Matt Kuchar leads Genesis by 3; Tiger Woods falters late after sizzling begin
LOS ANGELES – Tiger Woods started with an unknowing tribute to Kobe Bryant by making an eagle putt that optical cameras measured at 24 ft, Eight inches. He ended his opening spherical with a reminder that getting round Riviera unscathed isn’t any small activity.
That is what made Matt Kuchar’s day all of the extra outstanding.
Kuchar drove to the sting of the 10th inexperienced and two-putted for birdie and stored proper on rolling till he had a 7-under 64 on Thursday, matching his greatest rating at Riviera and giving him a three-shot lead within the Genesis Invitational.
So clear was Kuchar’s spherical that he solely as soon as needed to stress over a par putt, and he made the 10-footer on the par-Three fourth.
Genesis Invitational: Full-field scores | Full protection
“I believe it is one of many few programs that has really stood the check of time,” Kuchar stated. “It was an ideal check of golf 50 years in the past when Ben Hogan was enjoying, it is an ideal check as we speak with Tiger Woods and all of the younger boys enjoying.”
The situations had been superb as soon as the morning chill gave option to delicate sunshine, and Kuchar took benefit within the morning. As a lot as Kuchar loves the course, he has just one prime 10 in his 13 earlier appearances.
Woods was four below via eight holes and needed to accept a 69.
His report at Riviera is below far better scrutiny, particularly this week as he tries for his 83rd PGA Tour victory to set the profession mark he now shares with Sam Snead. Woods has not gained in 10 appearances as a professional, two others as a teenage novice.
BY Ryan Lavner
— February 13, 2020 at 7:57 PM
PGA Tour gamers have discovered distinctive methods to honor the reminiscence of Kobe Bryant in his outdated hometown. So did Tiger Woods on Thursday on the Genesis Invitational.
This one held promise, particularly after he drilled an 8-iron into the par-5 opening gap and made the eagle putt. The demise of Bryant on Jan. 26 continues to be uncooked in Los Angeles, and the tour devoted No. 8 – Bryant wore Nos. Eight and 24 throughout his 20 years with the Lakers – with a purple-and-gold tee signal. Woods made birdie there, his final one of many spherical.
“Ironic having these two numbers,” Woods stated of the size of his eagle putt. “After which No. 8, occurred to hit one in there shut and had a pleasant little kick-in there for birdie.”
Brooks Koepka had Nike design some purple-and-gold Mamba golf sneakers final October as a result of Bryant impressed him throughout his return from damage. Koepka known as the shoe firm after listening to of Bryant’s demise in a helicopter crash and advised one thing be carried out, oblivious that he had requested the sneakers months earlier. He opened with a 69.
BY Ryan Lavner
— February 13, 2020 at 5:11 PM
Final fall, Brooks Koepka got here up with the thought to honor Kobe Bryant with a pair of customized Nike sneakers. He debuted them Thursday.
Justin Thomas, who auctioned off Kobe-themed sand wedges he used within the Phoenix Open, had FootJoys of purple-and-gold. They did not assist him a lot on this present day. He opened with a 74 and was at risk of lacking the minimize for the second time this yr.
Woods appeared bent on having his say at Riviera with the eagle and two extra birdies via eight holes, leaving him three off the lead and the again 9 to play. However he could not maintain his swing collectively, and it will definitely caught up with him.
A drive to the fitting on No. 11 hit a eucalyptus tree and ricocheted to the left aspect of the green. He missed the inexperienced to the left on No. 12 for bogey. He hit a drive into the left bushes on No. 13 and received up-and-down from 165 yards for par. He dropped one other shot on the 18th when after hitting so many drives to the left, he leaked one badly to the fitting and needed to pitch out to the green, slamming his iron into the cart path in disgust as he walked via the gang.
“Simply did not hit many good photographs on the again 9,” Woods stated. “Made a pair free swings and made a pair good saves on the again 9 for par, however simply wasn’t in a position to get any birdies on the again 9.”
BY Ryan Lavner
— February 13, 2020 at 9:00 PM
Tiger Woods is as soon as once more a event host/competitor at this week’s Genesis Invitational. However double obligation is not all the time straightforward.
He stated his duties as event host stored him away from the follow vary aside from a short while earlier than the pro-am Wednesday, and he was making an attempt to piece one thing collectively for the primary spherical. It solely lasted so lengthy.
Kuchar made birdie on two of the par 5s, made two birdie putts of 30 ft or longer and infrequently was in bother.
“To shoot a quantity like this, you type of do most issues nicely,” Kuchar stated. “I did not discover myself in a lot bother as we speak. … I felt prefer it was simply regular golf, loads of alternatives and I used to be in a position to convert on variety of alternatives as we speak”
Okay.H. Lee and Russell Henley additionally performed bogey-free and had been at 67, together with Wyndham Clark from the morning wave. Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III every had 67 within the afternoon below a bit of extra breeze and greens that had been bumpier from a lot foot site visitors throughout the day.
Rory McIlroy opened with a 68 in his return to No. 1 on this planet, and it took him time to get going.
McIlroy’s opening tee shot was pure sufficient, but it surely bounced over the 10th inexperienced and rolled up close to the lip of a again bunker. He left his first shot within the sand and did nicely to flee with par, solely to overlook 3-foot putts on the following two holes – one for birdie, one for par.
He needed to scramble his means alongside the again till blasting a 3-wood to about 30 ft on the par-5 17th and making eagle, after which including an eagle on par-5 opening gap.
The most important problem was the chilly air within the morning.
Rory explains how temperature impacts distance
McIlroy ripped a drive – he did that lots within the opening spherical – into the par-5 11th after which got here up 30 yards brief with a flush 3-wood. About two hours later, he had 289 yards for his second into the par-5 17th and hit 3-wood to pin-high.
“It simply exhibits you what temperature does,” McIlroy stated.
Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed had been amongst these at 68.
Even in mint situations, solely about one-third of the sphere broke par.