The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits Riviera Country Club for the 2023 The Genesis Invitational. The George C. Thomas Jr. and William P. Bell design will play as a Par 71, 7,322 yard layout as it hosts this tournament for the 60th time. All eyes will be on Tiger Woods this week, as he makes his first PGA Tour start since The Open Championship last July and his first non-major start since the 2020 ZOZO Championship. Last year’s edition was won by former PGA Tour member Joaquin Niemann, who led wire-to-wire on the way to his second PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
This season has been a struggle for Cameron Champ, as he has just 1 top 10 finish and 6 missed cuts in 8 starts. This tournament has not been one of Champ’s best either, with 3 missed cuts in 4 previous starts, with a best finish of T-67 coming here last season. In a field that contains many of the world’s best, Champ will be at a disadvantage and will be a lock to miss the cut.
The 39th ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings, K. H. Lee has quietly put together a nice campaign on tour this season, with 2 top 10 finishes and just 1 missed cut in 8 starts. Riviera has been a solid course for Lee, as he has 3 top 30 finishes here in 4 career starts. Lee is one of the better ball strikers on tour, as he is currently hitting nearly 75% of his Greens In Regulation, which will be key to having success at Riviera. A win is always a possibility, but a top 25 finish is certainly realistic for Lee this week.
Max Homa is in the midst of a career year early on in the season, with 2 wins under his belt already in just 6 starts. The California native has done quite well at Riviera in his career too, winning here in 2021 and has had 3 straight top 10 finishes in this event. Homa is currently ranked 22nd in Scrambling from the Rough, which is vital to success at Riviera, given the course’s abundant and thick kikuyu grass. Homa is seemingly a threat to win anytime he tees it up nowadays, but a fourth straight top 10 finish at The Genesis Invitational is seemingly a lock.
Another California native, Xander Schauffele has done everything but win this season, with 3 top 10’s and 4 top 15’s in 5 starts. Fresh off of a top 10 finish at the WM Phoenix Open, Schauffele has been consistent at Riviera over the years, with 4 top 15 finishes and 5 top 25 finishes in 5 starts in this event. Overall, Schauffele’s game is in great shape right now, ranking 3rd in Strokes Gained: Total. Schauffele seemingly plays his best when the fields are at their absolute strongest and we predict that this week will be no different as he hoists the trophy on Sunday at The Genesis Invitational!