Culver City Observer -

By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Field Is Set for the Genesis Open at Riviera

Tournament Receives Elevated Status

 

February 7, 2019

Fred Altieri

Looking down the fairway from the First tee at Riviera Country Club

The field is set for the 93rd Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club this week in Pacific Palisades, February 14-17. Tournament host Tiger Woods, defending champion Bubba Watson, 2017 Genesis Open winner Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson – fresh off a victory at Pebble Beach will compete a the famed track including six of the top ten golfers in the world.

Continued rain and showers are expected for this week, but the crowds are expected to come out in greater numbers to watch the stellar cast of PGA Tour players test their patience and skill on a course that expects plenty of drama and low scores. 11 of the last 13 winners have shot double digits under par at the Riviera layout.

There will be plenty of former FedEx Cup champions teeing it up, including Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Bill Haas, and Jim Furyk. There are also five World Golf Hall of Famers: the ever-popular Fred Couples who won the tournament in 1990 and 1992, Ernie Els - winner of four Majors, Vijay Singh, Mickelson and Davis Love III who has won 21 times on the Tour.

Also included in the field is Justin Thomas, No. 4 in the world; Bryson DeChambeau – No. 5; Jon Rahm – World's No. 6; Xander Schauffele, the current PGA TOUR FedExCup points leader and three time Major champion Rory McIlroy. 13 of the top 20 golfers in the OWGR are competing, 21 golfers who have a combined 50 Major wins, and 87 golfers who have combined for 516 PGA TOUR titles.

The tournament also received very welcome news for its status and future outlook. The PGA Tour announced this week that Genesis Open will receive elevated status on the TOUR starting in 2020 with the implementation of several significant enhancements.

"In recognition of Tiger's place alongside Jack and Arnold as a modern-day golf icon who hosts a home-based PGA Tour tournament," said Commissioner Jay Monahan. "The common thread of doing exceptional philanthropic work through his TGR Foundation, elevating the Genesis Open is an important and deserved step toward further cementing Tiger's legacy in our sport."

The Genesis Open will move to invitational qualifying status and reduce its field from 144 players to 120. The tournament's champion will receive a three-year PGA Tour exemption, an increase by one year over the standard winner's exemption. The purse will grow to $9.3 million, an increase of $1.9 million over the 2019 purse. The winner's share will be $1.674 million.

Fred Altieri

Tiger Woods and Mark Wahlberg fist pump after both birdied the Par 3, 6th Hole during last years Pro-Am at Riviera

These elements will put the Genesis Open in select company alongside Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. The Memorial Tournament began awarding a three-year exemption and elevated purse in 2016 and Palmer's tournament did so the following year.

Monahan: "Tiger is fully committed to continuing the growth of all aspects of the tournament, a vision shared by Genesis as the title sponsor." In 2017, TGR Live became the tournament host the same year Genesis took over as title sponsor, with TGR Foundation the primary beneficiary.

"I'm honored and grateful that the Genesis Open will receive elevated status and join Arnold's and Jack's tournaments," said Woods.

"To be included with two of the greatest golfers of all-time, in my hometown and at an event that benefits my TGR Foundation is something I could never have imagined when I first visited Riviera with my Pop. I would like to personally thank Genesis, the PGA TOUR and all those that made this dream happen."

 

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