Woods honored as Genesis Open granted 'elevated status'

Woods honored as Genesis Open granted 'elevated status'

"I felt given I went cart path to cart path to junk on the first start today, and then we got to restart the round and went from kind of being unfortunate to just fortunate", the 25-year-old said.

"I haven't really played a lot overseas and I turned the opportunity to go to Saudi Arabia down last summer", Woods told reporters on the eve of the US PGA Tour's Genesis Open.

The tournament and the course have special meaning for him: it was here that he made his first PGA Tour start, as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992.

He has gone on to amass 80 US PGA Tour titles, but in 11 prior appearances he has never lifted the trophy at the course he played so often as a youngster.

Officials suspended play 50 minutes into the first round with just 10 groups on the golf course and with a forecast that was only getting worse by the minute.

"This is a first for me", Patrick Rodgers tweeted with a screenshot of the text notification that was sent to players explaining the restart. Unable to control the spin, he blasted out to the green and watched it roll into a front bunker.

Ahead of the iconic pair's round, Woods opened up on their relationship, and how they are both desperate to claim victory this weekend.

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"I love the course and am all geared up for it", said Lahiri of the Riviera Country Club.

Tiger Woods and his TGR Foundation took over the Genesis Open at Riviera two years ago, and now the PGA Tour is elevating it to the same status as tournaments hosted by Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer.

"I'm playing next week", Woods said on Wednesday. I also had a chance at the U.S. Open ... I've got a bunch of players from outside the United States in my Playbook this week for that very reason.

The T5 finish sparked a glorious run of results as he qualified for the quarterfinals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, losing to eventual victor Bubba Watson, and later finished T4 in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in October.

Smith's countryman Marc Leishman said the high-calibre field is good preparation for the major championships.

As he did previous year at Riviera, Woods will play the first two rounds with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. "It does make me more motivated as I am back in action at the Genesis Open", said Lahiri.

McIlroy, a four-time major victor, has not won either on the California greens. Apart from Woods, the field's star attraction will be Mickelson who arrives fresh off win number 44 at Pebble Beach on Monday.

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