2019 Genesis Open Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Bubba Watson Genesis Open
Bubba Watson preps his shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera CC on February 21, 2016 in Pacific Palisades, CA. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The PGA Tour heads south from Pebble Beach’s rugged coastline in northern California to Pacific Palisades – just outside of Los Angeles – for the Genesis Open at historic Rivieria Country Club.

Bubba Watson Riviera Country Club Wins Genesis Open
Bubba Watson lines up a shot on the 18th green during the final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC on Feb 18, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, CA. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The long-running tournament, the finale of the five-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup (and Presidents Cup) points.

The field in L.A. is headlined by tournament host Tiger Woods, along with three of the top-5 ranked players in the world in Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau, respectively.


Tournament: Genesis Open
Dates: Feb. 14-17, 2019
Where: Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Course: Riviera Country Club
Distance: Par 71/7,322 yards
Architect: George Thomas Jr., William Bell (1926)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Purse: $7,400,000
Winning Share: $1,332,000
FedExCup Points: 500
2018 Champion: Bubba Watson
Marquee Players: Watson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffle, and Justin Thomas.


Rd 1: Thu 2-6:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 2: Fri 2-6:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sat 1-2:45 pm (GOLF), 3-6:00 pm (CBS)
Rd 4: Sun 2-2:45 pm (GOLF), 3-6:30 pm (CBS)

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Long known as the Los Angeles Open and more recently the Northern Trust Open, the Genesis Open has been held at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades (CA) for most of its history. The inaugural tournament was contested in 1926 with American Harry Cooper capturing the very first trophy, along with a check for $3,500.

Phil Mickelson Genesis Open
Phil Mickelson reacts to an eagle on the 17th hole during round one of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC on Feb 16, 2017 in Pacific Palisades, CA. Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

Notable tournament winners include Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, and Phil Mickelson.

Macdonald Smith and Lloyd Mangrum – two great, but largely forgotten, players – own a record four (4) wins apiece.

The Genesis Open has been the site of some historically significant events. In 1938, legendary female athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first woman to play a men’s professional golf event. Zaharias, who had only taken up golf three years earlier after spending years as a track and field superstar, shot 81-84 over the first two rounds and missed the cut.

In 1992, the then-titled Nissan Los Angeles Open was the site of Tiger Woods’ first PGA Tour start. As a 16-year old high school sophomore, Tiger shot 72-75 (+5) and missed the cut.

Riviera Country Club, has hosted three major championships, most recently the 1995 PGA Championship, won by Steve Elkington in a playoff over Colin Montgomerie.


2017-18 Genesis Open
2008-16 Northern Trust Open
1995-07 Nissan Open
1989-94 Nissan Los Angeles Open
1987-88 Los Angeles Open presented by Nissan
1984-86 Los Angeles Open
1971-83 Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open
1926-70 Los Angeles Open


2017: Dustin Johnson
2016: Bubba Watson
2015: James Hahn
2014: Bubba Watson
2013: John Merrick
2012: Bill Haas
2011: Aaron Baddeley


4 – Macdonald Smith (1928-29, 1932, 1934)
4 – Lloyd Mangrum (1949, 1951, 1953, 1956)

72-Hole Score:
264 (-20) – Lanny Wadkins (1985)

18-Hole Score:
61 (-10) – Ted Tryba (1999, Rd 3)


The defending champion of the Genesis Open is Bubba Watson, who fired a final-round 69 to record a two-stroke victory over Kevin Na and Tony Finau.

Bubba Watson Wins Genesis Open
Bubba Watson plays a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC on Feb 18, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, CA. Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

The win was Watson’s first since the 2016 Genesis Open (then titled the Northern Trust), and the first of three victories on the 2018 season for the PGA Tour star.

Watson’s Sunday round was highlighted by a chip-in birdie from the bunker on the par-3 14th hole, cementing his spot atop the leaderboard at Riviera.


1 Bubba Watson -12
2 Kevin Na -10
2 Tony Finau -10
4 Scott Stallings -9
4 Patrick Cantlay -9


The field this week in Los Angeles is headlined by tournament host Tiger Woods and defending champion Bubba Watson, a three-time winner at Riviera.

Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods Riviera Genesis Open
Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods walk the 18th hole during the second round of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC in Pacific Palisades, CA on Feb 16, 2018. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Top 10: The field includes six of the top-10 ranked players in the world including Dustin Johnson (No. 3), Justin Thomas (4), Bryson DeChambeau (5), Jon Rahm (6), Xander Schauffele (7), and Rory McIlroy (9).

Top 25: Other top-25 ranked players include Tony Finau (No. 11), Tommy Fleetwood (14), Marc Leishman (17), Phil Mickelson (18), Patrick Cantlay (19), Matt Kuchar (20), Paul Casey (21), Jordan Spieth (24), and Louis Oosthuizen (25).

More Names: Pat Perez , Rafael Cabrera Bello, Charley Hoffman, Tyrrell Hatton, Charles Howell III, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Jimmy Walker, and Jim Furyk are some of the other familiar names.

Over-50 Stars: Veterans Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Steve Stricker, and Vijay Singh will also tee it up this week in Los Angeles.


Genesis Open | Riviera Country Club | Pacific Palisades, CA | Feb 14-17, 2019

Joel Cook contributed to this report.

Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images


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