The First Look: The Genesis Invitational
February 09, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
J.B. Holmes wins by one at Genesis Open
Tiger Woods is back in action at the newly-dubbed Genesis Invitational, where J.B. Holmes defends. Woods isn’t just the host. He’s also seeking a record-breaking 83rd victory.
RELATED: Inside The Field
FIELD NOTES: This is the first year that the tournament will be played as an invitational. The field is now 120 players, and the winner receives a three-year exemption, putting the Genesis on par with the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. … Rory McIlroy makes his fourth start at Riviera. He finished T4 a year ago. McIlroy, the reigning FedExCup champion, is expected to regain the top spot in the world ranking Monday. It will be the first time since 2015 that he has held that position. … All of the top five players in the world (as of Feb. 7) will be in the field including McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson… Thomas had the 54-hole lead a year ago before shooting a 4-over 75 in the final round to finish runner-up. Thomas is currently the FedExCup leader as he seeks to join Woods and McIlroy as the only two-time FedExCup champs. … Joseph Bramlett received the 2020 Charlie Sifford Memorial exemption and will be in the field. Bramlett, who received the same honor in 2011, is the first two-time recipient. He shot 75-74 in 2011 to miss the cut. Since then, Bramlett completely re-built his swing after suffering an annular tear to his L4 and L5 discs.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points
COURSE: Riviera Country Club, 7,322 yards, par 71. A long-time PGA TOUR host club, Riviera will be the site of the 2028 Olympic events.
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STORYLINES: This will be Woods’ third start of the season. He won THE ZOZO Championship to tie Sam Snead’s PGA TOUR wins record of 82, then finished T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Woods finished T15 here a year ago. This year will mark the 11th time that he tees it up at the venerable Riviera, a course that’s had his number throughout his career. It’s the only course Woods has played more than four times in his career where he hasn’t won. … Bubba Watson, who has two-straight top-10’s to begin 2020, returns to Riviera where he’s a three-time winner. Watson won in 2014, 2016, and 2018 and if history is any indication, these ‘even’ years have treated him well. … Stay tuned for the results of the Collegiate Showcase on Monday. The low collegiate golfer after the 18-hole earns a spot in the tournament. Past winners include 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler. … A great finish that catapults a golfer into the top-10 of the FedExCup standings will mean earning a late spot into the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Lanny Wadkins (1985).
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, George Archer (3rd round, 1983 at Rancho Park GC), Ted Tryba (3rd round, 1999 at Riviera CC).
LAST TIME: It was a brutal Sunday a year ago at Riviera as cold temperatures and gusty winds impacted the scoring. While Thomas fell down the leaderboard after a 4-over 75, it was Holmes – who played 33 holes on the final day – who came out on top. Thomas made three bogeys in his first five holes in the final round while Holmes was 2 under through that same stretch. That was ultimately the turning point as Holmes ended at 1 under for the day and won – for the fifth time on TOUR – by a shot. He was able to hold off a hard-charging Si Woo Kim, whose 5-under 66 was the round of the day. Kim finished third while Marc Leishman and McIlroy finished T4.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 9:45 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 11:15 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (Featured Groups and Featured Holes)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).