After a couple of weeks off, Tiger Woods returns to the course at the Genesis Invitational looking to break the PGA Tour’s all-time wins mark.
Woods sits tied with Sam Snead with 82 career victories and will go for No. 83 at the course where it all began. The Riviera Country Club was the site of Tiger’s first career PGA Tour event back in 1992 when he was 16 years old. Amazingly, Woods has played in the Genesis at Riviera eleven times but has never won at the iconic southern California venue.
He returns to the Pacific Palisades after a T-15 last year, and a T-9 finish two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Along with Tiger, the Genesis will feature an absolutely loaded field with all of the top five players in the world teeing it up including newly minted world No. 1 Rory Mcilroy. Mcilroy overtook Brooks Koepka for the No. 1 spot in the world this week. This marks the first time since 2015 since Rory has held the No. 1 ranking.
Along with Mcilroy and Koepka, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are all in the field this week rounding out the top five at Riviera.
Johnson won the Genesis back in 2017 while Thomas was the 54-hole leader last year before his victory quest was derailed by a final round 75. He ultimately ended up finishing second to J.B. Holmes, who returns as the defending champion in good form following three straight top-20 finishes.
2020 will mark the first year that the Genesis is an invitational event which means the field will be limited to 120 players with the winner receiving a three-year PGA Tour exemption.
Here’s a look at who to keep an eye on this week at the Genesis Invitational.
The Genesis Invitational
The Riviera Country Club
7,322 yards Par 71
Justin Thomas (7/1)
Following a week off, JT returns to the Genesis with some unfinished business on his mind. Last year, after rounds of 66, 65 and 65, Thomas found himself holding a four-stroke lead entering Sunday’s final round. What unfolded was a long, drawn out disaster. Frustrated by the slow play in difficult conditions, Thomas fired a closing round 75, ultimately finishing second to J.B. Holmes.
He returns to Riviera in fine form following a T-3 at the Waste Management and wins at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Thomas currently ranks fourth in SG: Total this season.
Jon Rahm (8/1)
In an event loaded with heavy hitters, you simply can’t ignore “Rahmbo” this week. Rahm has seen his stock rise all the way to No. 3 in the world with a string of dominant golf. The Spaniard hasn’t finished outside the top 10 anywhere in the world since September and has a pair of wins and a pair of second place finishes over his last six starts.
He currently ranks 11th in SG: Tee to Green and fifth in SG: Total, and finished T-9 in his Genesis debut last year.
Bubba Watson (25/1)
Bubba returns to his happy place and he does so in fantastic form. Watson is a three-time winner of the Genesis and has four other top-15 finishes at Riviera. He comes in playing very well having strung together a T-6 finish at the Farmers with a T-3 at the Waste Management. He currently ranks ninth in SG: Off the tee this season.
Adam Scott (35/1)
After winning the Australian PGA in December, Scott will re-emerge from his winter hiatus and make his 2020 calendar debut at Riviera where he has always seemed very comfortable. In 11 career starts in the Genesis, Scott has just one missed cut and five top-10 finishes, including two runner ups and a T-7 last year. The Aussie owns a career scoring average of 69 at The Riviera Country Club and that includes a final round 76 last year, that took him out of contention.
Kevin Na (100/1)
Na heads to Riviera fresh off a T-14 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am marking his second top-20 finish over his last three starts. Since winning the Shriners in the fall, Na has three top-20 finishes and returns to Riviera where he has tallied four career top 10s. He finished T-2 in 2018 and currently ranks fourth in SG: Putting this season which should come in handy on Riviera’s tricky poa-annua greens.