Tiger Woods will be the talk of the town when he plays his second official event of 2018 at the Genesis Open in California and that will suit Australia’s Adam Scott nicely.
Scott, too, makes his second start of 2018 and after a disappointing missed cut at last week’s Pebble Beach event he has no doubt ironed out some kinks in his game as he returns to one of his favourite tournament venues.
The 2005 winner at Riviera is one of seven Australasians in the field for one of the most historic events on the circuit and boasts an enviable record at one of the West Coast’s most highly regarded layouts.
While his 2005 victory came in a tournament shortened to 36 holes because of weather he has since made the cut seven times in eight starts and has added two runner-up results.
The venue clearly suits his eye and after making just his second career start in unfamiliar surrounds at Pebble Beach last week he will be in his comfort zone once Thursday comes around.
Joining Scott in the field are Marc Leishman, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Smith and New Zealand’s Danny Lee.
Like Scott, Baddeley is a former winner who generally finds the course to his liking though his 2011 win aside he has only one other top-10 result.
With 12 cuts made in 15 previous starts the four-time PGA TOUR winner will fancy his chances of making the weekend and look to improve on his T55 result last week.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Cameron Smith who makes just his third appearance at Riviera.
Smith’s best finish came last year with a T28 but that finish is somewhat misleading given he entered the final round in a share of 14th but an even par 72 saw him go backwards.
The reigning Australian PGA champion will be keen to erase those memories this week and fresh from a week break could be a surprise packet this week.
Marc Leishman has had mixed results at Riviera where his eight starts have yielded one top-10 finish (a T5 in 2016) but also three missed cuts.
Like Smith, though, Leishman hasn’t played since the Waste Management Phoenix Open and fresh legs could well produce good results.
Danny Lee, Greg Chalmers and Geoff Ogilvy have all struggled historically at Riviera with Chalmers the only one of the three to post a top-10 finish.
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