With 7 of the world top 10 and 13 of the top 20 the first significant event of 2019 gets underway Thursday in Los Angeles and we have some extra big-boy groupings!
The PGA Tour has released the 2019 Genesis Open’s featured groups and the same Tiger Woods-Rory McIlroy-Justin Thomas threesome from last year was a bit surprising in its lack of originality, the real eye opener is that bomber’s group.
Note: PGA Tour Live has featured group coverage and there is a special demo this Thursday on Golf Channel from 10 am to 2 pm ET before regularly schedule Genesis Open coverage starts at 2.
PGA TOUR releases featured groupings for Genesis Open
Woods seeks first win at Riviera Country Club grouped with Thomas and McIlroy;
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Mickelson playing with Spieth and Schauffele
Pacific Palisades, California -- The PGA TOUR released today the four featured groupings for Thursday-Friday at this week’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.
Starting times and day (Thursday/Friday) for the featured groupings will be announced when the official groupings and starting times for the entire 144-player field are released on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. EST.
To watch the featured groupings on Thursday-Friday, fans in the United States can tune into the Golf Channel telecast (2-6 p.m. EST) and stream PGA TOUR LIVE via subscription on NBC Sports Gold (www.nbcsports.com/pgatour) and Amazon Prime Video Channels (amazon.com/video/pgatourlive).
Tiger Woods – Rory McIlroy – Justin Thomas
NOTABLE: Woods (2), McIlroy (1) and Thomas (1) have four FedExCup titles among them.
The Genesis Open is the lone PGA TOUR event where Woods has made 10 or more starts without producing a victory.
With 80 career PGA TOUR wins, Woods is two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time wins record of 82.
McIlroy, the 2016 FedExCup champion, enters the week with top-5 finishes in each of his last two starts on TOUR (T4/Sentry Tournament of Champions, T5/Farmers Insurance Open).
The 2017 FedExCup champion, Thomas has three top-5 finishes in six starts in 2018-19. He is making his fifth start at Riviera Country Club and is coming off his best result, a tie for ninth in 2018.
Phil Mickelson – Xander Schauffele – Jordan Spieth
NOTABLE: With 124 career PGA TOUR wins between them, Mickelson (44) and Tiger Woods (80) have combined for 24 percent of the 516 career PGA TOUR victories among the 144-player field. Mickelson and Woods each have 14 PGA TOUR wins in the state of California.
Winner of Monday’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Mickelson won his first PGA TOUR event (1991 Northern Telecom Open) more than two years before both Schauffele and Spieth were born in 1993.
Schauffele is one of two multiple winners in 2018-19 along with Matt Kuchar, having captured the WGC-HSBC Champions and Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Playing with Mickelson for the first time in the final round of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship, Spieth fired a 62, resulting in a Mickelson phone call to U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Fred Couples lobbying (ultimately successfully) for Spieth as a Captain’s Pick for the 2013 Presidents Cup.
Bryson DeChambeau – Matt Kuchar – Jon Rahm
NOTABLE: Kuchar leads the FedExCup standings by eight points over Schauffele.
DeChambeau has four wins in his last nine worldwide starts, including two FedExCup Playoffs event last August.
FedExCup leader Kuchar ended a four-plus year victory drought with a win at the 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic and later followed up with a second title at the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii.
Rahm, making his first-ever start at the Genesis Open, has four top-10 finishes in five starts in 2018-19.
Cameron Champ – Dustin Johnson – Bubba Watson
NOTABLE: Watson and Johnson have combined for four of the last five wins at the Genesis Open.
Champ, who leads the TOUR in Driving Distance (318.6 yards) and won the Sanderson Farms Championship in October, played the 2018 Genesis Open as the recipient of the tournament’s Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption.
Including his victory in 2017, Johnson has seven top-10s in 11 starts at the Genesis Open.
A three-time winner and defending champion of the Genesis Open, Watson looks to join Lloyd Mangrum and MacDonald Smith as four-time winners of the event.