Tiger Woods issues brutal slapdown of rivals at Genesis Open

Tiger Woods

The folks playing host to the Genesis Open this week got the hype going Monday posting a 60-second Q&A with Tiger Woods. This is the first time he's played in the PGA Tour event here in 12 years, never having won in the 10 times he did play.

Woods, who will be playing alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas for his first two rounds, said he is excited to be paired with those two but admitted that his past experience here counts for nothing given the difference he has noticed on the course, saying the old yardage books are "out the window". "I'll start worrying about Augusta the week after match play ends". He said the only thing sore following the event were his feet - because he wasn't used to walking a long course for four consecutive days.

Even the branding of his own Tiger Woods Foundation has changed, Woods announced Tuesday. "So the old yardage books are out the window". This is a whole new game. Some will try to drive the razer-thin green with two deep bunkers guarding either side, while others will lay up in the fairway. "It's not about the name on the building; it's about the people in it and how safe they feel and the curriculum that we're teaching them that they feel is now applicable to what they see in real life".

"Riviera, it's just a place that I love, and I love coming back here and I love playing", he added.

So what should we expect from Tiger this week?

"I'm just starting back", he said at his pre-tournament press conference.

"I'm trying to win a tournament". "I went with a shaft that's a little more stout".

"I think now they're starting to see me as a competitor because I'm starting to come back again", he said.

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SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, was all over Jon Rahm's victory at the CareerBuilder Challenge this season and had two players in its projected top five finish tied for second at last week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Paul Casey: Casey still hasn't missed since the 2017 Sony Open, and has two top-10 finishes in his last two starts. Since the beginning of his PGA Tour career in 2008, it's been his personal ATM. He had vague recollections of Woods making his PGA Tour debut at Riviera as an amateur and asked for details.

Justin Thomas: He is coming off an unbelievable 2017 season. Has only played here once in 2016, ending T20.

This is a value that could go overlooked - he should garner less ownership than past victor Hahn (more on him below), at any rate - even though Smith has been lights out in 2018. 2nd in GIR this season, and has a best finish of 4th at Riviera in 2015.

Alex Noren: Followed up his play-off defeat to Jason Day with a T21 last week. It first was played at Riviera in 1929.

Thomas Pieters won the NCAA 2012 Division I Men's Golf Championship at Riviera.

This will be the 54 year Riviera has been the venue for this tournament.

Woods finished t-23 at Torrey Pines last month, showcasing an improved short game and solid command over his swing.

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