The tour announced that starting next year the tournament formerly known as the Los Angeles Open will join Jack Nicklaus's Memorial tournament in OH and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida in the special category.
Tiger Woods reacts to chipping in for birdie on the 17th hole during The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course.
Woods began his round at 6:40 a.m. from the first tee at The Riviera Country Club.
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Smith is referring to a star-studded line-up this week that includes event host Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, defending champion Watson, 2017 victor Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
"What Phil has done has been extraordinary, to be that consistent for the length of time, " said the 43-year-old Woods, who turned pro four years after Mickelson did in 1992. So, whether that calms down the more he plays and it doesn't become such a novelty that he's back out playing again, I don't know. World ranking points will improve with a stronger field, the purse jumps to $9.3 million next year and the victor receives a three-year exemption. For his part, Mickelson made headlines in 2003 for claiming that Woods was playing with "inferior equipment" and "hates that I can fly it past him now", and they infamously made for a disastrous pairing at the 2004 Ryder Cup.
Palmer bought the Bay Hill Lodge and the PGA Tour renamed it from Bay Hill to the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2007. He missed the cut in the 2018 Genesis Open. It's just one of those courses that...you have to hit the golf ball well. Woods has 80 victories, two shy of Sam Snead's PGA Tour record. It will have competition this week (see above), and I'm looking forward to the golf event of 2019 (to date) as the PGA Tour wraps in California and moves on to Florida and toward the first major of the season. Other collegians who played the event included Wake Forest's Cameron Young, Texas' Steven Chervony and Oklahoma State's Hayden Wood. "There's no faking it around this golf course, especially if the greens are up to speed like they are right now".
The pro-am field also includes five other players in the Official World Golf Ranking Top 10 - third-ranked Dustin Johnson, fourth-ranked Justin Thomas, sixth-ranked Jon Rahm, seventh-ranked Xander Schauffele and ninth-ranked Rory McIlroy.