LOS ANGELES — Three days at the Genesis Invitational has made it possible to imagine a PGA Tour-designated event.
With 23 of the Top 25 playersFive of the 10 top performers in the world are among the top 10, as we head into the final day at Riviera Club — a setting that is both enviable and humbling. Collin MorikawaAnd Max HomaIt was a course that I thought was the best on tour or on the planet.
However, the star-studded field has been surpassed in some ways by the return Tiger WoodsTo professional golf. Woods did not just make the cut on the number but also proceeded to put together a slew of a. marvelous roundHe tied for 26th with a 4-under 67 on Saturday. The tournament host is now 12 shots behind leader. Jon Rahm, who continues showing why hes the best player in this league so far this year.
Here are three things to keep an eye on before Sundays final round at Los Angeles.
1. The continuing resurgence in Tiger Woods
Tiger makes birdie to move 4 under
Tiger Woods keeps his momentum on the back nine by making this nice birdie putt at the Genesis Invitationals third day.
Woods best round since his 2021 car accident, Saturdays 67 was his best round of golf. After explaining how his core has become stronger, Woods stated that he is now faster off the tee. His iron game is sharp and his putting has improved. Woods tied for third in strokes gained after the third round. What about the body? Thats a different question.
Woods said, Its a little bit sore right at the moment. The golf part of it I can do. Its just a matter if I can get from point A and point B. Thats the struggle part.
After the round, it was clearer. Woods limp was more noticeable between interviews than at any point on the course, but he (and Joe LaCava, his caddie) seemed to be encouraged by how well he was doing. Tiger smiled and said that Sundays recovery would be fun .
Woods could finish in the top 25 despite being well behind the leaders. This is remarkable considering the circumstances. Although the rust is obvious, Saturdays performance showed just how much Woods all-time talent can still be a catalyst for a performance like this. Woods stated after the round that this is the first time he has had to play 72 holes. So the question remains: Can his body allow him to play and walk 72 holes again?
2. Jon Rahms inevitability
It looked like we were about to witness a back-and-forth match that would continue through Sunday, after Homa made a birdie putt at the 13th green to tie Rahm at 14 under. Instead, Homa bogeyed both 15 and 16 holes, while Rahm, steady as always, made six straight pars. To go 2 shots ahead. Then came 18, when the Spanish golfer hit a 23-foot birdie shot to extend his lead. He had taken over the tournament.
Given Rahms machine-like performance, none of this is surprising. He already has two wins and, even in tournaments where he doesn’t lead the leaderboards, he’s always lurking to threaten to make a surge. Despite being no. Its almost impossible to argue that hes not the best golfer in the entire world, despite being ranked no.
It is fitting that Rahm leads in an event featuring some of the best players in the game, but also those behind him will have the chance to shine, while hoping he struggles Sunday. This notion is increasingly looking like a futile exercise.
3. Can Max Homa, or anyone else, track down Rahm?
There are many names below Rahm that could turn a Sunday coronation in to a battle. Homa, who has won here in 2021 is not going to go away quietly. Homa, the Torrey Pines winner, spoke Saturday about how his game evolved from his early wins, and how he has been able to remain steady despite bad shots. Now comes the tough part: After leading the tournaments first two days, Homa let Rahm take the lead Saturday and will be starting the final round three shots back.
Rahm said Saturday after his bogey free round that somebodys coming out tomorrow and somebodys gonna shoot a round with 4, 5, 6, 7 under . It happens every tournament that we play in, correct? So I need to be aware that someones going make a run and Im going have to shoot a 60s shot to ensure I have a chance of winning.
Rahm could be challenged by a few other names, aside from Homa. While Patrick CantlayAfter a round of 68, quietly is 5 shots behind Keith MitchellMorikawa is the most prominent player on the board with 7 under.
Morikawa lost the lead to Rahm earlier in the year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. This was a 7-stroke comeback. Morikawa, who put himself behind eight balls by bogeying his last four holes, will have to make up the difference Sunday by winning by one stroke.