In-form Thomas chasing first title since May
Finau can finally enjoy Riviera glory
Demanding tee-to-green venue
The PGA Tour says a fond farewell to the 'West Coast Swing' by taking a trip to Hollywood for this week's Genesis Invitational.
Los Angeles has been staging top tier professional golf tournaments for almost 100 years, and this particular event has been part of the annual schedule for close to eight decades.
Starting out as the LA Open 97 years ago, the tournament has often changed sponsor, name, course and more recently status.
Since 1973, Riviera Country Club has been firmly entrenched as one of the most eagerly-awaited stops on the PGA Tour calendar, and has even hosted three major championships during its life - most recently 28 years ago.
In 2020, the tournament was afforded invitational status, which meant reducing the size of the field and ultimately increasing its overall prestige.
And, in 2023, the Genesis Invitational has been named as one of the Tour's 'elite' events, with a significant increase in prize money, which now totals $20m.
Located around two miles from the coast, and 18 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Riviera is set to host the men's and women's golf events at the 2028 Olympic Games.
Opened in 1926, and originally called Los Angeles Athletic Club, Riviera is laid out in the shadows of the Santa Monica Mountains, and is a short distance from Sunset Boulevard.
With its tree-lined fairways and handful of subtle dog-legs, Riviera demands solid ball-striking and accurate iron play.
Even though there is not a single water hazard in play, good course management is always important around this layout.
The rough is often penal, while the course has earned a reputation for favouring right-handers who fade the ball from left-to right - or left-handers who can 'draw'.
In 2008, architect Tom Fazio made changes to a number of holes while also adding yardage.
Riviera is one of the most demanding tee-to-green courses on the PGA Tour schedule.
Latest betting for this week's Genesis Invitational
Lowest 15 At Riviera (2017-22)
Average .... (Rounds)
69.00: Max Homa (16)
69.33: Adam Scott (24)
69.38: Jon Rahm (16)
69.42: Collin Morikawa (12)
69.50: Xander Schauffele (20)
69.55: Patrick Cantlay (20)
69.61: Rory McIlroy (18)
69.64: Tony Finau (22)
69.75: Justin Thomas (20)
69.90: James Hahn (20)
70.09: Matt Kuchar (22)
70.18: Patrick Rodgers (22)
70.25: Jordan Spieth (24)
70.29: Scottie Scheffler (14)
70.31: Russell Henley (16)
70.31: Hideki Matsuyama (16)
Min. No. of Rounds = 10
Only those entered this week are included in table
Four To Watch
Tony Finau: A two-time runner-up at Riviera, the American's last 22 rounds here average 69.64. Has made a solid start to 2023, and has not finished outside the top 16 in his last six starts on the PGA Tour - which includes a victory in Texas late last year. Is the current world No 13.
Max Homa: Another opportunity for the 32-year-old to show he is ready to join the elite of world golf. Raised on the outskirts of Los Angeles - although now living in Arizona - Homa won here two years ago. Five of his six PGA Tour victories have arrived during the last 24 months.
Adam Scott: Not the first name you consider nowadays, especially in a field of this quality, but the 42-year-old Aussie does have a strong track record around here. Twice a winner at Riviera, and twice runner-up, his 2005 success was deemed 'unofficial' as the event had to be reduced to 36 holes because of poor weather conditions. He tied-for-fourth 12 months ago.
Justin Thomas: Tied-fourth in Arizona on Sunday, his highest finish on the PGA Tour for eight months. The consistent resident of Florida is currently ranked No 7 in the world. Has had three top-10s at Riviera.
Latest betting for this year's Masters Tournament
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves