One week after iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links served as the backdrop for a convincing victory by Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the PGA Tour visits another masterpiece of golf course architecture, as the west coast swing comes to Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Open. Historically, this event (formerly the Northern Trust Open) has favored ball-strikers, creative players who drive the ball well and can shape their iron shots to attack Riviera's tucked pin positions.
And once again, as players prepare for the unique shot-making challenges of Riviera, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball choice. A total of 95 players are trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist is also the top choice in the hybrid (26) and irons (41) categories. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (177) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice in the putter (58) category.
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- Designed by George C. Thomas, Riviera CC opened in 1927 and was instantly acclaimed as one of the best courses in the U.S. The course is characterized by its location in the Santa Monica canyon, its fairways lined by massive Eucalyptus trees and its nuanced poa-annua greens. The course was renovated in 1992 and there have been several minor changes, including the lengthening of several holes since 2002.
- Riviera Country Club will measure 7,322 yards for players this week and will play to a par-71. The club is hosting this event for the 54th time. In addition to hosting the annual Los Angeles Tour stop, Riviera has hosted four major championships (1948 U.S. Open, 1983 PGA Championship, 1995 PGA Championship, 1998 U.S. Senior Open).
- The par-3 6th hole at Riviera County Club features one of the most recognizable putting surfaces on the PGA Tour. The green features four quadrants and a number of elevation changes, but it is best known for the famous pot bunker cut into the center of the green. Since 2003, No. 6 has more four-putts or worse than any hole on TOUR.
- Perhaps the most interesting hole at Riviera is the 315-yard 10th. The green is drivable for most Tour players, but the green is small and set at an angle, so it is very difficult to hit, and shots from around the green are often very challenging, making it difficult to decide between going for it and laying up.
- Last year's champion relied on a Pro V1x golf ball to capture his second Genesis Open (then the Northern Trust Open) title in three years. Titleist Brand Ambasadors Jason Kokrak (Pro V1x) and Adam Scott (Pro V1) finished tied for second. That performance set Scott's game in motion, as he went on to capture back-to-back wins at the Honda Classic and the World Golf Championship at Doral.
“Sniffing a victory really motivated me to go to Honda and take advantage of my game," Scott recalled earlier this week, "my swing working into good shape and everything feeling very easy, which doesn't happen too often in golf, as we all know.”
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SOCIAL BUZZ FROM L.A.
Let's take a look at what's trending on social media as the 2017 Genesis Open gets underway.
A great shot of Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas (Pro V1x), who won the 2012 Northern Trust Open here at Riviera in 2012.
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Titleist golf ball loyalist Sam Saunders (Pro V1x) seized the opening round lead following a spotless 7-under-par 64 on Thursday. Sam called it his "best round on the PGA Tour". The stellar round came, coincidentally, on the anniversary of his grandfather's (Arnold Palmer) Los Angeles Open title defense 50 years earlier.
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Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson's staff bag, with the fairway on No. 18 in the background.
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The Vokey team captured this cool video of Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott (Pro V1), who finished T2 at last year's event.
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Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Kokrak (Pro V1x), who joined Adam Scott for a share of second place last year, ran into a former teammate from his Xavier University days.
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Keep your eye on Titleist Brand Ambassador Graham Delaet (Pro V1x) this week. Graham hits towering iron shots that should be a big advantage at Riviera.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this week at the Genesis Open!