The Genesis Invitational R1

McIlroy begins eighth spell as world number one with 68

February 13-16
Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, California
$9,300,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Rory McIlroy began his eighth spell as world number one with some flashes of brilliance in an opening three-under 68 in the Genesis Invitational.

The Genesis Invitational R1 - McIlroy takes lead
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

McIlroy managed just one birdie in the first round at Riviera but also recorded two eagles in the space of three holes around the turn to make up for a sluggish start.

Day one ended with the Northern Irishman sharing seventh place, four shots off the pace after American Matt Kuchar’s brilliant seven-under 64.

Starting from the 10th, McIlroy had to hole from seven feet for par on the driveable par four after needing two attempts to escape from a greenside bunker. He also had to save par from sand on the 14th and 16th.


A perfect drive on the par-five 17th was followed by a fairway wood to the heart of the green from 289 yards. McIlroy nonchalantly holed the eagle putt from 35 feet to move into red figures.

McIlroy promptly dropped a shot on the 18th after missing the green with his approach but swiftly made amends on the short par-five first with a second eagle of the day from close range before carding his only birdie on the fifth.

“(It was) good after the start,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “I was one over through seven, missed a couple of short ones early on and then went through a stretch of missing a lot of greens.

“I got it up and down on 13, 14, 15, so that was nice to not drop any shots there and then the eagle on 17 kick-started things for me a little bit. I played my second nine a lot better than I played my first nine so I feel good.”

McIlroy, who finished in a tie for third at the Farmers Insurance Open on his only previous appearance in 2020, added: “I’ve been working on a couple of things the last couple of weeks since Torrey Pines. There was some stuff I saw there that I was trying to get away from.


“I weakened my left-hand grip a little bit again, just to neutralise the ball flight a little bit. I feel like I can release the club head and the ball’s not going to go left.”

Kuchar, the world No.20, set the clubhouse target on seven under par thanks to his bogey-free round early in the day.


Sharing second after rounds of 67 were Americans Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III, along with South Korean Lee Kyoung-Hoon.

Nine players were on three under with McIlroy, including Australia’s Jason Day, while England’s Paul Casey was in a large group on two under which included America’s Brooks Koepka and tournament host Tiger Woods.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Matt Kuchar
USA
-7
64
T2
Adam Schenk
USA
-4
67
T2
Harold Varner III
USA
-4
67
T2
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
KOR
-4
67
T2
Russell Henley
USA
-4
67
T2
Wyndham Clark
USA
-4
67
T7
Andrew Landry
USA
-3
68
T7
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
-3
68
T7
Carlos Ortiz
MEX
-3
68
T7
James Hahn
USA
-3
68
T7
Jason Day
AUS
-3
68
T7
Joel Dahmen
USA
-3
68
T7
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-3
68
T7
Patrick Reed
USA
-3
68
T7
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-3
68
T7
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-3
68
T17
Brooks Koepka
USA
-2
69
T17
Chez Reavie
USA
-2
69
T17
Denny McCarthy
USA
-2
69
T17
J. B. Holmes
USA
-2
69
T17
J. T. Poston
USA
-2
69
T17
Justin Rose
ENG
-2
69
T17
Michael Thompson
USA
-2
69
T17
Paul Casey
ENG
-2
69
T17
Scott Stallings
USA
-2
69
T17
Scottie Scheffler
USA
-2
69
T17
Sebastian Munoz
COL
-2
69
T17
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
-2
69
T17
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
-2
69
T17
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-2
69
T17
Tiger Woods
USA
-2
69
T17
Vaughn Taylor
USA
-2
69
T33
Brian Harman
USA
-1
70
T33
Corey Conners
CAN
-1
70
T33
Jim Furyk
USA
-1
70
T33
Jon Rahm
ESP
-1
70
T33
Marc Leishman
AUS
-1
70
T33
Ryan Armour
USA
-1
70
T33
Scott Piercy
USA
-1
70
T33
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-1
70
T33
Talor Gooch
USA
-1
70
T42
Aaron Baddeley
AUS
Par
71
T42
Adam Hadwin
CAN
Par
71
T42
Adam Long
USA
Par
71
T42
Alexander Noren
SWE
Par
71
T42
Bronson Burgoon
USA
Par
71
T42
Chris Stroud
USA
Par
71
T42
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
Par
71
T42
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
Par
71
T42
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
Par
71
T42
Kevin Chappell
USA
Par
71
T42
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
Par
71
T42
Kyle Stanley
USA
Par
71
T42
Lanto Griffin
USA
Par
71
T42
Luke List
USA
Par
71
T42
Martin Laird
SCO
Par
71
T42
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
Par
71
T42
Nick Taylor
CAN
Par
71
T42
Nick Watney
USA
Par
71
T42
Patrick Rodgers
USA
Par
71
T42
Ryan Moore
USA
Par
71
T42
Ryan Palmer
USA
Par
71
T42
Scott Brown
USA
Par
71
T42
Sepp Straka
AUT
Par
71
T65
Adam Scott
AUS
1
72
T65
Andrew Putnam
USA
1
72
T65
Brian Gay
USA
1
72
T65
Brian Stuard
USA
1
72
T65
Bubba Watson
USA
1
72
T65
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
1
72
T65
Danny Lee
NZL
1
72
T65
Dustin Johnson
USA
1
72
T65
Jason Kokrak
USA
1
72
T65
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
1
72
T65
Jordan Spieth
USA
1
72
T65
Kevin Tway
USA
1
72
T65
Martin Trainer
USA
1
72
T65
Max Homa
USA
1
72
T65
Phil Mickelson
USA
1
72
T65
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
1
72
T65
Steve Stricker
USA
1
72
T65
Tony Finau
USA
1
72
T65
Xander Schauffele
USA
1
72
T84
Aaron Wise
USA
2
73
T84
Branden Grace
RSA
2
73
T84
Brendon Todd
USA
2
73
T84
Charley Hoffman
USA
2
73
T84
Collin Morikawa
USA
2
73
T84
Danny Willett
ENG
2
73
T84
J. J. Spaun
USA
2
73
T84
Jim Herman
USA
2
73
T84
Matthew Every
USA
2
73
T84
Pat Perez
USA
2
73
T84
Sam Burns
USA
2
73
T84
Troy Merritt
USA
2
73
T84
Tyler Duncan
USA
2
73
T97
Bud Cauley
USA
3
74
T97
Cameron Smith
AUS
3
74
T97
Cameron Tringale
USA
3
74
T97
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
3
74
T97
Joseph Bramlett
USA
3
74
T97
Justin Thomas
USA
3
74
T97
Kevin Na
USA
3
74
T97
Matthew Wolff
USA
3
74
T97
Peter Malnati
USA
3
74
T97
Roger Sloan
CAN
3
74
T97
Russell Knox
SCO
3
74
T108
Cameron Champ
USA
4
75
T108
Francesco Molinari
ITA
4
75
T108
Jason Dufner
USA
4
75
T108
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
4
75
T108
Jimmy Walker
USA
4
75
T108
Keegan Bradley
USA
4
75
T114
Abraham Ancer
USA
5
76
T114
Nate Lashley
USA
5
76
T114
Sam Ryder
USA
5
76
117
Charles Howell III
USA
6
77
118
Sean Yu
TWN
7
78
119
Matt Jones
AUS
8
79
120
Kyong-Jun Moon
CHN
9
80
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