Stacked Field Underway Thursday At Genesis Open

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dustin Johnson has five tournaments he would love to win.

Four of them are majors. The other is Riviera.

“I love that place,” Johnson said. He doesn’t love the outcome.

A year ago, he finished two shots behind Bubba Watson. In 2015, he thought he had it won with a sick flop shot behind the 10th green in a playoff, only for James Hahn to match his birdie and then beat him with a 25-foot birdie putt on the next hole. In 2014, he was one off the lead with three holes to play and couldn’t catch Watson. And in 2012, he needed a birdie to force a playoff and missed the 18th green.

So yes, you could say he’s due.

It could take some good golf to get it done at the Genesis Open, which has a stacked field. Along with Jason Day, who does not have a good record at Riviera and is playing there for the first time in five years, eight of the top 10 in the world ranking are at Riviera.

Only one other tournament is in America this week, and that’s on the PGA Tour Champions in Florida. Europe and the LPGA Tour are in Australia, a pair of PGA Tour smaller circuits are in South America and the Sunshine Tour is at Fancourt, site of the 2003 Presidents Cup.

PGA TOUR

The Genesis Open has a new title sponsor (Hyundai Motor America), a new host organization (Tiger Woods Foundation) but still no Tiger Woods. He withdrew with recurring back spasms, and while that was predictable, the more curious announcement was when he withdrew from a press conference.

The stars are out in force, however.

Watson is going for his third victory, though it will take more than that for Riviera to be referred to as “Bubba’s Alley.”

One of the benefits of a new sponsor is that anyone making a hole-in-one on the 14th or 16th holes will get a Genesis car. That brings back memories of when Rich Beem made a hole-in-one at the old Nissan Open and fell in love with his new car on the spot.

Another memory no one wants to see: Rain is in the forecast for Friday and lingering into the weekend. Adam Scott won on a Monday in 2005 in a playoff over Chad Campbell after only 36 holes were completed. He got the cash. He got the trophy. He just never got credit for an official victory.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS).

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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