Horses for Courses: Riviera provides familiar walk for TOUR stars
2 Min Read
Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott
The city of blinding lights welcomes 131 of the best players to The Genesis Invitational at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Considered a classic course in every sense, this masterpiece was designed by legendary architect George C. Thomas in the late 1920s. A wonderful test featuring doglegs, elevation changes, Kikuyu grass and Poa annua greens will test not only all 14 clubs in the bag but the space between the ears.
The elevated event, a designation shared with only the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial tournament, features a prize pool of $20 million with the winner taking home $3.6 million plus 550 FedExCup points.
Many aspects in golf have changed in recent years but Riviera’s par-71, 7,332-yard layout, greens and design has not. Adam Scott (+5500), the tournament’s all-time winning money leader, fell in love in his first visit, winning a weather-shortened event in 36 holes in 2005. He returned the following year to take second and added another T2 in 2016. Playing every event since 2016, the Australian returned to the winner's circle officially in 2020 and cashed a T4 last year. He's cashed in nine straight and 13 of 14 career. Nobody playing this week can match his top-10 returns, seven from 14 attempts.
Southern California native Max Homa (+2000) cracked the code here in 2021 as he defeated Tony Finau in a playoff to win in his fifth visit. Signing for a T5 with a 65 on the card in 2020 should have provided the first clue. Defending in his own backyard last year he opened with 66 before collecting a T10. His streak is currently at four in a row and 13 of his last 16 rounds are in the red, including 10 of 11.
Looking to regain the mark of world No. 1, Rory McIlroy (+950)returns to "Hogan's Alley" for the sixth consecutive season and seventh appearance overall. Only missing the weekend once (2021) he's never cashed outside the top 20. Top-10 returns include three of the last four years, with a T4 in 2019 the pinnacle. Interestingly, he's only posted one round of 22 lower than 67 – that was a second-round 63 in 2019.
Justin Thomas (+1600)never missed a weekend in his first five trips to Riviera before back-to-back early exits in 2020 and 2021. The ship was righted last year, as his T6 included his seventh score of 67 or better from 28 career rounds (64 in Round 2). Thomas will feel he's owed one here, as he led by five in the final round in 2019 before settling for second. His last five trips have resulted in a trio of top-10 paydays and two MC. Volatile.
For those that are more visually inclined, take a look at the breakdown below for event-specific data on some of the top players in the field – and some insight on a few that may not be household names but could surprise this week given course fit and history:
|Top Players entered this week (cuts made/events entered)||Top 10||Top 25||Scoring Average||Recent Best||Notes|
|Collin Morikawa (3/3)||1||1||69.42||T2 2022||T43-T26 previous 2 years; closed 65 last year; all 4 rds 60s 2022|
|Jon Rahm (4/4)||2||4||69.38||T5 2021||T9 2019; T21 last year is worst; 65 to close last year too|
|Tony Finau (6/8)||2||3||70.36||P2 2021||T2 2018; 5 straight.|
|Adam Scott (13/14)||7||10||69.54||T4 2022||2020 winner; 6 of last 8 T11 or better; 2004 debut win 36 holes; 9 straight.|
|Justin Thomas (6/8)||3||3||70.21||6th 2022||2nd 2019 when closed with 75; all 3 top 10s in last 5; so are both MC|
|Scottie Scheffler (3/4)||1||2||70.29||T7 2022||Trending T30-T20-T7; best last year by 9 shots|
|Jordan Spieth (8/10)||2||5||70.42||T9 2018||T4 2015; 6 straight and 4 T30 or better|
|Tiger Woods (11/14)||4||9||70.33||T15 2019||68th in last visit 2020; only 3 trips since 2006; most starts never won|
|Rory McIlroy (5/6)||3||5||69.59||T10 2022||T5 2021, T4 2019; Worst is T20 twice|
|Max Homa (4/6)||3||3||69.80||Win 2021||T10 2022, T5 2020 makes three straight paydays; LA Native. 4 straight.|
|Eye Catchers entered this week (cuts made/events entered)||Top 10||Top 25||Scoring Average||Recent Best||Notes|
|Alex Noren (4/4)||0||2||70.50||T12 2021||T16 2018 debut|
|Patrick Rodgers (5/7)||0||3||70.42||T12 2021||5 straight T30 or better busted with 2022 MC|
|James Hahn (8/9)||1||4||70.35||T15 2021||4 of last 5 T28 or better; 2015 winner; 6 of 8 T29 or better|
|Luke List (4/8)||0||2||70.45||T15 2019||T30 or better in all paydays|
|KH Lee (4/4)||0||2||70.50||T13 2020||T25 2019 debut; T26 2022|
|Russell Henley (5/7)||0||1||71.13||T17 2020||cashed last 4 years and previous 5 starts|
|Chez Reavie (5/12)||3||3||71.91||T10 2022||T10 2020 plus 7th 2016; top 10 or bust!|
|Justin Rose (11/12)||2||4||70.52||T4 2017||Cashed in last 7 visits; 2020 only start since 2017|
|Matt Kuchar (14/16)||2||6||70.50||T2 2020||concluded 5 straight T28 or better; shared 54 hole lead; T67-MC L2Y|
|Adam Hadwin (7/8)||1||3||70.67||T6 2018||T34 or better in 6 of 7; 7 straight busted 2022 MC|
-odds courtesy of BETMGM.COM-
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