Genesis Invitational Rahm Wins Where Tiger Plays Next and

Genesis Invitational – Rahm Wins, Where Tiger Plays Next and More

Mark Schlabach and Paolo Uggetti21:08 ET7 Minute Read

LOS ANGELES – Finally, the official World Golf Rankings reflect what courses from Hawaii to Palm Springs and now Pacific Palisades have shown us: Jon Rahm is currently the best golfer in the world.

“I don’t need a ranking to validate anything,” said Rahm after his final round on Sunday. “I’m having the best season of my life.”

The 28-year-old Spaniard not only scored his third win of the season (10th of his career on the PGA Tour) at this week’s Genesis Invitational to secure that top spot, but he did it by fending off 22 of the other 25 of the top players of the world, who lined up at the Riviera Country Club for the tour’s third designated event of the season. And during a week that saw the player who has spent the longest time in that top spot returning to the competition, Rahm also received the ultimate compliment.

Rahm secured his third win of the season, becoming the first player since Justin Thomas in 2016-17 to win that many before March. Caroline Brehman/EPA

“Please understand and respect how good this guy is,” said tournament host Tiger Woods, still in his Sunday red after finishing the tournament 1-under, during the post-round trophy ceremony. “He’s just getting started.”

Rahm spoke after the round of being nervous ahead of Sunday’s finish given what was at stake. But he also noted that the perspective he has been given by the presence of his sons Kepa and Eneko has allowed him to take his mind off golf at the right moment. Nevertheless, he did not shy away from the personal significance of this special victory.

“It’s always a tournament I wanted to win,” said Rahm. He later said in Spanish that although it had been a “stressful day” it was worth hearing that Tiger had awarded him his tournament.

Woods’ presence in the game remains insurmountable and all-consuming. The crowds this week and the attention he continues to garner proved it. But as his career enters a new phase where he will rarely compete in tournaments, the constant search for his heir apparent seems to have shifted to an appreciation of how his influence has created a level of depth that winning further makes the tour harder than ever. That makes Rahm’s season so far all the more impressive. Even the guy who almost hit him on Sunday, Max Homa, called him “Thanos”.

“I was able to reconcile a very small aspect of [Tiger’s career]’ said Rahm. “And hopefully I can continue to do a lot of great things this year to place my name in one of his years.”

On Sunday, Rahm became the first PGA Tour player to win three times before the month of March since Justin Thomas in the 2016-17 season. His dominance goes beyond the numbers, too. There is a feeling that every time Rahm is in the field, he will rise to the top of the leaderboard. With many other designated events and four Majors on deck, Rahm’s game seems well positioned to turn this historic year into something even bigger.

Here’s what else happened on the Riviera this weekend:

When will we see tigers again?

Woods, host of the Genesis Invitational, played 72 holes for the first time in 10 months Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

There’s a chance golf fans will see Tiger Woods again in two weeks time at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won eight times, or the following week at the Tour’s flagship Players Championship. But with Woods saying he only wanted to play the four majors and possibly two or three other events per season, it seems more likely he won’t be back on tour until the April 6-9 Masters.

“Last year I planned to play in all four majors,” Woods said. “I’ve got three of the four. Hopefully I can get all four this year and maybe throw in a few here and there. But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality.”

Woods played 72 holes for the first time in 10 months; Most recently, he did so at the 2022 Masters, which was his first official tournament since being seriously injured in a car accident in February 2021. Woods said the Riviera stroll was probably more difficult than he admitted. When asked if it was the uphill, downhill, or general wear and tear on his body, Woods replied, “Yes, all of the above.”

Woods said his round-to-round recovery pretty much involves sleeping on the ice and reactivating his muscles the next morning.

“Yeah, I was in the ice pretty much all night,” Woods said. “It’s not fun, it’s very cold all the time. And then treatment, then muscle activating and going back and hopping in the cold again. The ebb and flow of it, it’s tough. It’s tough mentally, it’s tough physically.”

Move up and down

Rising up

English appears to be on the upswing after surgery, including a bug-free Sunday at the Genesis Invitational.Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Harris English

English has bounced back after missing five months last season following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He had six birdies and carded a 65 with no bogey on Sunday. He placed 8th among 12th.

Jason day

The Australian continues to make strong progress. He had 13 birdies in the last two rounds combined to finish at 9 under and earn ninth place. It was his fourth consecutive top 20 finish and will move him even closer to the world top 50 – and an invite to the Masters, which he missed last season for the first time since 2010.

Gary Woodland

The 2019 US Open winner has been struggling with form for some time, but a tie in ninth place is a step in the right direction. He had three straight rounds in the 60s before carding an even par of 71 on Sunday. Woodland said he was tweaking his swing and pushing too hard in competition.

Matt Kuchar

Woods wasn’t the only aging golfer in his 40s trying to bounce back this week. Kuchar shot 66 in the first round and 67 in the fourth and finished solo eighth with 10 under. It was his second top 10 in his last four starts. Kuchar also didn’t play at Augusta National last season, the first time he missed the Masters since 2009.

Adam Swenson

Svensson of Canada hadn’t done much since his first win on the PGA Tour at the RSM Classic in November. After consecutive missed cuts, he finished in ninth place with 9.

move down

Spieth has some issues to iron out after missing the cut at Riviera. Michael Owens/Getty Image

Jordan Spieth

The Spieth roller coaster continued. After finishing sixth at the WM Phoenix Open, he missed the cut at Riviera. He lost more than one shot against the field from the tee and about 3 shots on putting. No recipe for success.

Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama was never able to figure out the poa annua greens at Riviera, so he missed the cut. He used 61 putts in two rounds and lost more than 3 shots against the field on the greens.


Rose, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on his previous start, had made the cut on 11 of his previous 12 starts on the Riviera. He hit just three of 14 fairways on Thursday before hitting eight on Friday.

Sam Burns

After back-to-back top-15 finishes, Burns was absent for the Riviera weekend. He has missed the cut in three of his five starts in Genesis.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The reigning US Open champion has missed the cut in two of his last three starts; At the World Championships Phoenix Open he finished 29th. The Englishman, who finished fifth in his last start on the Riviera, had just three birdies in 36 holes.

The best of the weekend

Best Ride

Wave as you pass, Rory McIlroy.

Best tee

It took Tiger maybe three more rotations to record his first ace at an official PGA Tour event since 1997.

Best Practice

It didn’t even jump!

Best Sand Shot

Classic look, a classy shot by Keith Mitchell.

Best up and down

A fried egg in a wall for Homa.

Best putt

Way to use the backstop, Collin Morikawa.

best break

Jon Rahm will probably never copy it again.

Best Social Media

In fact, check that out.

At least he’s honest.

Start young.

The stars were out in LA by Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen to Rob Lowe.

Love someone like Tiger loves JT.

Say what?