Horses for Courses: The Genesis Invitational 2021

A field of 120 tees it up at The Riviera Country Club for the old Los Angeles Open. Every year since 1999 Riviera has played host so finding out who likes it around here is paramount this week.

The final stop of the West Coast swing takes the TOUR to Los Angeles for the 95th time as “Hogan’s Alley”, The Riviera Country Club, provides the challenge for the Genesis Invitational. “The Riv” was designed by George C. Thomas and William P. Bell in 1927 and is the seventh-longest running host on TOUR. Adam Scott returns to defend his title against an invitational field of 121.


RELATED: Power Rankings | Expert Picks | The First Look


The Genesis Invitational debuted as an invitational last year. The field was reduced from 144 to 120 while the purse was increased to $9.3 million, up from $7.4 million in 2019. The winner also receives a three year exemption plus, new this year, 550 FedExCup points. The winner also takes home $1.674 million for the effort.

The Riviera Country Club annually ranks as one of the toughest on TOUR. All 14 clubs are required and multiple styles have found the winner’s circle. There’s just enough length as six Par-4 holes stretch to 458 or better. There’s just enough rough, two inches of Kikuyugrass, to pester. Throw in large Poa greens running upwards of 12.5 feet and it will feel like a mini-major.

The list of winners suggests a connection between Augusta and Riviera. Power, shot-making and taking advantage when the opportunity presents itself will work again this week. It’s not a surprise that either of these tracks support Horses for Courses.

Please note that Daniel Berger WD Tuesday morning and will NOT be replaced. The field stands at 120.

Winner’s Stats

Year202020192018
 Adam ScottJ.B. HolmesBubba Watson
Score-11-14-12
MOV2 (Kang, Brown, Kuchar)1 (Justin Thomas)2
Cut 1-over, 143E, 1422 over, 144
    
Age393639
    
All Drives8919
AccuracyT63T59T27
GIR1T2T7
Ball-Striking19T325
ProximityT18T309
Putting: Birdie or Better %T102211
SG: Off-the-Tee17T3717
SG: Approach-the-Green3611
SG: Around-the-Green17336
SG: Putting27121
SG: Tee-to-Green3112
Scrambling4617T20
Bogey AvoidanceT76T5
Par-3 ScoringT81T1
Par-4 Scoring3T1T6
Par-5 ScoringT37T65T8
    
TOUR form enteringWon Aussie PGA in lastMC-T26-MCMC-T40-T36
 start  
ThoughtsMassive course horse hereOpened with 63; big puttingVets know how to play here
  week 
Notes2nd win in 12th appearance12th appearanceWon in his 8th try
  5 straight at the event 3rd win in 5 years
   Never worse than T15 
   when he’s made 8 cuts

Recent Winners and Notables

2020: Adam Scott (-11, 273)
Posted 69 to break a three way tie after 54 holes to win for the second time at Riviera. … Only player to post double digits under par. … Won in 2005 after the tournament was abandoned after 36 holes due to weather (unofficial win). … Posted a double bogey in the final round and still won. … Matched his career best at Riviera with 64 on Friday. … Becomes the fourth leader/co-leader in the last five to win after 54. … Fifth consecutive winner T7 or better GIR. … … Picks up his sixth top 10 in 12 starts here. … Only second international winner of the decade. … Won the Australian PGA in his previous start seven weeks prior.

Notables:
Co-54 hole leader Matt Kuchar (T2) led by three after opening with 64 and led by two after 36. … Sung Kang (T2) posted all four rounds at 70 or better for his second top 10 in five years. … Joel Dahmen (T5) shot 66 in Round 3. … Bryson DeChambeau (T5) cashed his best finish in three trips and first top 10. … Max Homa (T5) never posted anything lower than 69 before his 65 in Round 3. … Making the cut on the number, Hideki Matsuyama (T5) rallied with 64-69 to close. … Co-54 hole leader Rory McIlroy (T5) stumbled home with 73. … Dustin Johnson (T10) picked up his ninth top 10 from 11 paydays. … Talor Gooch (T10) matched the round of the day on Saturday with 64. … Cut was 1-over. … Only eight bogey-free rounds on the week. … Weather was mid-60s and sunny.

