The weather in Pacific Palisades should be ideal for the Tiger Woods Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club this week. Unfortunately, the event, which is often interrupted by rainy weather, will be played without spectators, on the course designed by George Thomas in 1927.
On January 12, tournament director Mike Antolini announced, “The health and well-being of the community, our players and everyone at The Genesis Invitational remains our top priority. It became clear that due to the pandemic the best way to ensure the safety for all involved is to hold the tournament without spectators. We are certainly going to miss the roars of the crowds, but we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Riviera next year.”
Yesterday, the tournament once again showcased the top collegiate golfers in the country with an 18-hole showdown. Golf fans may remember Pepperdine player Sahith Theegala, who won this event in 2017, and is now playing professionally. (He will not be at the Genesis.)
Other past collegiate showcase champions who will be in the field this year will include Will Zalatoris (2015) and Scottie Scheffler (2018).
The top collegiate golfer this year was Angus Flanagan from University of Minnesota, who beat Tim Winding from the University of San Francisco in a three-hole playoff on Monday. Flanagan was granted an exemption to join the pros in the Genesis.
On Tuesday, Winding found out, he was also granted an exemption and the right to tee off with the pros on Thursday.
The showcase also featured a pro-am event with teams comprised of a PGA TOUR pro and two amateurs representing their alma mater. The teams compete against each other in best-ball play, with the winning team earning a $50,000 donation to the school’s golf program.
The Genesis tournament, with 120 players in the field, will get underway on Thursday, featuring World No. 1 golfer Dustin Johnson, No. 2 Jon Rahm and major champions Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa and Francesco Molinari.
Tiger Woods, recovering from a surgery, will not be participating, but his TGR Foundation, which hosts fundraising events, continues to support youth. Since it was launched in 1996, the charity has worked to develop STEM coursework, college-access programs, digital platforms and educator professional development. To celebrate 25 years, it has started the Pathways Forward initiative to offer students 1) job readiness programs; 2) career certification; 3) college access; and 4) building new state-of -the-art learning labs. (Visit: tgrfoundation.org)
The Genesis is sponsored by Genesis Motor America, which is headquartered in Fountain Valley. All vehicles have a 10-year warranty, with enhanced roadside assistance and concierge services. This year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2020 G70, G80 and G90 with their highest rating of Top Safety Pick+.