Professional golf ditches the amateurs and gains Tiger Woods this week as the PGA Tour heads to the City of Angels for the Genesis Open at Riviera. We also have two Australian events for the European and LPGA Tours and the Web.com in Florida. So much golf to love on this Valentine’s Day weekend!
To Live & Die in L.A.
Riviera always draws one of the best fields of the year and provides one of the best events on the schedule. Tiger steals a lot of the attention, but there are dozens of the world’s best in attendance. DJ, JT, Rory, Bryson, Xander, Spieth, Phil, Rahm, Sergio, Molinari, Fleetwood, Bubba…..you get the point. It is a fantastic event on a really awesome golf course. Andy Johnson walks you through this George Thomas gem in this hole-by-hole breakdown. Genesis Open Tee Times
Bubba Watson returns to defend his title at Riviera this year. The pink shafted left-hander has actually won this event three of the past five years (non-Volvik years). His win here last year was the first time he collected a trophy since making the ill-fated decision to try using those neon range balls on the golf course. He has a bright yellow Pro-V1x in play now. Never change, Bubba.
Hit ‘Em Up (Storylines)
Cat and Mouse – Tiger has always had an internal battle at Riviera. It is the only course on tour that he has played more than four times and never won. It’s a course that favors ball-strikers so you would think that he would be a perfect fit, but for some reason it has never clicked.
Major Feel – Screw the PLAYERS, the “season of championships” starts now. You see that field list up there? There are so many world beaters in this field that we are almost guaranteed to have a great finish.
George Thomas – Riviera is not at its full potential right now, but it is one of the best you’ll find on tour. Each hole provides a unique challenge for these pros, and the conditions can really separate the cream of the crop. Here’s Andy’s hole by hole write up on it.
You Like that Right? – If you’re interested in watching a group that hits the ball far, you can watch DJ, Bubba and Cam Champ on Thursday and Friday. Over/Under on mentions of their clubhead speed is 91.5 for the two days.
It looks like it will be a wet week at Riviera, with that in mind, Paulie is looking at a few of the longer hitters on Tour. Check out his Draftkings and One and done picks here.
The Web.com Tour heads to Florida for a new event this week, the LECOM Suncoast Classic. Players will tackle Lakewood National Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer Design Company initiative. The course doesn’t appear to be your stock Florida wetlands golf course, so we are excited to see what the player reaction is this week. Tee Times
Via a full report from Golf.com’s Michael Bamberger, the El Tucan saga was completely accurate. Matt Kuchar’s temporary caddy for his win in Mayakoba was only paid $5,000 while Kuch walked away with nearly $1.3M for the week. Bamberger notes that Marc Steinberg, Kuchar’s agent, and Kuchar himself offered an extra $15k after the news leaked, but El Tucan turned it down saying, “No thank you. They can keep their money.”
It was all speculation from close sources before, but this is a real story now. Kuchar called it a “non-story” in Hawaii but will have to answer some serious questions moving forward. He ended up paying El-Tucan 0.38% of what he made that week. Let that set in…
Tiger made his debut at Riviera as a 16-year-old phenom in 1992. His swingfrom 27 years ago is as pure as it gets.
The Australian Women’s Open gets underway on the southern coast of Australia this weekend. Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda headline the field. Tee Times and Scoring
The European Tour is also down unda’ this weekend for the ISPS Handa World Super 6. The majority of the field is from Australia or mid-tier Euro guys, but it does feature Geoff Ogilvy and up-and-comer Min Woo Lee. Tee Times
Tiger named Steve Stricker, Fred Couples and Zach Johnson as his assistant President’s Cup captains. The only question is, who will be acting captain when Tiger plays?
The Cal Bears and star Collin Morikawa won The Farms Invitational on Wednesday. Cal won the team competition by 36 (!) shots, and Morikawa won by 11 (!!!) individually. Florida State and their stud John Pak also won this week with their victories at the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate.
The Latest Podcasts and Articles
Shotgun Start: Boarding the Riviera hype train, Phil and Sergio apologize, and Kuchar’s big mess
The best event on the PGA Tour schedule gives Andy and Brendan the occasion to swoon about Riviera and the field for the Genesis Open. They re-hash their experience walking inside the ropes last year at the Genesis, and Andy breaks down some of the best holes and features of this top venue. Then they review some of the featured groups for this week, giving Andy the opportunity to question Cam Champ’s profile alongside some of the more established stars and Hall-of-Famers. A news segment (that becomes a debate) focuses on the report from Michael Bamberger confirming the paltry sum Matt Kuchar paid to his local caddie, El Tucan, after winning $1.3 million at Mayakoba. They also hit on Sergio re-emerging to public life with an apology before wrapping with the weekly Paulie’s Picks segment from @FriedEggPaulie. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify
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