tournament history

A storied past

The Genesis Invitational continues a longstanding tradition of professional golf in Southern California. Debuting in 1926 at Los Angeles Country Club as the Los Angeles Open, the tournament was staged at various courses throughout the Los Angeles area before permanently settling at The Riviera Country Club in 1973. Known as the site of Jack Nicklaus’ professional debut, Tiger Woods’ first PGA TOUR tournament and with 25 champions in the World Golf Hall of Fame, the tournament and Riviera have seen many major moments in golf history.

2020-present

  • 2020: Joseph Bramlett became the first person to receive the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for a second time. Bramlett also received the exemption in 2011.
  • 2020: Adam Scott earned an official tournament victory with his two-shot win. In 2005, Scott won a rain-shortened tournament in a playoff, an unofficial PGA TOUR win.

Pictured: 2020 champion Adam Scott

2010-2019

  • 2012: Bill Haas made a 40-foot putt to defeat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley on the second playoff hole.
  • 2013: John Merrick became the first champion from Los Angeles County by defeating Charlie Beljan on the second playoff hole. Merrick was born and raised in Long Beach.
  • 2015: The tournament held the first Collegiate Showcase, providing the opportunity for a college golfer to earn an exemption into the full field tournament.
  • 2017: Dustin Johnson’s victory following weather delays forced 36 holes to be played on Sunday. The win ascended Johnson to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • 2018 Cameron Champ awarded the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption. Later that year, Champ becomes the first Sifford Exemption recipient to win on the PGA TOUR.

Pictured: 2013 champion John Merrick

2000-2009

  • 2004: Mike Weir became the sixth player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments.
  • 2005: Adam Scott won a playoff in a rain-shortened tournament. Only 36 holes were completed.
  • 2007: Charles Howell III defeated Phil Mickelson on the third playoff hole.
  • 2008: Phil Mickelson followed up his playoff loss with a tournament win, the 33rd victory of his career.
  • 2009: Phil Mickelson became the seventh player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments.
  • 2009: Vincent Johnson was awarded the first Charlie Sifford Memorial exemption, awarded annually to a golfer of a minority background who otherwise wouldn’t be eligible to complete.

Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption

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Pictured: Phil Mickelson in 2009

1990-1999

  • 1992: Tiger Woods played in his first PGA TOUR event as an amateur at the age of 16.
  • 1993: Tom Kite won in a rain-shorted tournament. Only 54 holes were completed.
  • 1995: Corey Pavin became the fifth player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments.

Pictured: Tiger Woods in his PGA TOUR debut in 1992

1980-1989

  • 1982: Tom Watson defeated Johnny Miller in one of the greatest comeback victories in tournament history. Watson made a 40-foot putt on the third playoff hole to defeat defending champion Johnny Miller. The win was Watson’s second LA Open victory in three years.
  • 1983: PGA Championship held at Riviera.
  • 1985: Lanny Wadkins won his second LA Open with a tournament-record score of 20-under, 264.

Pictured: the 1983 PGA Championship at Riviera

1970-1979

  • 1973: The LA Open returned to Riviera. The tournament remained at Riviera every year since with the exception of the 1983 and 1998 tournaments.

Pictured: Jack Nicklaus at Riviera in 1973

1960-1969

  • 1962: Jack Nicklaus won his first professional paycheck, earning $33.33.
  • 1967: Arnold Palmer became the third player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments. The victory was Palmer’s third time in a five-year span, having also won in 1963 and 1966.
  • 1969: Charlie Sifford, the first African American member of the PGA TOUR, won the LA Open.

Pictured: Charlie Sifford collecting the winner’s check in 1969

1950-1959

  • 1956: Lloyd Mangrum won the tournament for the fourth time, something only Macdonald Smith had previously accomplished.

Pictured: Lloyd Mangrum on the first tee in 1956

1940-1949

  • 1942: Ben Hogan won his first LA Open.
  • 1943: Due to World War II, the tournament was not held.
  • 1945: A birdie on the final hole gave Sam Snead a one-shot victory over Byron Nelson.
  • 1945: Babe Didrikson Zaharias made her second start in the LA Open.
  • 1946: Babe Didrikson Zaharias made her final start in the LA Open. In her career, she would compete in seven men’s tournaments, three of which were the LA Open.
  • 1948: Ben Hogan became the second player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments. Hogan would also win the US Open at Riviera, causing many to begin calling the club Hogan’s Alley.
  • 1948: Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes became the first African Americans to play in a non-USGA, PGA TOUR event, the 1948 Los Angeles Open. They both made the cut, Rhodes tying for 22nd and Spiller tying for 29th.

Pictured: Ben Hogan on the 18th green during the 1948 US Open

1930-1939

  • 1934: Macdonald Smith became the first player to win the LA Open four times (1928-29, 1932, 1934).
  • 1938: Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first woman to play in the LA Open. It would be the first of her three starts in the tournament.

Pictured: Babe Didrikson Zaharia preparing for a tournament 

1926-1929

  • 1926: The Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce put up a $10,000 purse for the first LA Open, the richest prize at the time in professional golf.
  • 1929: The LA Open became the first tournament to be broadcast on radio.
  • 1929: Macdonald Smith became the first player in tournament history to win back-to-back tournaments.

Pictured: The 18th green and Riviera clubhouse during the 1929 tournament

Tournament records

Recored Player
18-hole score 61 George Archer (R3/1983), Ted Tryba (R3/1999)
36-hole score 130 Shigeki Maruyama (2004), Mike Weir (2004), Davis Love III (1992)
54-hole score 196 Mike Weir (2004), Dustin Johnson (2017), Justin Thomas (2019)
72-hole score 264 Lanny Wadkins (1985)
Largest margin of victory 9 Phil Rodgers (1962)
Best come-from-behind win 8 Ken Venturi (1959)
Playoffs 17 Most recent: 2015 (James Hahn def. Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson)
Holes-in-one since 1983 40 Most recent: Bud Cauley (R2/2020)

host courses

times hosted Course Years
57 The Riviera Country Club 1929–30, 1941, 1945–53, 1973–82, 1984–97, 1999–2020
17 Rancho Park Golf Course 1956–67, 1969–72, 1983
5 Los Angeles Country Club 1926, 1934–36, 1940
4 Wilshire Country Club 1928, 1931, 1933, 1944
3 Griffith Park (Wilson course) 1937–39
2 Hillcrest Country Club 1932, 1942
1 Valencia Country Club 1988
1 Brookside Golf Course 1968
1 Inglewood Country Club 1955
1 Fox Hills Country Club 1954
1 El Caballero Country Club 1927