February 19, 2024

Hideki’s day

A perfect round vaulted Hideki Matsuyama to a three-shot victory at The Riviera Country Club in the 2024 Genesis Invitational. Nine birdies on the round propelled the 2021 Masters champion to a final-round 62, one shot off the course record. Matsuyama’s 62 in the final round is the best final round score at Riviera on the PGA TOUR.

“To win in this tournament was one of my goals ever since I became pro,” Matsuyama said. “After Tiger being the host, that goal became a lot more bigger.”

Matsuyama opened the round with three straight birdies, then opened the back nine with three more in succession. He added an additional stretch of three birdies on holes 15-17 to close out the back nine with a 6-under 30. For Matsuyama, his complete game shined at Riviera, where he ranked first in strokes gained tee to green this week. The stretch of golf showed why Riviera is the perfect backdrop for the world’s best players.

“Majority of the time when I rate my round, it’s usually my ball striking,” Matsuyama said of his extraordinary performance. “Today was an OK round, but I chipped and putted pretty well today, so that’s something that gives me a good momentum, so I think that really helped today.”

While Matsuyama used his birdie barrage to separate himself from the pack, the leaderboard was jampacked throughout the afternoon. Five golfers were tied for the lead at 14-under at one point with the final groups on the back nine. Will Zalatoris and Luke List jockeyed for the lead during the final round before finishing in a tie for second behind Matsuyama. List held the solo-lead for a few holes before Riviera reared its teeth.

“I got off to a great start with eagle on the first, couldn’t have scripted a better front nine,” List said. “The cardinal sin on (No.) 10 is missing right and I did that yesterday and unfortunately did that again today. Hit a really great second shot. That bogey really kind of stung a little bit.”

The Genesis Invitational proudly benefits TGR Foundation, providing opportunities to students from under-resourced communities through the TGR Learning Lab.