PGA Tour’s Best Players Put Riviera’s Historic Course to the Test This Week
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
It’s that time of year again—time for the golf world to turn its attention to the historic course off Capri Drive for one of the PGA Tour’s premiere events.
This week, Riviera Country Club is once again playing host to the Genesis Open, which starts today and, barring inclement weather, concludes Sunday.
There are many intriguing storylines leading into the 20189 edition of the L.A. area tour stop, not the least of which is whether Bubba Watson can defend his title –a feat accomplished only seven times in the 93-year history of the tournament. He is a three-time winner, also having won in 2014 and 2016.
First played in 1926 and then called the Los Angeles Open, it is the tour’s fourth-oldest event outside of the majors.
Riviera, which was given the moniker “Hogan’s Alley” after the legendary Ben Hogan won there three times in the 1940s, is hosting the event for the 57th time (all but two times since 1973) and grounds crews have been hard at work for over a month preparing the greens and fairways for the wear and tear of a week’s worth of championship-level golf.
A testament to the challenge Riviera presents to even the most accomplished golfers is how 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, the best player of this generation, has fared. He has never won here in 11 tries (twice as an amateur and nine as a professional), making it the only PGA venue he has played four or more times professionally without winning. Woods, whose TGR Live hosts the tournament for the third straight year, is playing the event for the second time since 2006 when he withdrew after shooting rounds of 69 and 74. He missed the cut after rounds of 72 and 76 last year.
The purse is $7.4 million—the winner pocketing over $1.3 million and 500 FedExCup points.
One of the sport’s most unique and famous holes, the Par 4, 475-yard 18th at Riviera spells doom for even the most accomplished players and it’s at that storied green nestled below the clubhouse where the championship is often won or lost on Sunday afternoon.
Gates open at 6 a.m. today and tommorrow and at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The first two rounds will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel and the last two rounds will be on CBS (12-3 p.m. Saturday and 12-3:30 p.m. Sunday).
Monday’s Collegiate Showcase featured 12 athletes vying for an exemption into the 2019 field and Kentucky’s Lukas Euler finished atop the leaderboard to earn a tee time on Thursday and Friday, then posed for pictures with Woods at the 18th green.
Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online. For offers including youth, student, veteran and complimentary military tickets, visit GenesisOpen.com/tickets. Shuttles run 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from downtown Santa Monica to Riviera. The pick-up and drop-off location is on Wilshire Boulevard between Second and Third Streets. The shuttle will drop guests at the tournament’s main entrance on Longworth Drive.
Parking is available in downtown Santa Monica structures S1-S8. Uber riders will be dropped off/picked up at 1450 Allenford Avenue.
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