The buzz leading up to the prestigious PGA Tour event revolved around the return of 14-time major champion Tiger Woods. Woods made his PGA Tour debut at the event in 1992 at the age of 16 and had not played in the event since 2006.
Friday morning saw the breaking news that Woods had withdrawn from the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic fields citing ongoing back spasms that initially forced his withdrawal from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. With Woods missing this week, Riviera remains the only PGA Tour stop where he has made at least five starts and never won.
The Genesis Open star-studded field at the famed George Thomas-designed Riviera Country Club is led by No. 1 Jason Day and includes Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jimmy Walker, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and defending champion Bubba Watson.
[graphiq id=”3pXe4OYTbtH” title=”Jason Day Profile” width=”800″ height=”706″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/3pXe4OYTbtH” ]
“This year’s Genesis Open field will be among the best in all of golf.” tournament director Mike Antolini said, in a release. “We are proud to welcome the world’s best golfers to The Riviera Country Club and excited for all of our guests to experience the Genesis Open.”
In addition to Woods, a noticeable absence is that of two-time Riviera champion Fred Couples. He made 34 starts in 36 years and has often cited this as his favorite course on the PGA Tour. Couples is in the PGA Tour Champions field this week at the Allianz Championship.
Golf Channel has live coverage Thursday and Friday and early coverage on the weekend. CBS has live coverage on Saturday and Sunday. PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com will have coverage all four days.