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Big guns set for Genesis Open shootout

JORDAN Spieth and Jason Day spear=head a strong field at this week's Genesis Open at the famed Riviera.

RIVIERA Country Club in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles is the next stop for the PGA Tour as indeed it has been since 1926.

The newly named Genesis Open has been played under several names since Harry Cooper won the very first staging of the event and earned first prize of US$3,500.

Interestingly, the event did not increase in prize-money to any great degree in its early stages and it was nearly forty years before the winner picked up a cheque for more than US$10,000. This year the winner earns US$1.25 million.

Riviera Country Club, often referred to as Hogan’s Alley, is one of the great traditional country club layouts on the PGA Tour and that so many of the game’s leading players (four of the leading five ranked players) are in this week’s field is a reflection of the regard in which the golf course is held.

Jordan Spieth said last year that in his mind, Riviera Country Club is one of the best courses in the 'entire' world.

THE WEEK IN GOLF AT THE WOMEN'S AUSTRALIAN OPEN:

Spieth has a best of 4th place in four starts as a professional but given his current form and his love of the layout that could get better this week.

Jason Day has not played this event since 2012 and even when he did tee up did not play well.

Given his significant improvement in the world of golf since then he should do better but he has struggled over this layout.

His week at the AT&T was a roller coaster but there was enough to suggest he could put it all together quickly.

Unlike Day Dustin Johnson does enjoy a great record at Riviera having finished 4th, 2nd and 2nd previously and having five top 4 finishes overall.

Johnson is in such good form at present it is hard to see him not being in the mix this weekend.

Speaking of players in good form and with a good record at this golf course, Hideki Matsuyama fits into that category.

Half of the Japanese star’s twelve rounds at Riviera CC have been in the 60’s over the demanding golf course and as the game’s hottest player at present his chances of improving that record are very good.

Adam Scott finished runner-up here last year, won a rain shortened affair in 2005 and finished runner-up the following year so he clearly likes the layout.

Scott is playing on his now familiar light schedule, this just his second start in 2017 after his 9th place finish against a significantly weaker field in Singapore.

Bubba Watson is a two-time winner at Rivera but his most recent form has been below his best. A return to a golf course where he has done so well might just spark his form. 

Australians in this week's event, where they have generally done well, are the afore-mentioned Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Aaron Baddeley, Cameron Smith, Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Percy and Steve Bowditch.

Australians to have won at Riviera include Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby and in 1995 Steve Elkington won the PGA Championship at this same venue. 

BROOKE HENDERSON TALKS TO THE MEDIA AHEAD OF THE WOMEN'S AUSTRALIAN OPEN:

[VIDEO:5322278847001]

About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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