An impressive field has gathered in Los Angeles this week to contest the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama and defending champ Bubba Watson will all start.
World Number 1 Jason Day and six more of the World’s top-10 players will tee it up at Riviera Country Club this week for the Genesis Open. It’s getting tight at the top of the standings with World Number 6 Jordan Spieth less than 1.5 points behind top-ranked player Day. Fresh off his victory last week in Pebble Beach, Spieth will be keen to continue his push to climb back towards the top-spot.
Designed by Captain George C. Thomas back in the 1920s, and updated by Tom Fazio in 2008, Riviera is a well bunkered, undulating layout where creative shot-making is key to success. This will be the 53rd year Riviera has been the venue for this tournament. Back in 1983 Riviera was also host to the PGA Championship. This year’s U.S. Amateur will be contested at Riviera.
It’s normally one of the toughest courses on the schedule, although last year the track was a little more forgiving. Having said that, the average score for the week was still above par.
This event began life as the Los Angeles Open back in 1926 and has been won by some big names over the years including Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. Riviera became known as “Hogan’s Alley” as the Texan won here three times in the late 1940s. The event was sponsored by Northern Trust from 2008 to 2016 but a new title sponsor has stepped in this season – Genesis (a car produced by South Korean manufacturer Hyundai.)
Last season Bubba Watson won after an eventful week at Riviera. He passed a kidney stone on Monday, appeared in an episode of TV show “Girl Meets World,” took his son to meet Justin Bieber and went out on Saturday night to watch a Clippers-Warriors basketball game then claimed a one-stroke victory over Adam Scott.
“When you come to Hollywood, there’s a lot of things you can do,” he said. “But the highlight is definitely winning.”
Watson won for the second time in three years, having also triumphed in 2014.
The weather forecast looks a little dubious this week. Rain seems likely on Friday and Saturday and cool, windy conditions should dominate.
Venue: Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, California
Date: Feb 16-19
Course stats: par 71, 7,322 yards
Purse: $7,000,000 Winner: $1,250,000
Defending Champion: Bubba Watson (-15)
Thursday 16 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm
Friday 17 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm
Saturday 18 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 19 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Dustin Johnson – He’s pushing hard at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. He was tied second in Abu Dhabi and third last week at Pebble Beach. The U.S. Open champ has a good record in this event with five top fours since 2010.
Adam Scott – He was tied second in this event last year and has enjoyed further success at Riviera – he was the winner in 2005 when the event was reduced to 36 holes. He’s made 22 straight cuts on the PGA Tour.
Sergio Garcia – He’s in a good place after winning in Dubai and he enjoys this course. He has three top-10 finishes to his name at Riviera.
Sergio Garcia swing sequence video:
Key hole: 18th. The 475-yard par 4 is one of the hardest holes on the course. It’s a blind tee shot from below the level of the fairway then a testing approach into a kidney shaped green that sits surrounded by a natural amphitheatre.