2019: JB Holmes (-14, 270)
Made up a four-shot deficit to defeat Justin Thomas by a shot. … Extended the streak to six consecutive winners in their 30s here. … Opened with 63 (preferred lies Round 1), co-low round of the week, co-lowest opening round ever. … Has 10 rounds of 67 or better here career; only Dustin Johnson has more. … Entered the week No. 202 in Strokes-Gained: Putting; led the field. … Only winner of the last six to finish outside the top five in Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green (T11). … Second time he led after the first round here (2011, T12). … Entered the week with one top 10 in seven starts on the season. … Won in his 12th start at Riviera. … Picked up his fifth win on TOUR.

Notables:
Justin Thomas (2nd), who led after 36 and 54 holes, finished one back after four putting and three putting twice in the final round. … Si Woo Kim (3rd) cashed for the first time in four starts and posted the low round on Sunday, 66. … Marc Leishman (T4) racked up his second top five in four years in between two MCs. … Rory McIlroy (T4) and his 63 in Round 2 accounted for his first top 10 in three visits. … Charles Howell III (6th) collected his first top 10 since his 2007 victory. … Adam Scott (T7) began the final round tied with Holmes on 13-under, shot 76. … Michael Thompson (T7) opened 69-64. … Jon Rahm (T9) posted all four rounds of 71 or better on his debut. … Defending champ Bubba Watson (T15) has never cashed outside T17. … Cut was Even. … Final time field of 144. … 15 bogey free rounds. … Weather affected Rounds 1 and 2, pushing Round 3 to 3pm on Saturday.

2018: Bubba Watson (-12, 272)
Picks up his third win at Riviera in the last five years. … Joins Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead as three time winners. … Closed 65-69 to win by two. … Closed 67-68 in 2016. … Closed bogey free 64-64 in 2014. … Only winner from 2016 to 2020 to finish outside the top 10 in Driving Distance (all drives). … Continues the streak of winners inside the top 10 of Bogey Avoidance. … Entered the week MC-T40-T36. … Won in his eighth attempt in 2014.

Notables:
Tony Finau (T2)
 opened with 66 in this edition and the 2019 event. … Kevin Na (T2) has four top 10s from 10 paydays. … Patrick Cantlay (T4) co-led with Finau after 18, led after 36 and played the final group with Watson. … Adam Hadwin (T6) closed 66-66 after making it on the number. … Cameron Smith (T6) posted 65 on Saturday for his only top 25 here. … Martin Laird (T9) hit the top 10 for the second consecutive year and top 11 for the third straight visit. … Xander Schauffele (T9) posted all four rounds at par or better on his debut. … Jordan Spieth (T9) picked up his second top 10 in his last four here. … Justin Thomas (T9) included his eighth consecutive rounds at par or better. … Dustin Johnson (T16) posted 64 in Round 3, lowest of the week. … Cut was 2-over. …

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
* – Top 10 finish here since 2016 

Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green
1 *Justin Thomas
2 *Hideki Matsuyama
3 *Jon Rahm
4 Sergio Garcia
5 Collin Morikawa
6 *Rory McIlroy
7 *Xander Schauffele
8 Harold Varner III
9 *Dustin Johnson
10 Scottie Scheffler
11 *Tony Finau
12 *Patrick Cantlay
14 Russell Henley
16 Corey Conners
19 *Bryson DeChambeau
20 Viktor Hovland
22 Luke List
23 Joaquin Niemann
24 Emiliano Grillo
25 *Cameron Tringale

Bogey Avoidance
2 *Jon Rahm
4 *Xander Schauffele
5 Russell Henley
7 *Bryson DeChambeau
8 *Justin Thomas
9 *Cameron Tringale
11 Russell Knox
12 Abraham Ancer
17 Brian Harman
21 *Hideki Matsuyama
22 Pat Perez
23 Brendon Todd
24 *Adam Scott
25 Matthew NeSmith

