As the final stop on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, at Riviera and the Genesis Open, gets underway on Thursday. Let’s take time to consider some recent memorable moments that have happened there:
Even though his back is so bad that he couldn’t hold his scheduled presser this week, Tiger Woods’ imprint is everywhere in the game of golf. And a classic example is 1992 at this venue. Yes, 25 years ago at Riveria, a 16 year old high school sophomore amateur was given a sponsor’s exemption.
BTW, I agree with Curtis Strange on the analysis. “How good was that swing at 16 years old?” Great vintage video.
Next, came an epic moment that is still talked about whenever the Tour comes back to L.A. It did nothing but rain on the weekend in February 2001, and that was a part of the story. But the bigger memory, was Australian Robert Allenby, as part of a six man playoff, hitting this epic approach to lead to his sudden death victory:
My friend and colleague on PGA Tour radio, Dennis Paulson was one of the six in the playoff, he was in the soggy fairway as Allenby hit the shot and still calls it the greatest shot under the circumstances he’s ever seen.
And, you know it’s an “all time moment” when they put a plaque in the 18th fairway that’s still there to commemorate Allenby’s shot/win!
And, finally then there’s “Lefty.”
Phil Mickeslson captured both the 2008 and 2009 titles at Riviera, and in the case of the second win, it was like a lot of Phil’s career; wild and unpredictable. A third round 62 put him in the lead by a commanding four shots and after making an eagle on the first hole Sunday, he should have salted it away. But as you will see by clicking below, Phil faltered badly for 14 holes, but in always dramatic fashion, he would rally late.
In the end, his clutch play out-dueled veterans Steve Stricker and Fred Couples (who was playing with Phil in that final round) to go back to back in Los Angeles. And it only adds to the lore of this event.
What kind of memories will be made this weekend at the Genesis Open? We wait to see, but as we detailed above, chances are there will be someone or some shot that will bring up, those kind of moments we’ve laid out.