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The First Look: Tiger Woods kicks off his PGA TOUR season at The Genesis Invitational

6 Min Read

The First Look


    Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley

    The iconic Riviera Country Club will once again play host to the PGA TOUR’s best as The Genesis Invitational, the third Signature Event of the season, tees off this week.

    The Genesis Invitational is the first of three player-hosted invitationals (along with the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament presented by Workday). Tiger Woods not only is the host this week, but he also will tee it up. This will be his first start in an official PGA TOUR event since last year’s Masters. Tournament host Tiger Woods returns to action on the PGA TOUR for the first time since the Masters in 2023 – where he withdrew after the third round. Last season’s Genesis Invitational was his last full four-round effort on the PGA TOUR before he was sidelined due to injury for the remainder of the season.

    Here’s everything you need to know before play begins in Los Angeles.

    FIELD NOTES: World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler returns to action after making a valiant Sunday charge at the WM Phoenix Open. He finished third in his attempt to become the first golfer on TOUR to three-peat since Steve Stricker in 2009-11. Scheffler finished 12th at The Genesis last season… Reigning FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland is back and eager to return to his form from the end of 2023. This will be his third start of the season as he looks for his first top-20 result. Riviera has been a solid spot for him, with two top-fives in three starts… Rory McIlroy is set to make just his second TOUR start in 2024 after a T66 at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. This will be McIlroy’s eighth start at Riviera. He finished 29th last season and has finished a career-best of fourth of The Genesis in 2019… Last week’s winner, Nick Taylor, is right back to work after ascending to his highest-ever spot ever in the Official World Golf Ranking (No. 28). Taylor also jumped 51 spots in the FedExCup with his win and is firmly inside the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10… Nine of the game’s top-10 ranked golfers will all be teeing it up… The field is comprised mainly of the top 50 in last season’s FedExCup standings, the Aon Next 10 and the Aon Swing 5 (more details below)… Nicolai Højgaard, the leading finisher from the Race to Dubai (not otherwise exempt) is also in the field along with newly-minted pro Nick Dunlap (a current-year tournament winner, not otherwise exempt). Højgaard, a member of last year’s European Ryder Cup team, recently was runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    World rankingFedExCup standings
    1. Scottie Scheffler2. Chris Kirk
    2. Rory McIlroy3. Wyndham Clark
    4. Viktor Hovland4. Scottie Scheffler
    5. Xander Schauffele5. Byeong Hun An
    6. Wyndham Clark6. Nick Taylor
    7. Patrick Cantlay7. Sahith Theegala
    8. Max Homa8. Ludvig Åberg
    9. Matt Fitzpatrick9. Grayson Murray
    10. Brian Harman10. J.T. Poston
    11. Ludvig Åberg11. Jordan Spieth

    SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: Will Zalatoris, who finished fourth at The Genesis last season, will be teeing it up. This will be Zalatoris’ fourth TOUR start after nine months off recovering from back surgery. He finished T13 at in his last start, the Farmers Insurance Open. This will be his fifth career appearance at Riviera, dating back to his amateur days… Two-time winner at Riviera Adam Scott is back at a club where he’s had a ton of success. In 15 starts at this event, Scott has seven top-10s, including the two wins (2005, 2020). He’s only missed one cut at Riviera in his career… Gary Woodland notched his best-ever finish at Riviera last season (ninth) and will tee it up at the Genesis Invitational this week. Woodland had brain surgery late last year and returned to the TOUR at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He’s looking to make his first cut since his return… Chase Johnson will make his fifth career PGA TOUR start as the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption. Johnson, a Kent State alum, won three times on the APGA Tour and had seven second-place results en route to winning Player of the Year honors… 82-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods rounds out the sponsor exemptions, receiving an invite from tournament host Tiger Woods.

