Genesis Open Betting: Right to stick with Lefty

Ed Hawkins

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 1:44 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 1:44 PM UTC

Don’t lose faith in Mickelson for Riviera as he’s put in all the hard yards and has event form

<p>Phil Mickelson has rolled back the years at the start of 2019 suggesting he could be entering a new age of excellence. Fitting, then, that he is next out on course at Riviera for the Genesis Open this Thursday.</p><p>Lefty should be a warm order for the tournament, which is a fundraiser for Tiger Woods’s education foundation for young people. Woods, naturally, makes his second start of the year and gets a <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">20/1 quote from William Hill</a>.</p><p>That price interest us because in the context of value – specifically the question whether Mickelson is ‘it’ – we can say yes. He is <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">25/1 with Ladbrokes</a> and Hills. We would far rather be on Mickelson than Woods at this time of the year, and that has little to do, by the way, with the former’s success in the slightly unsavoury money-obsessed match between the two.</p><p>Mickelson is in terrific nick, and we say that through gritted teeth because we recognised he was hitting the ball sweetly and putting without fear ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He had previously lost a play-off to Adam Long in the Desert Classic and we thought he was set to go well again. Unfortunately he was cut.</p><p>It was, of course, sod’s law that he went out last time in the AT&amp;T Pro-Am Pebble Beach and promptly won the thing, knocking over England’s Paul Casey in another play-off.</p><p>That win was his 44th on the PGA Tour – a mere 28 years after his first - and was a second success in fewer than 12 months after victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March.</p><p>In other words, Mickelson is tuned up. And he is working harder than ever, re-analysing his game over the course of the break, working on his fitness and mental strategy. Told you the Genesis Open was the right place for him.</p><p>“My putting is the best it’s been and my swing speed is as fast as it’s ever been,” said Mickelson, after Pebble Beach. “I had a jump in swing speed in the last year. It’s been a lot of work and a long process - nine months of hard work, time in the gym, a lot of work. Days like this make it worthwhile.”</p><p>Tiger is working hard, too. But that’s not the point. He is behind Mickelson in his schedule after taking a longer break because he exhausted himself at the back end. Whereas Woods will be feeling his way here, Mickelson will be close to full throttle. And that’s why he shouldn’t be in the same zip code in terms of price.</p><p>Mickelson has won the tournament twice and finished runner-up twice. He’s a great each-way bet.</p>
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