DEFENDING CHAMPION: J.B. Holmes battled tough conditions on Sunday last year, when he had to play 33 holes, his one under round enough to take the title over Justin Thomas who carded a final round 75.

COURSE: For the 57th time, famed Riviera Country Club hosts the Genesis Invitational this week. Formerly known as the LA Open, the event becomes an invitation only tournament for the first time where 120 players will take on George C. Thomas' design.

One of Ben Hogan's favourite hunting grounds, Riviera will host the 2028 Olympics and is a classic risk-reward golf course, with the driveable par-4 10th among the more famous short par-4s in world golf. Testing every facet of a player's game, Riviera utilises changes in elevation, penalising hazards and will play to 7,322 yards this week.

PRIZEMONEY: US$9,300,000.


Having returned to the top spot on the world rankings, it is impossible to look past Rory McIlroy as a big chance here. The Northern Irishman has four top-5s, including in a win, in his last four starts and was T4 here last year.

RIGHT: J.B. Holmes handled brutal conditions best in 2019 to claim his fifth PGA Tour win. PHOTO: Harry How/Getty Images.

Adam Scott makes his first start since winning the Australian PGA Championship before Christmas and will be worth keeping an eye on here. The Queenslander, who has an unofficial win at this venue after rain shortened the 2005 playing to 36 holes, has a strong record here that includes a T7 last year that could have been much better if not for a final round 76. Scott's putting was vastly improved in late 2019 and if that continues he is in with a big chance this week.

Tournament host Tiger Woods can't be ignored anytime he tees it up. But the 15-time major champion and this course make for particularly interesting viewing. Woods, who has gone 1, 4, T9 in his last three starts, has never won his home state open from 11 tries, making Riviera the only PGA Tour venue he has played four times without a victory.

Returning fresh after a two-week break post his win at Torrey Pines, Marc Leishman should be in the mix again here. The 36-year-old is obviously in good form and has four top-20s here including a T4 last year.

72-HOLE RECORD: American Lanny Wadkins claimed his second LA Open title in 1985, needing just 264 shots (20 under) to defeat runner-up Hal Sutton by seven strokes.

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Aaron Baddeley (2011), Adam Scott (2005) and Robert Allenby (2001).

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Jason Day, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith.

Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 10am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 10am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10:30am)
*AEDT, check local guides