    SIGNATURE EVENT STORYLINES: Charley Hoffman’s runner-up at the WM Phoenix Open was his first top-10 on TOUR since 2022. Despite falling in a playoff to Nick Taylor at the WM Phoenix Open, it earned him a reward regardless – a spot in The Genesis Invitational via the Aon Swing 5… Grayson Murray, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Kevin Yu and Matthieu Pavon make up the rest of the Aon Swing 5. Pavon is currently not in the field, and if he does not declare his intent to play by 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 12 then Justin Thomas (No. 6) will take his place in the Aon Swing 5 category. Thomas is currently in the field via his world ranking… This is the final Signature Event where those who finished inside the Aon Next 10 via their standings in the FedExCup Fall earned a spot in the field. The Aon Next 10 is comprised of Nos. 51-60 in 2023’s final FedExCup Fall standings and will reset at next week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta. For the next Signature Event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the Aon Next 10 will be comprised of the top 10 players in the 2024 FedExCup standings who are not yet exempt for the field.

    COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10 UPDATES: Taylor made an impressive jump inside the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 thanks to his dramatic playoff victory at the WM Phoenix Open. The Canadian moved from No. 57 to No. 6 in the FedExCup standings… Taylor bumped Jason Day from the TOUR TOP 10. Day fell from No. 10 to No. 14… The rest of the TOUR TOP 10 remained the same.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 700 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: Riviera Country Club, par 71, 7,322 yards. Last summer, green contours were restored on Nos. 10 and 15 to restore a pin locations. The club, long ranked as one of the best in the world, features a compact design built to test all aspects of a player’s game – especially with the primary rough of club-grabbing Kikuyu. It will also host the 2028 Summer Olympics men's and women's golf competitions and the 2026 U.S. Women’s Open.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Lanny Wadtkins (1985)

    18-HOLE RECORD: 61, George Archer (Round 3, 1983 at Rancho Park GC), Ted Tryba (Round 3, 1999 at Riviera CC)

    LAST TIME: Jon Rahm won for the third time in 2023, topping Max Homa by two shots. Rahm had a three-shot advantage through 54 holes, but Homa made a hard charge out of the gates, birding five of his first 10 holes. Rahm, however, added circles to his scorecard on two of his final five holes to shut the door. Homa was firmly in the mix until he hit a poor tee shot on No. 13, which led to bogey. It was Rahm’s 10th career PGA TOUR title. Patrick Cantlay finished third, Zalatoris finished fourth and Keith Mitchell finished fifth.

    Tournament host Woods made the cut and finished tied for 45th.

    HOW TO FOLLOW (all times ET):


    • Thursday-Friday: 4-8 p.m. (Golf Channel)
    • Saturday: 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-7 p.m. (CBS)
    • Sunday: 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS)


    Stream 1Main feed: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.Main feed: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.Main feed: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Main feed: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured group: 4-8 p.m.Featured group: 4-8 p.m.Featured group: 1-7 p.m.Featured group: 1-6:30 p.m.
    Stream 2Marquee: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.Marquee: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.Marquee: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.Marquee: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured group: 4-8 p.m.Featured group: 4-8 p.m.Featured group: 1-7 p.m.Featured group: 1-6:30 p.m.
    Stream 3Featured groups: 11:15 a.m.-4 p.m.Featured groups: 11:15 a.m.-4 p.m.Featured groups: 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured groups: 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured hole: 4-8 p.m.Featured hole: 4-8 p.m.Featured hole: 1-7 p.m.Featured hole: 1-6:30 p.m.
    Stream 4Featured holes: 11:15 a.m.-4 p.m.Featured holes: 11:15 a.m.-4 p.m.Featured holes: 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured holes: 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured hole: 4-8 p.m.Featured hole: 4-8 p.m.Featured hole: 1-7 p.m.Featured hole: 1-6:30 p.m.

    PGA TOUR LIVE is available exclusively on ESPN+

    • Main feed: Primary tournament-coverage featuring the best action from across the course
    • Marquee group: New “marquee group” showcasing every shot from each player in the group
    • Featured groups: Traditional PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of two concurrent featured groups
    • Featured holes: A combination of par 3s and iconic or pivotal holes
    • Thursday-Friday: 2-8 p.m.
    • Saturday-Sunday: 2-7 p.m.

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