Matt Kuchar leads Genesis Invitational; Tiger Woods lags after opening-round 69
Kuchar, who was part of Tiger Woods’ triumphant Presidents’ Cup team in Melbourne in December, is without a solo victory since the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii more than a year ago.But Kuchar made a strong start Thursday. The nine-time PGA Tour champion was bogey-free as he made seven birdies to top the leaderboard ahead of Lee Kyoung-hoon, Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III.The event has attracted a star-studded field — it is one of only five tournaments given invitational status by the PGA Tour — and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is in contention.After Round 1 @TheGenesisInv:1. Matt Kuchar (-7)T2. @HV3_Golf (-4)@russhenleygolf @Wyndham_ClarkK.H. [email protected] leaderboard: https://t.co/xYdhELrcLf pic.twitter.com/irfqHtKW5J— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 14, 2020World No. 1 McIlroy recorded two eagles, a pair of bogeys and a birdie for a 3-under-par 68 on Day 1. McIlroy headlines a group of 10 players tied for seventh, including Jason Day and Patrick Reed.Woods is a stroke farther back after a 2-under 69. The 15-time major winner faltered following a bright start in his pursuit of a maiden Genesis Invitational trophy.No. 8. pic.twitter.com/Y90KOqLBqt— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 13, 2020The American superstar made an eagle on his first hole, opening a tournament with an eagle for just the second time since 2003. It was the fourth eagle of his career at Riviera.Woods holed two birdies in addition to the eagle on a flawless front nine before fading after the turn. He bogeyed twice on the back nine, including on 18. Matt Kuchar earned a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, started hot but faded.Kuchar carded a 7-under-par 64 to set the early pace at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The first putt @TigerWoods attempted in L.A. this week: 24 feet, 8 inches.He made it. For eagle. pic.twitter.com/dnlEPtXaci— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 13, 2020Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Giannia, and seven other people last month — was honored around the course.In addition to his custom shoes, @BKoepka is sporting Kobe Bryant inspired headcovers. pic.twitter.com/IDiFMvEPsZ— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 13, 2020There was a flag in Lakers colors and Bryant’s No. 8. Brooks Koepka sported headcovers inspired by the five-time NBA champion.Former world No. 1 Koepka, reigning champion J.B. Holmes and Justin Rose are among the players at 2 under, while 2018 winner Dustin Johnson, two-time champion Phil Mickelson, three-time victor Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth ended the day 1 over.