Genesis Open preview: Tiger Woods makes second start of season among loaded field

Tiger Woods (Getty Photographs)

The PGA Tour season typically flies by anonymously earlier than the Masters in April, however that has not been the case in 2018.

With Tiger Woods again within the fold, an a quantity of thrilling playoffs dominating the West Coast Swing, golf has been entertaining thus far this yr. Woods is again in motion this week at Riviera Nation Membership, the place he as soon as performed as a 17-yr-previous newbie.

Woods completed t-23 at Torrey Pines final month, showcasing an improved brief recreation and strong command over his swing. His well being will once more be a most important focus this week, however Woods appears assured in his again following final yr’s fourth again surgical procedure since 2014.

Whereas Woods drives the headlines, this week’s Genesis Open options one of the deepest, most compelling fields of the season.

The Course

Riviera is breathtaking from start to complete, however two holes actually stand out on this 7,322-yard, par seventy one. Gap No. 6 is a brief par three with a small pot bunker proper within the center of the inexperienced. Even with a brief iron off the tee, this tough par three often garners additional consideration.

Extensively thought-about the perfect brief par four on the planet, No. 10 challenges gamers from tee to inexperienced. Some will attempt to drive the razer-skinny inexperienced with two deep bunkers guarding both aspect, whereas others will lay up within the fairway. Both approach, something from eagle to double bogey is in play.

Defending Champion

Dustin Johnson accomplished a commanding 5-shot victory final yr within the midst of a dominant stretch. He already has a win and a runner-up end in his two PGA Tour begins this yr, so anticipate the world’s prime-ranked golfer to be in rivalry as soon as once more.

The Favorites

Aside from Johnson, who’s the favourite each week he tees it up, this week’s field boasts a plethora of huge names. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are all in search of their first wins of the yr, however Thomas did win in the course of the fall.

McIlroy missed the minimize final week after two prime-three finishes to start the yr on the European Tour, whereas Spieth has but to rise up to hurry together with his putter.

Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel, two stars struggling for type, have discovered success right here and will get again on monitor this week. 

European Invasion

A majority of the European Tour’s prime stars are within the field this week, together with Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, who’re each ranked inside the highest 22 on the earth rating.

Alex Noren, who misplaced in a playoff to Jason Day at Torrey Pines appears poised for an additional good end, and Thomas Pieters returns after ending t-2 right here final yr.