Adam Scott: Genesis Invitational at Riviera “my favorite” PGA Tour event

Adam Scott has had a solid start to his 2024 season.

The Brisbane, Australia native has two top-10 finishes in Dubai and Phoenix, and he tied for 20th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Now, Scott returns to Riviera Country Club—where he has won twice and has recorded seven top 10s during his illustrious career.

“It’s always a highlight of my year playing here. I love this track, and I love this event,” Scott said Tuesday ahead of the Genesis Invitational.

“It’s my favorite event I play on tour, so I’m so thankful to be a sponsor’s invite this week and get the chance to have another go around Riviera.”

Scott believes Riviera has more to offer than its iconic George C. Thomas-designed course.

PGA Tour, Riviera Country Club, The Genesis Invitational

An aerial view of Riviera Country Club ahead of the 2024 Genesis Invitational.
Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images.

He feels at home there, as Southern California and Australia share numerous similarities.

“The eucalyptus trees smell like they do in Australia; the grass is similar, and the weather can be similar as well. There is nice weather here,” Scott said.

“I just have this certain level of comfort. There’s more than just purely a great golf course for me.”

The Kikuyu grass that lines Riviera’s fairways gives plenty of players trouble. This thick, crabby grass often seizes control of a player’s club face, turning it over and thus forcing errant shots.

And yet, Kikuyu is often found in Australia, so Scott has plenty of experience with this type of turf. Perhaps this helps explain why Scott has had so much success at Riviera.

But he has long been a phenomenal ball striker, a requirement for any player to thrive on this course. Additionally, solid ball striking requires good positioning off the tee.

Scott does this routinely at Riviera.

When he won in 2020, the Aussie ranked third in strokes gained approaching the green. Two years ago, when he tied for fourth, Scott ranked fourth in this regard.

Four of the last five winners at Riviera have finished among the top 6 in strokes gained approaching the green. It is the key to success.

Adam Scott, PGA Tour, The Genesis Invitational

Adam Scott speaks during a press conference ahead of the 2024 Genesis Invitational.
Photo by Ben Jared/PGA Tour via Getty Images

This year, Scott ranks fifth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained approaching the green. He also ranks third in proximity to the hole, meaning he is finding putting surfaces and sticking it close to the flagstick. That recipe translates to success on any course, let alone at Riviera.

“I generally like how my game is feeling,” Scott said when asked to discuss the state of his game.

“Hopefully, a good week this week, and I can keep the good momentum with my golf game going.”

Scott would not have been able to sustain momentum had he not received a sponsor’s exemption this week.

Because Scott did not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs in 2023, he did not initially make it into this limited field—the third Signature Event of the season. Only 70 players comprise this week’s Genesis Invitational, 50 of which qualified by making last year’s BMW Championship.

“I can’t remember exactly when my last sponsor’s invite was. I probably have been invited to a tournament in Asia or something like that throughout the years, but on the PGA Tour, it’s been a while, that’s for sure,” Scott said.

“I feel lucky that I’ve got one of them. If I didn’t, then, I didn’t qualify. So that’s how it goes. I don’t expect to be invited to every tournament I ask for either, but I am very happy to be here. As I said, this is an event I look forward to very much. It’s my favorite track of the year, and hopefully, I make the most of it.”

Considering his comfort and experience at Riviera, coupled with his current form, Scott contending this weekend should surprise no one.

Perhaps we find the Aussie in the winner’s circle late Sunday afternoon.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

This post was originally published on SBNation

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