Genesis Invitational – Rahm Wins, Where Tiger Plays Next & More

Genesis Invitational – Rahm Wins, Where Tiger Plays Next & More

Mark Schlabach and Paolo Uggetti7 minute read

LOS ANGELES — Finally, the Official World Golf Rankings reflect what the courses from Hawaii to Palm Springs and now Pacific Palisades have shown us: Jon Rahm is the best golfer in the world right now.

“I don’t need a standings to validate anything,” Rahm said after his final run on Sunday. “I’m having the best season of my life.”

The 28-year-old Spaniard not only picked up his third win of the season (the 10th of his PGA Tour career) at the Genesis Invitational this week to claim that top spot, he did so by retaining 22 of the other 25 best players in the world who gathered at the Riviera Country Club for the circuit’s third designated event this season. And for a week in which the player who spent the longest time in that first place returned to the competition, Rahm also received the ultimate compliment.

Rahm picked up his third win of the season, making him the first player since Justin Thomas in 2016-17 to win that many before March.Caroline Brehman/EPA

“Please understand and respect how good this guy is,” tournament host Tiger Woods, still in his Sunday red after finishing the tournament at 1 under, said at the handover ceremony. trophies after the round. “He’s just getting started.”

Rahm said after the round that he was nervous ahead of Sunday’s finish considering all that was at stake. But he also noted that the perspective he received from the presence of his sons, Kepa and Eneko , allowed him to stop thinking about golf at the right time. Still, he wasn’t shy about the personal significance of this particular victory.

“It’s always been a tournament I’ve wanted to win,” Rahm said. Then later he said in Spanish that although it was a “stressful day”, hearing Tiger reward him with his tournament was worth it.

Woods’ presence in the game remains insurmountable and all-consuming. The crowds this week and the attention it still attracts prove it. Yet, as his career has entered a new stage, where his tournament appearance will be rare, the constant search for his heir seems to have turned into an appreciation of how his influence has created a level of depth that makes the victory on tour more difficult than ever. That’s what makes Rahm’s season all the more impressive. Even the guy who nearly beat him on Sunday, Max Homa, called him “Thanos.”

“I was able to match a very small aspect of (Tiger’s career),” Rahm said. “And hopefully I can continue to do a lot of great things this year to put my name up there on one of his years.”

On Sunday, Rahm became the first PGA Tour player since Justin Thomas in the 2016-17 season to win three times before March. Its dominance also goes beyond numbers. It feels like every time Rahm is on the pitch, he rises to the top of the leaderboard. With many more designated events and four majors on deck, Rahm’s game looks set to turn this landmark year into something even bigger.

Here’s what else happened in Riviera this weekend:

When will we see Tiger again?

Woods, host of the Genesis Invitational, was able to play 72 holes for the first time in 10 months.Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

There’s a chance golf fans could see Tiger Woods again in two weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he’s won eight times, or the Players Championship, the tour’s showpiece event, the following week. But with Woods saying he only plans to play in the four majors and maybe two or three other events each season, it seems more likely that he won’t start touring again until the Masters from April 6-9.

“My intention last year was to play in all four majors,” Woods said. “I’ve had three out of four. Hopefully this year I can have four and maybe sprinkle a few here and there. But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that. and I get it. It’s just my reality.”

Woods was able to play 72 holes for the first time in 10 months; he last did so at the 2022 Masters, which was his first official tournament since he was badly injured in a car accident in February 2021. Woods said the march to Riviera was likely more difficult than he didn’t let it be known. When asked if it was going up hills, going down hills, or the general wear and tear on his body, Woods replied, “Yeah, all of the above.”

Woods said his lap-to-round recovery included pretty much sleeping in the ice and then reactivating his muscles the next morning.

“Yeah, I was laying in the ice cream most of the night,” Woods said. “It’s not fun, it’s very cold all the time. And then a treatment, then activating the muscles and going back and jumping in the cold again. The ebb and flow of that, it’s hard. It’s tough mentally, it’s tough physically.”

Ascend and descend

To go up

English seems to be on the rise after surgery, including a bogey-free Sunday at the Genesis Invitational.Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

English Harris

The Englishman has been on his way after missing five months last season following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He had six birdies and had a bogey-free 65 on Sunday. He finished 12th at 8 under.

Jason Day

The Australian continues to be strong. He birdied 13 in the final two rounds combined to finish 9 under and tied for ninth. It was his fourth straight top 20 and he will move even closer to the top 50 in the world – and an invitation to the Masters, which he missed out on last season for the first time since 2010.

Gary Woodland

The 2019 US Open winner has struggled with his form for a while, but a tie for ninth place is a step in the right direction. He had three straight rounds in the 60s before carding an even 71 on Sunday. Woodland said he honed his swing and pressed too much in competition.

matte kuchar

Woods wasn’t the only aging golfer in his 40s trying to make a resurgence this week. Kuchar shot 66 in the first round and 67 in the fourth and finished solo eighth at 10 under. It was his second top 10 finish in his last four starts. Kuchar also didn’t play at Augusta National last season, the first time he missed the Masters since 2009.

Adam Svensson

Canada’s Svensson hadn’t done much since his first PGA Tour win at the RSM Classic in November. After consecutive missed cuts, he finished tied for ninth at 9 under.


Spieth has some issues to deal with after missing the cut at Riviera.Michael Owens/Getty Image

Jordan Spieth

Spieth’s roller coaster continued. After finishing sixth at the WM Phoenix Open, he missed the cut at Riviera. He lost more than one shot in the field at the start and about 3 shots in putting. Not a recipe for success.

Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama could never figure out the poa annua greens at Riviera, which is why he missed the cut. He needed 61 putts in two rounds and wasted more than 3 shots in the field on the greens.

Justin Rose

Rose, who won in her previous start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, had made it 11 of her 12 previous starts at Riviera. He hit just three of 14 fairways on Thursday before hitting eight on Friday.

Sam Burns

After back-to-back top-15 finishes, Burns wasn’t there for the weekend at Riviera. He missed the cut in three of his five starts in the Genesis.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The defending US Open champion has missed the cut in two of his last three starts; he finished tied for 29th at the WM Phoenix Open. The Englishman, tied for fifth in his previous start at Riviera, managed just three birdies in 36 holes.

The best of the weekend

Better driving

Say hello, Rory McIlroy.

Best tee shot

Tiger may have needed three more spins to register his first ace in an official PGA Tour event since 1997.

Best approach

He didn’t even bounce back!

Best sandblast

Classic look, a stylish shot of Keith Mitchell.

Best from top to bottom

A fried egg in a wall for Homa.

Best putt

How to Use the Safety Net, Collin Morikawa.

Best break

Jon Rahm will probably never do it again.

The best social networks

Check that one out, indeed.

At least he’s honest.

Start them young.

The stars were out in Los Angeles, from Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen to Rob Lowe.

Love someone like Tiger loves JT.

Say what?

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