Golfing

Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club Draws Star-Studded Field

Genesis Invitational starting Thursday brings out some of the world's top-ranked golfers including some Southern California locals.

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The $12 million Genesis Invitational began Thursday at The Riviera Country Club with a field including each of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Spaniard Jon Rahm, the world's top-ranked men's golfer for 31 consecutive weeks.

Second-ranked Collin Morikawa, a 2015 La Canada High graduate, and third-ranked Patrick Cantlay, a 2010 graduate of Servite High School in Anaheim and former UCLA standout, would move into first in the ranking with a victory and if Rahm finishes worse than a solo fourth-place finish.

Rahm finished in a four-way tie for 10th at the WM Phoenix Open which concluded Sunday, four shots behind Scottie Scheffler, who won the tournament in a playoff over Cantlay.

The tournament is one of three PGA Tour events with elevated status, along with the Memorial Tournament and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Those three events offer a larger purse ($12 million, up from $9.3 million in 2021), an increased allotment of FedExCup points (550 to the winner) and a three-year PGA Tour exemption for the winner.

 The winner will receive $2.16 million.

The tournament will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charlie Sifford, the first Black player to compete on the modern-day PGA Tour, including having Aaron Beverly, the 2022 Sifford Exemption recipient, hit the tournament's first tee shot, with host Tiger Woods looking on.

Since 2009, an exemption has been given to a golfer representing a minority background to play in the tournament. In 2017, the exemption was re-named to honor Sifford's memory.

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The first hole features the number "100'' on its tee sign and pin flag.

Sifford's books, "Just Let Me Play'' and the children's book "Charlie Takes His Shot'' are available for purchase in the tournament merchandise shop in an effort to help share Sifford's story with tournament fans.

Sifford won the tournament in 1969 when it was known as the Los Angeles Open. He is the tournament's most recent wire-to-wire winner.

"Charlie was the grandfather I never had,'' Woods said at a news conference Wednesday. "I named my son after Charlie, he meant that much to me and my family. My dad would never have been able to play the game of golf, he would have never taken it up if Charlie hadn't broken down the Caucasian clause.

"It's very important for us to honor what he has done, has meant to this great game of golf.''

From 1934 to 1961, The PGA of America's "Caucasian-only clause'" was part of the association's bylaws and prevented non-whites from membership.

Sifford received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President Barack Obama in 2014, one year before he died at age 92.

Grounds tickets are $75. Clubhouse tickets, which provide access to the Riviera clubhouse and executive indoor restrooms, with premium food and beverage options for purchase, are $125.

Children ages 15 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Active duty military can receive complimentary tickets after online verification. Veterans, teachers, first responders and medical professionals can receive discounted tickets to the tournament after online verification.

All tickets to the 2022 Genesis Invitational are digital via mobile device and must be purchased in advance at the tournament's website, www.genesisinvitational.com. The tournament is a cashless event. Concession stands and merchandise shops will accept credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay only.

In accordance with state, city and Los Angeles County public health guidelines, all attendees 5 years and older must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. For attendees requiring a negative test, they must be negative results within 48 hours prior to entry if from a lab PCR test or negative results within 24 hours prior to entry if from a lab antigen test.

Attendees 18 years and older must also provide a government-issued photo identification with a matching name to vaccination proof or test result. All attendees must wear a mask indoors unless actively eating or drinking.

All public parking for The Genesis Invitational is located in the Santa Monica public parking lots, with free shuttle service to The Riviera Country Club. Lots S1, S2 and S4-S8 are located between and Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards from Second to Fourth streets.

The shuttle pickup/dropoff location is on Wilshire Boulevard between Second and Third streets. Shuttles will run from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There is no public parking at or on the surrounding streets of The Riviera Country Club. All surrounding streets have parking restrictions between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Sunday.

Fans are encouraged to use rideshare services. The designated dropoff and pickup points are 1300 Allenford Ave. Thursday and Friday and 1450 Allenford Ave. Saturday and Sunday.

The tournament will be televised on Golf Channel from 1-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday and Sunday and on CBS from noon-4 Saturday and noon-3:30 p.m. Sunday. The ESPN+ streaming service will have four live feeds, one each devoted to covering featured groups, a marquee group and featured holes along with a main feed.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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