Woods makes cut for Genesis Invitational; Southlander Homa leads
Tiger Woods will play in the third round of an official PGA Tour event for the first time since May Saturday after making the cut for The Genesis Invitational with no room to spare.
Woods was among 11 players who shot 1-over par 143 for two rounds, which proved to be the cut line. The field of 128 was reduced to 68 players — the low 65 plus ties — following Saturday’s conclusion of the second round.
Second-round play at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades was suspended due to darkness at 5:39 p.m. Friday with 14 players needing to complete their rounds. The players who needed to complete their second rounds Saturday could not effect Woods’ chances of making the cut.
Woods entered the round among 17 golfers tied for 27th, five strokes behind co-leaders Max Homa and Keith Mitchell, then shot a 3-over par 74 Friday to drop into a tie for 58th, 11 strokes off Homa’s lead.
Woods began his round on the 10th tee. He parred his first two holes, had back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes and birdied the 14th and 17th holes to finish the back nine at even-par 36.
Woods parred each of the first five holes on the front nine then bogeyed three of the final four.
“I did not putt well today,” Woods said Friday. “I blocked a lot of putts early and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today. Probably should have shot probably five or six better than this easily.
“Just didn’t make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities. And they weren’t very hard putts, I just hit bad putts and obviously had a very bad finish, too.”
Woods two-putted 11 holes, missing six putts under 10 feet. His 28 putts were tied for 45th in the field.
This is the third time Woods has made the cut at an official PGA Tour event in the four tournaments he has played since he suffered multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle when the SUV he was driving rolled over on a downhill slope of northbound Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23, 2021.
In 2022, Woods finished 47th in the Masters in April, was forced to withdraw from the PGA Championship in May after three rounds and missed the cut at the Open Championship in July.
Homa shot a 3-under 68 Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Mitchell, Jon Rahm and Lee Hodges.
Homa had six birdies, including four in the five-hole stretch from the ninth through 13th hole. His six birdies were tied for the high for the round. The 2009 graduate of Valencia High School bogeyed the par-3 sixth hole, and the eighth and 18th, both par-4s.
This is the second time Homa has held or shared the lead through 36 holes in his 158 starts on the PGA Tour. The other time was in the season-opening 2022 Fortinet Championship in September in Napa, which he went on to win.
“36-hole leads are awesome,” Homa said. “There’s a long way to go, but regardless, I can rest on the fact I’m playing great golf and I’m just going to try and do that for two more days.”
Homa and Rahm are the only multiple winners during the 2022-23 season. Homa also won last month’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Four of Homa’s six career victories have come in California.
“I’m not really sure why I play so well in California,” said Homa, who won the 2021 Genesis Invitational. “Obviously there’s some comfortability with the grass and how far the ball goes.
“This golf course in particular does suit me really well. It suits a lot of the shots I like to hit.”
Collin Morikawa is in fifth, two strokes off the lead. Morikawa is a 2015 La Cañada High graduate.
Rahm was the 15-2 favorite entering the first round. His odds have dropped to 5-2, according to BetMGM, an official betting operator of the PGA Tour. Homa is the second choice at 3-1.
The $20 million tournament is set to conclude Sunday. The winner will receive $3.6 million.