Win no. 83 evades Woods, 'done' at Riviera

Poor putting dashes hopes of breaking duck at course as Tiger aims to peak for Masters

LOS ANGELES • About the best thing Tiger Woods could say about his day at the Riviera Country Club on Saturday was that it was over.

"That was a lot of shots," he said of his five-over 76 in the third round of the Genesis Invitational. "I hit the ball quite a few times, especially on the greens and it was a long day."

His tough day with the putter included a four-putt from 18 feet for double-bogey at the par-four 13th - his fourth hole of the day, and a three-putt bogey at his final hole, the par-four ninth.

The former world No. 1 also four-putted in his last start at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.

"Well, I'm done," Woods, who took 33 putts, said when asked if he took any positives from the round. "A new day tomorrow, that's the way golf is."

But any chance of the 44-year-old tournament host finally winning at Riviera will have to wait. He ended the third round 15 strokes behind leaders Rory McIlroy (68), Adam Scott (67) and Matt Kuchar (70).

The trio are on 10-under 203, with four others within two strokes on a tightly-bunched leaderboard.

Americans Russell Henley and Harold Varner III trail by one, while 2017 champion Dustin Johnson is two behind, alongside Joel Dahmen.

Scott was looking forward to challenging for victory on the same Riviera course where he hoisted a trophy in 2005 but could not claim an official win because the rain-sodden event was shortened to 36 holes. The Australian also has two runner-up finishes.

 
 

"I think all of that is just a bit of motivation for me to win here and have an official victory at Riviera," he said. "I think that would be extremely satisfying for me."

McIlroy was looking to cement his return to No. 1 in the world while Kuchar was aiming for his first win since claiming the Singapore Open title last month. The American was atop the leaderboard for a third straight day.

  • 1998 At the Genesis Invitational, Tiger Woods endured his second four-putt in two starts. The last time he had multiple four-putts in a season was in 1998.

For Woods, an opportunity for a record 83rd Tour victory will be put on hold for weeks at least.

He is not playing this week's WGC-Mexico Championship, and was tight-lipped about his schedule after that, stating his priority was to peak in April at Augusta National for the Masters, which he has won five times and where he will defend the Green Jacket.

In explaining his decision to skip Mexico, he said he was a "little rundown" and did not feel it wise to tee up two weeks in a row.

"I feel stiff, but I have weeks like that, especially in the cold mornings, like it was the other day," the 15-time Major champion said. "Don't quite move as well and that's just kind of how it's going to go."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'Win no. 83 evades Woods, 'done' at Riviera'. Print Edition | Subscribe