People love to say that the hardest thing to do in golf is following up a low round with another one. Well, Joaquin Niemann would like a word. After a Thursday 63, Niemann fired yet another 63 around Riveria Country Club on Friday and leads by two entering the weekend at the Genesis Invitational.
The Chilean started well here last season with rounds of 67 and 68 but struggled on Saturday with a 78. So the curtains shouldn’t be closed quite yet.
Cameron Young, a PGA Tour rookie, caught fire on Friday shooting a 62 which included a stretch of four straight birdies. Young sits two shots behind Niemann.
There are several of the biggest names in golf lurking on the leaderboard hoping to turn in a low one on moving day to inch towards the lead. A few of those names are included in the picks below.
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Weekend betting odds for the Genesis Invitational
*Odds as of 8:13 p.m. ET
Picks for the Genesis Invitational
Adam Scott (9 under, +1350)
Pacific Palisades, California, USA; Adam Scott hits from the second tee during the first round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It’s tough to win a golf tournament when you’re entering the final two rounds seven back of the lead, but if anyone can do it, especially at Riviera, it’s Adam Scott.
Scott won this event two years ago and finished T-7 in 2019. He’s comfortable around this track and is rolling the rock well. He gained over two strokes on the greens on Friday.
Jordan Spieth (9 under, +900)
Jordan Spieth looks on from the 13th green during the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2022 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Not sure there’s a more entertaining man to watch than Spieth. He’s a master with a wedge in his hand and showed that with a short game master class on Friday.
He’s driving it with confidence which may make the difference this weekend. He has work to do, especially after making bogey at the last, but it’s worth keeping an eye on him.
Justin Thomas (11 under, +325)
Justin Thomas reacts to a missed putt for birdie on the 13th green during the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
JT was swinging it incredibly well on Friday, but that’s not usually the problem. His putter came alive a bit during the second round, highlighted by a nice eagle putt on 11 and a long birdie on 16.
He’s capable of firing a Saturday 62/63, which is why a small sprinkle on him may be worth it.