News Worms
News Worms

Woods aims to reverse Riviera fortunes

Woods aims to reverse Riviera fortunes

Woods, who will be paired with Rory McIlroy and reigning Player of the Year Justin Thomas for the first two rounds this week at Riviera, has taken a cautious approach in his comeback. Last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, heavy favourite Dustin Johnson was the easy winning call as he is a "horse for the course" at Pebble. DJ has finished fourth or better six times in his last eight trips to Riviera, including four in a row. He had vague recollections of Woods making his PGA Tour debut at Riviera as an amateur and asked for details.

A T5 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open followed by T2 at Pebble Beach represent his first back-to-back top fives on the PGA Tour since 2013.

Paul Casey: Casey still hasn't missed since the 2017 Sony Open, and has two top-10 finishes in his last two starts. The course is often referred to as "Hogan's Alley" after Ben Hogan, who won the 1948 U.S. Open and three Los Angeles Opens there.

While Woods is dealing with the challenge of beating players like Thomas and Jordan Spieth, he's hoping there will be a day soon when he can show today's young players how great a player he can be. He won at Riviera in 2008 & '09.

That was a full year before Thomas was even born.

But Woods says that in addition to trying to solve Riviera, he also has a lot to learn about his post-fusion body and his game.

Another unique feature of Riviera Country Club's 92-year-old course is its abundance of Eucalyptus trees. Woods, however, has never played the event or the week before the year's first major.

Thomas Pieters: An outside chance this week. "I'll start worrying about Augusta the week after match play ends".

Bubba Watson - Bubba Watson hasn't had any noteworthy performances since the QBE Shootout, but he has made the cut in four of his last five events and is 11th in driving distance. The clubhouse also boasts 30 guest suites, many named after its legendary visitors, which during the Genesis Open play home to everything from a golf simulator to a sushi bar. There should be sunshine throughout.

Now that the field for the Genesis Open 2018 is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.

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"I didn't know if I would ever get back to this point and all the well wishes along the way have really blown my mind".

Dustin Johnson - It's very hard to look past the World Number 1.

His colleagues certainly remember that Johnson was playing the best golf of his career - with those three wins at the Genesis and the two WGC tilts (the Mexico Championship and Match Play) - before hurting his back and having to withdraw from last year's Masters. He was a runner-up here as recently as 2015 and tied for eighth last week.

Phil Mickelson: He might be one of the highest trending players coming into Riviera. He seems to be healthy, so it's just a matter of time for him to be on top of the leaderboard on the PGA Tour.

The rough at Torrey Pines was U.S. Open length.


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