morikawa’s love for the 96-year-old course isn’t reciprocated, however; he lost in the Round of 16 at the 2017 U.S. Amateur and finished 26th and 43rd in two appearances at the Genesis Invitational. Half of his Genesis rounds ended with a 73, including the final round in 2020 after going 67-68 on Friday and Saturday to sit in 17th place, just five strokes behind the leaders.
Despite the relative lack of success and experience, the public is pounding Morikawa at the BetMGM sportsbook. His eight PGA TOUR rounds at Riviera are tied for 69th-most in this year’s field and he hasn’t played in five weeks, which was a fifth-place finish in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 15, 11.8 percent of the tournament’s total handle (on a field-leading 8.5 percent of tickets) is on Morikawa (+2000) to win his first event since the 2021 Open Championship.
- Collin Morikawa – 11.8%
- Dustin Johnson – 8.5%
- Will Zalatoris – 7.6%
- Jon Rahm – 7.1%
- Justin Thomas – 6.1%
- Patrick Cantlay – 6.1%
- Collin Morikawa – 8.5%
- Will Zalatoris – 5.9%
- Dustin Johnson – 5.4%
- Patrick Cantlay – 5.4%
- Justin Thomas – 5.3%
Despite the heavy action – and position as BetMGM’s biggest liability – Morikawa’s odds haven’t moved, nor have the odds for defending champion Max Homa (+4000). Elsewhere, it’s been an unusually active market.
Since the Genesis Invitational odds opened on Sunday night, the odds for more than 20 golfers have moved, including Cantlay (+1200 to +1100), Johnson (+1800 to +1600) and Rory McIlroy (+1800 to +2000).
You can view updated golf odds for the Genesis Invitational winner, top American finisher, wire-to-wire winner, and more at the online sportsbook.