February 19, 2020, 20:55

Genesis Invitational: Will Tiger Woods claim 83rd PGA Tour win?

Genesis Invitational: Will Tiger Woods claim 83rd PGA Tour win?

It would be somewhat fitting if Tiger Woods could make PGA Tour history this week at the Genesis Open, at a tournament and venue that has previously eluded him more than any other.

The South California event, live on Sky Sports, provides Woods’ with his latest opportunity to register an 83rd PGA Tour title and overtake the record tally he currently shares with Sam Snead.

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Many predicted Woods’ victory total would end at 79 after an injury-plagued few years saw him undergo back surgery four times and drop outside the world’s top 1,000 between 2013 and 2018, only for him to end a five-and-a-half-year winless run by registering three wins in a 14-month period.

A comeback win at the 2018 Tour Championship and a momentous 15th major title at the Masters was then followed by further success at the inaugural Zozo Championship in October, with the world No 6 now having the chance to add a new tournament and course to his long list of honours.

Woods has had a special affinity with Riviera Country Club ever since making his PGA Tour debut at the venue as an amateur, when a fresh-faced 16-year-old announced himself to the world during the 1992 contest.

The former world No1 has regularly returned since, despite never reaching the winner’s circle at Riviera, with his latest appearance his third in as many years and 14th in the contest’s history.

Woods’ TGR Foundation took over as tournament hosts in 2016 and his legacy at the event is unquestionable, although it remains the course where he has made the most competitive appearances without experiencing victory.

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After missing the cut in his two appearances as an amateur, Woods never finished outside the top-20 in his next eight visits to Riviera and suffered the only play-off loss of his PGA Tour career when it was held at a different venue in 1998.

Woods’ was beaten by Billy Mayfair at Valencia Country Club and finished two strokes behind Ernie Els in tied-second a year later in 1999, when the tournament returned to Riviera, but has failed to register better than a tied-fifth finish since.

The 44-year-old missed the cut in his return to the event in 2018 – having skipped the tournament since 2006 – and then ended eight strokes back in tied-15th last year, as JB Holmes claimed a one-shot win over Justin Thomas, with Woods now bidding to create more golfing history in his boyhood state.

Source: skysports.com

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