Tiger back to where it all began
Tiger Woods will be returning to familiar surroundings this weekend as he competes in his second event of the season – the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
The event is something of a home tournament for southern California native, Woods, and he looks fondly upon the venue where he first attended a PGA Tour event with his father, Earl.
Little more than half a decade later, he was back at Riviera as a 16-year-old, becoming the then-youngest PGA Tour debutant at the 1992 Los Angeles Open – carding respectable rounds of 72 and 75 but missing the cut.
Woods has attempted to claim success at the event on ten occasions, but not since 2006, with his best performances a pair of runner-up finishes in 1998 and 1999. The three-time Champion Golfer of the Year’s foundation now hosts the event and after a promising finish of tied-23rd at last month’s Farmers Insurance Open, the 42-year-old Tiger will be looking to roar his way to glory come Sunday.
Spieth turning a corner
While all eyes will be on 2000, 2005 and 2006 Open Champion, Tiger Woods, plenty of people will also be watching reigning Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth at the Genesis Open as he continues to slowly turn a corner this season. The American’s struggles this term, especially with his normally trusty putter, have been well-documented but ending in a tie for 20th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday was a vast improvement on the previous week’s missed cut in Phoenix. The 24-year-old, who headed into last weekend ranked 195th in strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour this season, believes he’s now on the right track.
“My putter made tremendous progress this week,” Spieth said. “I feel great about it going forward. I just need to tighten up the swing a little bit, just wedge play, really. The putts I missed on the final day were just the ones I misread. I don’t think I put one bad stroke on it, which is the first time I can say that in a long time.”
Big names California-bound
Woods and Spieth aren’t the only golfing stars headed to the Genesis Open with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tommy Fleetwood all set to tee off at the Riviera. Johnson will be looking to defend the title he won 12 months ago, coming off a tied-second at Pebble Beach last week, while Mickelson has three top-five finishes so far this year. McIlroy, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2014, missed the cut last week and will be looking to bounce back, while Fleetwood has been in superb form on the European Tour and will head Stateside for just his second start as a PGA Tour member.
European Tour heads to Oman
While the PGA Tour is in California, the European Tour head to the equally exotic surrounding of Oman for the NBO Oman Open. Current Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma headlines a field that includes the likes of France’s Alex Levy and England’s Andy Sullivan – who finished tied-12th at The Open last summer.