Elevating the Game
The essence of golf tournaments are inherently the same. Players compete to see who can score the best and prize money is handed out. Looking more closely at The Genesis Invitational, it becomes clear the tournament has set the standard for professional golf in the past, present, and future.
First played in 1926, the tournament in Los Angeles is the fourth oldest annual event on the PGA TOUR schedule and second oldest non-major to be contested each year. For over 90 years, the event set trends, broke barriers, and created legends. When Tiger Woods became host of the event in 2017 with Genesis as the title sponsor, a new chapter in the tournament’s storied history was being written.
“I feel like the build up to it has gotten so much bigger,” 2021 champion Max Homa said. “Obviously, Tiger has a big part to do with that, he is the needle in golf, he doesn’t just move it, he is it, so it’s awesome that he has tied his name to an event that selfishly to me is very important.”
Having attended the tournament as a kid who grew up in the L.A. suburbs, Homa understands the importance of this event both in the city of L.A. and on the PGA TOUR calendar. Other professionals on the PGA know the importance of the tournament as well.
“I think it’s a tournament you circle at the beginning of the year and are excited to play,” major winner Keegan Bradley added.
And the best players have been circling The Genesis Invitational. Since 2017, the tournament as consistently ranked among the strongest fields in golf outside of the major championships. Winning at Riviera already was a career accomplishment. Now winning the tournament with Tiger Woods as host raises the stakes.
“It means something a little more to us as players, these invitationals to be in that field,” 2020 champion Adam Scott said. “The prestige, having Tiger associated with it, to be presented the trophy from him on the green will be a memory that will sit right up there for my whole career, and it will for the champions in the future as well.”
Together with Tiger as host, Genesis as the title sponsor hasn’t gone unnoticed on the world’s best golfers.
“It’s nice to see both those parties, Genesis and Tiger, come together to make this the special tournament that it should be,” Scott said.
“I feel like it’s become…cooler,” Homa said. “Even the colors, the black and the silver. We are in Los Angeles, there’s a lot of celebrities, and actors, and athletes that come through here that do play golf. So, it’s cool that the tournament has tied that into it.”