Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
J.B. Holmes aced the sixth hole at Riviera Country Club on Friday on the way to a one-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth after one round of the rain-hit Genesis Open.
Holmes had seven birdies in addition to his hole-in-one at the 199-yard, par-three sixth hole, and just one bogey in his eight-under par 63.
“It was awesome to see that,” Holmes said of the ace, which spun back some 20 feet. “I wanted to get it past the hole because I knew how much they were coming back. Hit it exactly how I wanted it and it went in.”
That took him past Spieth, who added two more birdies to his bogey-free 64 as he played his last six holes on Friday morning — when half the field, including Holmes and 14-time major champion Tiger Woods — finally got to tee off.
Woods strung together four birdies in a row from the eighth through the 11th, but his struggles on the greens were costly as he finished with five birdies and four bogeys in a one-under 70.
“I hit it well and putted awful,” said Woods, who has never won at Riviera in 11 prior attempts. “Four three-putts is ridiculous.
“I just didn’t feel very comfortable with my putter today, couldn’t see my lines and consequently I hit just a boatload of bad putts,” he said, adding that it wasn’t anything to do with the condition of the rain-soaked greens.
“Need to fix it quickly,” added Woods, who was off on his second round little more than half an hour after playing all 18 holes of his first.
A rain delay of seven hours on Thursday, which saw half the field fail to start the first round, had organizers scrambling to get the event back on track for a Sunday finish.
Spieth said he “played beautifully” over the final six holes of his first round on Friday.
He had the rest of the day off after completing the bulk of his first round on Thursday, when he chipped in twice for birdie.
He said his par save at his fourth hole, the 13th, where he pulled his tee shot left and hit a tree, “was probably better than any of the birdies”.
Six players — Australian Adam Scott, and Americans Patrick Rodgers, Tony Finau, Kramer Hickock, Keegan Bradley and Justin Thomas, shared third place on five-under 66 after the first round.