Andy Swales supplies the words and stats as the West Coast Swing comes to an end in Los Angeles this Sunday...
"Over the past few seasons, tournament winners at Riviera have tended to register positions close to the top of the Greens in Regulation chart. Defending champion Adam Scott topped the standings last year, as did Dustin Johnson when he held aloft the trophy in 2017."
One more week in California, as the PGA Tour leaves the rugged coastline of Pebble Beach and heads 300 miles south to the outskirts of Los Angeles.
The Genesis Invitational at Riviera will bring down the curtain on the Tour's western adventure, before the pros travel to Florida to contest four straight tournaments in the Sunshine State.
This will be the 58th time, since 1929, that Riviera will have hosted an official PGA Tour event.
This week's Genesis Invitational started life as the Los Angeles Open 95 years ago, making it one of the longest running events on the calendar.
And 12 months ago the Tour decided to change the status of the tournament to 'invitational,' thus raising its level of prestige.
Once again, this week's field will consist of 120 players, most of them selected via 'highly prestigious' categories.
On the tee
Eight of the world's top-10 are taking part, as well as 14 of the leading 20.
Dustin Johnson, who decided to opt out of Pebble Beach at the last minute, will tee-up fully refreshed in LA.
He hasn't missed an instalment since making his Riviera debut in 2008, and has posted six top-four finishes - which include a victory.
Los Angeles born and bred Patrick Cantlay arrives in home territory on the back of two podium finishes already in California this calendar year. He is also leading the FedEx Cup standings.
Check out the latest betting ahead of this week's Genesis Invitational
Bryson DeChambeau has improved with each subsequent visit to the course and, if you're looking for someone outside the top group to cause a stir this week, then Kevin Na and James Hahn may be worth looking at.
Hahn is a former champion here, while Na has twice stood on the podium.
Although Hahn is the current world No 181, he was outside the top 900 in January of last year but has fought his way back up the Ranking with some strong performances during autumn. He was also 10th at Scottsdale recently.
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Na was a winner in Honolulu earlier this year.
Over the past few seasons, tournament winners at Riviera have tended to register positions close to the top of the Greens in Regulation chart.
Defending champion Adam Scott topped the standings last year, as did Dustin Johnson when he held aloft the trophy in 2017.
JB Holmes, winner two years ago, was second in GiR, while Jason Kokrak - runner-up in 2016 - headed this category.
And when Thomas Pieters finished runner-up behind DJ, he was also second for GiR. The 2018 champion Bubba Watson was seventh. More than simply coincidence?
Located around two miles from the coast, and 18 miles west of downtown LA, Riviera will be the first parkland venue that many PGA Tour pros will have sampled this calendar year.
Opened in 1926, Riviera has staged three majors during its life - the US Open of 1948, plus two PGA Championships (1983 & 1995).
It is also set to host the men's and women's golf events at the 2028 Olympic Games.
Originally called Los Angeles Athletic Club, Riviera is laid out in the shadows of the Santa Monica Mountains, and a short distance from Sunset Boulevard.
With tree-lined fairways and a handful of subtle dog-legs, Riviera demands solid ball-striking and accurate iron play.
Water is a rare commodity and right-handed golfers, who have the ability to fade the ball with precision, have a huge advantage. It's also good for lefties who can hit a controlled draw.
There are many gentle changes in direction, meaning good course management is an important ingredient for success.
In 2008, architect Tom Fazio made changes to a number of holes while also adding yardage.
The greens are slightly smaller than the average putting surfaces on the PGA Tour and combine creeping Bent grass with Poa annua. Fairways are laid with Kikuyu grass.
Probably the most striking statistic is that Riviera has a low ranking (%) in both the Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation tables.
Of the venues which staged at least four PGA Tour events between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2020, Riviera ended up inside the bottom six for both categories - 26 out of 29 for Driving Accuracy and 27th in Greens in Regulation.
The only other course to register a position inside the bottom six of DA and GiR was TPC Southwind (24th for both categories).
Course Comparisons (2016-20)
Driving Accuracy (%)
73.88: Sea Island (RSM Classic) (1/29)
54.79: Riviera (Genesis) (26/29)
52.24: Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance) (29/29)
Greens in Regulation (%)
75.98: Sedgefield (Wyndham) (1/29)
60.07: Riviera (Genesis) (27/29)
58.99: Innisbrook (Valspar) (29/29)
1.664: PGA West (host) (American Express) (1/29)
1.760: Riviera (Genesis) (19/29)
2.668: Augusta National (Masters) (29/29)
Key: Above stats are for all 29 courses which staged four or more PGA Tour events between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2020. To qualify for a ranking (between 1 & 29), tournaments must have a minimum of 50 players competing over the final two rounds of the event. Averages do not include players who failed to complete at least 54 holes.
Riviera Data (2016-20)
DA: (T10 - 54.88%); (Cat10 - 66.35%)
GiR: (T10 - 64.41%); (Cat10 - 69.44%)
Putts: (T10 - 1.699); (Cat10 - 1.635)
Key: T10 (Average for Top-10 finishers); Cat10 (Average for Top-10 in Category)
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves
Last 10 Weeks / Riviera Form (2011-20)
|Si Woo Kim||MC||50||MC||1||25|
|Xin Jun Zhang||MC||65||60||MC||MC|
|Tae Hoon Kim|
|Si Woo Kim||37||3||MC||MC||MC|
|Xin Jun Zhang||MC|
|Tae Hoon Kim|