Greens in Regulation Golfer
1 Jim Furyk
2 Kyle Stanley
5 Russell Henley
6 Corey Conners
7 Emiliano Grillo
10 *Xander Schauffele
12 Doc Redman
13 Henrik Norlander
15 Harold Varner III
16 Pat Perez
16 *Martin Laird
18 *Jon Rahm
22 Matthew NeSmith
23 Russell Knox
26 Bo Hoag
28 *Cameron Tringale

Horses for Courses

PlayerTopĀ TopMostBig Finishes
(Starts/cuts made)10s25Recent 
Top 10 last five years  (season) 
     
Adam Scott (11/12)69Win (2020)2005 winner; 2nd 2006, T2 2016; 3 of last 4 T11 or better
Matt Kuchar (13/14)26T2 (2020)T8 2016; 5 straight T28 or better
Sung Kang (6/6)24T2 (2020)T8 2016; 4 of 5 T22 or better
Rory McIlroy (4/4)24T5 (2020)T4, T20, T20 last four years; 63 Round 2 2019
Hideki Matsuyama (5/6)35T5 (2020)T11 or better in four of the five he’s cashed
Bryson DeChambeau (3/4)12T5 (2020)T5-T15 last two visits; all eight rounds par or better
Joel Dahmen (1/3)11T5 (2020)All four rounds par or better
Max Homa (2/4) 11T5 (2020)65 in Round 3 last year
Chez Reavie (4/10)22T10 (2020)7th 2016 but not much else
Talor Gooch (2/2)12T10 (2020)64 Round 3 last year; T20 2019
     
     
JB Holmes (13/14)58Win (2019)From 2008-12 T12 or better with 4 top 10s; cashed 7 straight
Justin Thomas (5/6)222 (2019)T9 2018; MC 2020; led by 4 after 54 holes in 2018
Si Woo Kim (2/5)113 (2019)T37 2020
Marc Leishman (7/11)24T4 (2019)T5 2016
Charles Howell III (15/19)456 (2019)First top 10 since his 2007 victory; 6 straight paydays
Michael Thompson (2/5)12T7 (2019)T17 2012
Vaughn Taylor (9/14)16T9 (2019)T13 2020; T20 2018
Carlos Ortiz (4/4)12T9 (2019)Worst is T26 twice; T20 2015 debut
Jon Rahm (2/2)12T9 (2019)T17 2020; 7 of 8 rounds par or better
     
Bubba Watson (8/14)38Win (2018)2016, 2014 winner; 5 others T17 or better
Kevin Na (10/17)45T2 (2018)T4 2017, 3 2011; T10 2010; MC 2020
Tony Finau (4/6)12T2 (2018)T15 2019
Patrick Cantlay (3/5)13T4 (2018)T17 2020; T15 2019; 20-under aggregate
Adam Hadwin (6/6)13T6 (2018)Played six straight, cashed all six with 5 T34 or better
Cameron Smith (4/5)11T6 (2018)4 straight ended with MC last year
Martin Laird (7/11)24T9 (2018)T8 2017, T11 2016
Jordan Spieth (6/8)24T9 (2018)T4 2015; T12 2014
Xander Schauffele (3/3)13T9 (2018)T23 2020, T15 2019
     
Dustin Johnson (11/13)910Win (2017)2 2014, T2 2015; T3 2010
Charley Hoffman (10/14)12T4 (2017)T12 2014
Wesley Bryan (1/2)11T4 (2017)63 Rd 3
     
Cameron Tringale (8/9)15T8 (2017)Run of 7 straight before MC in 2018; T30 ’20
     
Jason Kokrak (7/9)13T2 (2016)MC last year halted 4 straight
     
Previous Winners     
     
James Hahn (6/7)13Win (2015)T13, T14, T28 last 3 years

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