50/1 Adam Scott won twice here and playing well
The West Coast Swing has whizzed by and this is the final event before the action switches to Florida next week.
As is often the case on this portion of the schedule, course form has stood up well. Indeed, two of the last three events were won by previous champions as Jon Rahm racked up his second win at The American Express before Scottie Scheffler defended in Phoenix on Super Bowl Sunday.
We won't get last year's winner going back-to-back at Riviera this week though, as 2022 champion Joaquin Niemann has left for LIV.
Niemann won with 19-under 12 months ago, the lowest total since Lanny Wadkins went mad in 1985 and blitzed the field by seven. In the previous two editions, 12-under and 11-under had got it done for Max Homa (2021) and Adam Scott (2020).
Scott was claiming his second win while two years earlier in 2018 Bubba Watson had completed a hat-trick of victories at Riviera. Course form certainly plays out here: a 7,322-yard par 71 with short kikuyu rough and fairly large poa annua greens.
Looking at the stats from 2022 back to 2018, Niemann (1st), Homa (3rd), Scott (3rd) and Bubba (2nd) were all ranked in the top three for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green. By contrast, three of that quartet were outside the top 20 for SG: Putting.
In addition, each of the last five winners has ranked in the top six for Par 4 Scoring.
Like last week, the front of the market is teeming with quality and there's a very decent chance one of Jon Rahm (7/1), Rory McIlroy (10/1), Scottie Scheffler (10/1), Justin Thomas (14/1), Xander Schauffele (14/1) or Tony Finau (16/1) will hoist the silverware.
But, given his record in California, Collin Morikawa is the one I like best as an each-way proposition at 20s.
Morikawa won a major in his home State when capturing the 2020 US PGA Championship at Harding Park near San Francisco.
And here are his last three starts in California: fourth in the US Open at Torrey Pines, runner-up in this event last year and third in the Farmers Insurance Open a few weeks ago.
In other words, he's something of a stud in the Golden State.
Since his top three at the Farmers, Morikawa has missed the cut at last week's Waste Management Phoenix which probably explains his price of 20s.
But it's hardly anything to be concerned about. Morikawa had only played TPC Scottsdale once before and didn't make the top 20 while he memorably won the Open Championship a week on from a lacklustre performance in the Scottish Open.
Better to look at his season numbers which show him ranked seventh for SG: Tee To Green, sixth for Approach and 13th Off The Tee. Like other past winners here, it's his long/iron game that will pave the way for victory rather than putting.
That said, he did putt well on these greens last year (3rd SGP) and when Morikawa has one of his strong weeks with the flatstick he's a big danger.
After somehow failing to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions when taking a big lead into the final round, this could be his week at 20/1.
Sticking to the idea of course form, I can't get away from Adam Scott at 50/1.
The Aussie won here when it was reduced to a 36-hole event in 2005 and proved that was no fluke by finishing runner-up when defending.
He added top 20s in 2008 and 2012, a top 10 in 2013 and another second place in 2016. The win was coming and after 11th in 2017 and seventh in 2019, Scott finally lifted the trophy in 2020.
We've got the idea by now but a fourth place last year secured a fifth top four finish so Scott has been flourishing at Riviera for over 15 years.
The 2013 Masters champion hasn't played since a tied 20th at the Sony Open but that represents a relatively recent run when compared to his build-up, or lack of it, to his 2020 win.
Reflecting on that 2020 Riviera victory, Scott recalled last year: "It was actually my first event in about eight weeks. I had played in Australia at the end of 2019 and had a nice break. I called that my offseason and I did some training and practice obviously, but came out here hoping to keep playing well because I was at the back of that year.
"Managed to find my rhythm Friday morning ... and managed to put myself in a position to win on Sunday, held on.
"The other big thing was having it be an official win was a nice thing so I didn't have to answer any more questions about whether I count it (36 holes in 2005) as a win here or not. But good memories.
"And then of course, you know, having Tiger present you a trophy is something special for my career to remember as well. His involvement in this tournament has taken it up to another level. That's something I'll also remember. It was a great week for me and means a lot to win here because it's my favourite course on Tour."
Scott, who was runner-up at December's Australian Open, just keeps churning out the low rounds at Riviera - a 65 and a 66 last year, a closing 66 in 2021 and a Friday 64 in 2020 - and there's no reason why he can't do so again and make a big impression.
There are three I like at biggish/big prices.
First up is Wyndham Clark, who banked his second top 10 in four starts with a tied 10th at TPC Scottsdale last week.
Clark ranked 11th SG: Tee To Green so his game looks in good shape for another crack at Riviera where he's performed strongly on both visits: 17th on debut in 2020 and eighth in 2021.
Second, Taylor Moore is playing some really consistent golf and logged a third straight top 15 with another good show in Phoenix last week.
Interestingly, he was tied 21st on his debut here last year so the 29-year-old has some fair credentials for a 150/1 shot.
But, at the same price, so does Patrick Rodgers.
The Californian has been an enigma for punters down the years and that's probably too polite a term.
However, backing him at 150s in a home Californian event when in solid form shouldn't lead to any self-recrimination.
Rodgers had a good stretch back in the Fall when going 16-3-27-16-10 from the ZOZO to the RSM Classic, that top three coming in the Bermuda Championship.
He found form again at TPC Scottsdale last week when posting tied 14th, ranking 2nd for SG: Tee To Green in a final-round 65.
Here at Riviera, he reeled off five straight top 30s from 2017 before missing the cut last year. That run included 12th in 2021 and 15th in 2019.
Also fifth after 54 holes in 2017, he said at the halfway point three years ago when rounds of 66-67 had put him fourth at the midpoint: "This is a comfortable golf course for me and I'm excited to tee it every time I get a chance to here."
After a good ball-striking display last week - 11th Off The Tee, 18th Tee To Green - maybe Rodgers can have a significant week at 150/1.