Golf Glance: Tiger tries to break Riviera curse

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


Rory McIlroy
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

LAST TOURNAMENT: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Nick Taylor)

THIS WEEK: The Genesis Invitational, Feb. 13-16
Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif. (Par 71, 7,322 yards)
Purse: $9.3 million (Winner: $1.674)
Defending Champion: J.B. Holmes
FedEx Cup leader: Justin Thomas
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS).

NOTES: No. 7 Webb Simpson is the only top 10 player not in this week’s field. … This is the lone PGA Tour event in which Tiger Woods has made at least 10 starts without recording a victory. He’s seeking to win a record 83rd career PGA Tour title in his 14th start at Riviera. … Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson have combined to win four of the past six Genesis Opens. Watson is seeking to join Lloyd Mangrum and MacDonald Smith as the only four-time winners of the event. … Rory McIlroy has regained the No. 1 world ranking for the first time since 2015. … Mickelson and Woods are tied for first place with 14 victories in California since 1983. … The event began in 1926, and Riviera will be the site of the 2028 Olympic golf events. … The field has been trimmed from 144 players to 120 to address issues with lengthy rounds and darkness suspensions. … This is the fourth year Woods has served as tournament host. The event has received elevated status, putting it in equal standing with Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Elevated status brought nearly a $2 million purse increase along with a three-year Tour exemption for the winner. Regular Tour events award two-year exemptions.

BEST BETS: McIlroy (+750 at DraftKings) is the betting favorite for good reason. The newly-minted world No. 1 finished T3 in his lone start of 2020 at Torrey Pines and has nine top-10 finishes with two wins in his last 11 worldwide starts. … Thomas (+900) was the 54-hole overnight leader before faltering with a 75 in difficult Sunday conditions last year. He has three wins and 12 top-20 finishes in his past 13 starts. … Jon Rahm (+1000) has four wins and six other top-three finishes since a T9 in his Riviera debut last year. … Watson (+2500) won on even years in 2014, 2016 and 2018. More important, he also has a pair of top-10s to begin 2020. … Adam Scott (+3500) won the Australian PGA Championship in his last start and has seven career top-15 finishes at Riviera.

NEXT WEEK: WGC-Mexico Championship, Mexico City; Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico (both Feb. 20-23)


Nelly Korda
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

LAST WEEK: ISPS Handa Vic Open (Hee Young Park)

THIS WEEK: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Feb. 13-16
Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Seaton, South Australia (Par 73, 6,633 yards)
Purse: $1.3M (Winner: $195,000)
Defending champion: Nelly Korda
Race to the CME Globe leader: Nasa Hataoka
TV: Wednesday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. ET; Thursday, 11 p.m.-2 a.m. ET; Friday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. ET; Sunday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)

NOTES: Korda won by two shots over Jin Young Ko last year. … Former No. 1-ranked players Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu are in the field, as are Australian stars Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee and Hannah Green. … The event has been held annually since 1974, with the LPGA Tour joining Golf Australia and the ALPG as co-sanctioning partners in 2012. … Annika Sorenstam (1994) and Ha Na Jang (2017) won the previous two times the event was played at Royal Adelaide. … The LPGA canceled scheduled events in Pattaya, Thailand and Singapore later this month due to coronavirus concerns. The Blue Bay event scheduled for March 5-8 on Hainan Island was canceled last month.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Founders Cup, Phoenix, Ariz., March 19-22

Champions Tour

Miguel Angel Jimenez
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

LAST WEEK: Morocco Champions (Brett Quigley)

THIS WEEK: Chubb Classic, Feb. 14-16
The Classics at Lely Resort, Naples, Fla. (Par 71, 6,843 yards)
Purse: $1.6M (Winner: $240,000)
Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Jimenez
TV: Friday, 12-2 p.m. ET; Saturday, 12-2:30 p.m. ET; Sunday, 3-5 p.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)

NOTES: This is the 33rd annual playing of the event, which Bernhard Langer has won a Tour-best three times. It is the fifth-oldest event on Tour. … This is the first full-field event of the season. … Jimenez won in a playoff over Langer and Olin Browne last year. … Tim Herron, who turned 50 on Feb. 6, will make his Champions debut, as will Robert Karlsson and Thongchai Jaidee. … Quigley was winless in 408 starts on the PGA Tour, and his victory in Morocco was his first in a Tour-sanctioned event since 2001 on the Korn Ferry Tour.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Cologuard Classic, Tucson, Ariz., Feb 28-March 1

–Derek Harper (DerekAHarper), Field Level Media