LOS ANGELES (AP) – Thousands of fans gathered around Tiger Woods On the left route, he looks to see if he can avoid another meet Friday in his first win at Riviera, and round the 5th record of his PGA Tour career.
Beyond the green was rarely noticed Adam Scott The pair faced a short run at No. 18 to complete the couple-free round at Genesis Invitational and meet Riviera’s all-time best score.
Scott returned with a 64-yard break – two months into the break – and left the squad as he stepped out of his lead early in the second period. Woods lost three shots over two bouts with a single shove in his hand and stumbled to a .73 that left him a bit about making the cut, but not much else.
Wood said, “I made some pretty bad mistakes there.” One ball on the fairway with a gap in my hand and the other with a sandbag in my hand, and these two holes played in 3 overs. Not very good. “
Scott did not play after winning the Australian PGA Championship three days before Christmas. He was careful about his game schedule, wanting to starve himself from the competition so that his motivation was fresh. His game got a bit rusty in the opening round and then he put it together on Friday.
With seven of his birdies – as well as four back nine of the five holes when he was rolling – he was saved five times and had to scramble.
“You were never sure how you would feel in the eight weeks before, but I was really hitting the ball in the middle of the club,” said Scott. “It gave me a little bit of confidence to keep doing what I was doing and instead of figuring out what I was doing wrong, it just dropped everywhere.”
Woods did not have to search long to find his flaws.
They started well enough with a smart choice to iron at the approachable Par-4 10th due to the back right pin position, about 12 feet and a birdie. And he never had too much trouble. The 15th hole was not seen to be a problem, especially after chasing 335 yards of drive in the middle of the Woods Fairway.
He hung his head after a small debris pitching wedge in a green bunker, leaving no shot at the front pin. He blushes out that through the green, it goes back 7 feet and clings to a double bogey.
“I just beat it fat,” he said. “The truth is, I was trying to get a little nail cut in the air.”
After two birdies in the par-5 round the bend – Nos. 17 and 1 – Woods fired one more shot at the No. 3 front bunker for Boogie with a light sandbag. He increased the par-3 fourth and then he planted three-fifths from the par-3 sixth at about 50 feet.
He was in the middle of the pack when he finished, and with the week-long warm weather, Woods faced many players before him trying to attend a course where it was tough to avoid an accident.
John Rahm, One of three players who could reach number three in the world this week, knows that sentiment.
He popped his 3-wood into the 10-hole to start his round and went so far to the right that he didn’t realize he had nowhere else to go before he purposefully pushed backwards, aiming from green to left. The idea was to equate, but hitting the bunker behind the green was not part of the plan. It took a great bunker shot for a boogie.
Rahm was steady the rest of the way to stay in the 68৮ range,
This is a better place than Justin Thomas, who won’t get a crack in the Riviera this year. Thomas opened with a 74 and never had anything going in the morning. He didn’t birdie until his 8th hole and shot 71১, missing the cut for the second time in the last three stars.
Woods realized he would fly to the back nine on Saturday morning.
“I’m back now – about 40 ahead of me – this weekend I have to make some birdies,” he said.