Dustin Johnson is defending champion in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open at Riviera and Tiger Woods continues his comeback.
Genesis Open Preview, TV Times
Four of the top-eight on the Official World Ranking will tee it up in this week’s Genesis Open at Riviera CC in California, as will former World Number 1 Tiger Woods.
Dustin Johnson is the defending champion in the Genesis Open and he comes into the event already a winner in 2018, having captured the Sentry Tournament of Champions title in Hawaii.
He also had a chance to win at Pebble Beach last week but couldn’t find his best game on the final day and finished tied for second.
Jordan Spieth will be looking to re-find his putting touch – he’s currently 193rd on the strokes gained putting stats on the PGA Tour.
Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are the others in the top-eight teeing it up at Riviera. Rory McIlroy will be looking to bounce back from a missed cut in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Tiger Woods plays his second event of 2018 after an encouraging showing at Torrey Pines. He hasn’t played in this event since 2006 and it’s one of the few tournaments he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour.
Woods made his PGA Tour debut at Riviera in 1992:
Europe will be well represented this week with Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Thomas Pieters and Paul Casey among those joining Rory McIlroy.
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 54th year Riviera has been the venue for this tournament. Back in 1983 Riviera was also host to the PGA Championship. This year’s US Amateur will be contested at Riviera.
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 stepped in last season – Genesis (a car produced by South Korean manufacturer Hyundai.)
Last year rain and fog meant that many players had to compete 36-holes on Sunday.
Dustin Johnson fired a superb 64 in round three to move five clear of the pack. He extended his advantage to nine at one stage during the final round and he was able to cruise home, five ahead of nearest pursuers Scott Brown and Thomas Pieters.
The weather should be better this year with moderate breezes the most daunting conditions the players will have to deal with. There should be sunshine throughout.
Venue: Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, California
Date: Feb 15-18
Course stats: par 71, 7,322 yards
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (-17)
How to watch the Genesis Open
Thursday 15 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm (Featured Groups – Sky Sports Golf from 2.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 4.30pm)
Friday 16 – Sky Sports Golf from 8pm (Featured Groups – Sky Sports Golf from 2.30pm)
Saturday 17 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.40pm
Sunday 18 – Sky Sports Golf from 6pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.45pm
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Genesis Open?
Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £6.99 you can get a day pass, if you just wish to watch one of the rounds, or for just £10.99 you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.
Players to watch:
Dustin Johnson – It’s very hard to look past the World Number 1. He won this event last year and he has six top-four finishes at Riviera. He was tied second last week.
Phil Mickelson – He’s showing solid form and he loves Riviera having won here twice before. He’s seeking a first victory on the PGA Tour since the 2013 Open Championship – this could be the place for him to get it.
Alex Noren – A debutant in this event but he’s playing brilliantly on the PGA Tour and only narrowly lost out in a playoff at Torrey Pines. He could step up a level with a win this week.
The closing hole at Riviera:
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.
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