Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Genesis Open: Relive Tiger Woods' Riviera debut as a 16-year-old

Genesis Open: Relive Tiger Woods' Riviera debut as a 16-year-old

Woods was a reedy 16-year-old when he made his first PGA Tour start at Riviera, playing on a sponsor's exemption and missing the cut. Players can lay up short of the cross bunkers with a mid iron, but that leaves a tricky short iron into a green that slopes hard from right to left.

Jordan Spieth: Struggling with the putter a little at the moment, but a real threat if he sorts that out.

For the moment it seems Woods is content trying to get tournament reps in as he aims to understand how his body will work under pressure in competition, but his mind is still never far from the W.

"I've really had to increase speed to hang with a lot of the younger guys", he said at Pebble.

"But he's obviously gotten much better, worked on his game and won tournaments while I've been out".

Because he was played fairly well and got through his last tournament with no pain, expectations for Woods are starting to grow. He was T2 in his first outing here last year, and although this is his first start in the US this year, he's had an encouraging start to the year - finishing T5 in Abu Dhabi before a T32 in Dubai.

I've been happy to trawl out the stat about Paul Casey not winning on the PGA Tour since 2009 and hence representing lack of value but, blimey, does he give each-way punters a run for their money every single week!

"Just not to feel sore".

With the first Major of the year, The Masters, just under two months away, now is the time for McIlroy to start building up his game if he wishes to complete the career Grand Slam this year. "They pick my brain". And I think we are going to have a lot of fun.

He also acknowledged last week that Riviera is "a ideal course" for those that are striking it well. Thomas recalls being nervous the first time he met Woods on the back of the practice range at TPC Sawgrass in his rookie season.

Back up the price grid and Brendan Steele at 50s is a decent price in his home State and on greens he grew up on and I really like Alex Noren on this course which is flawless for his left-to-right ball flight but we've really ducked him at 35s.

He was self-effacing, too, when playing partner Thomas was mentioned.

"I listened", Thomas said. "So I've got to do a little bit more homework tomorrow in the pro-am".

"I feel like this is a golf course that brings a lot of the best out of me just because of how dialed in you have to be and how focused you have to be", said Rickie Fowler, who won by four shots a year ago.

A year ago rain and fog meant that many players had to compete 36-holes on Sunday.

"Oh, I'd just love that", he said when asked about him getting back to competing with the best.

Woods then added, "It would be a great sign if I do play and a smart sign if I didn't play, " joking with reporters about his intentional ambiguity. He said, "That was the year before I was born".

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