Morning 9: Cantlay leads Genesis | Tiger suffers spasms, shoots 72 | Genesis photos

Feb, 2024
By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

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Good Friday morning, golf fans, as day two of the Genesis Invitational gets underway.

1. Cantlay leads Genesis

AP report…”Thousands of fans watching Tiger Woods in his 2024 debut missed out on the best golf Thursday at the Genesis Invitational. In the group ahead of Woods was Patrick Cantlay, looking as though he wants to be the next Southern California native to win at Riviera.

  • “Cantlay opened with three birdies in four holes and never really slowed until a sycamore tree halted his great run. He still managed a 7-under 64, giving him a one-shot lead.”
Full piece.

2. Tiger suffers with back spasms, shoots 72

Mark Schlabach for ESPN…”Woods, making his 2024 season debut and his first start in an official PGA Tour event since the Masters in April, said he was suffering back spasms during the last few holes at Riviera Country Club.”

  • “When Woods attempted to hit an 8-iron from the right side of the 18th fairway, his back locked up. His ball rocketed dead right into a eucalyptus tree and came to a rest behind four trees.”
  • “Well, my back was spasming the last couple holes and it was locking up,” Woods said. “I came down and it didn’t move, and I presented [the] hosel first and shanked it.”
  • “Somehow, Woods was able to hit his third shot onto the green. He two-putted for bogey. It was a disappointing finish to his round, leaving him at 1-over 72. He was tied for 49th, eight shots behind first round leader Patrick Cantlay.”
Full piece.

3. Tiger: We don’t need PIF money (but it’d be nice to have it)

Our Matt Vincenzi…”In Tiger Woods pre-tournament press conference for the Genesis Invitational, he touched on many topics including a potential deal between the PGA Tour and the PIF.”

  • “The PGA Tour received roughly 1.1 billion dollars from the Strategic Sports Group which also includes a possibility for a future “co-investment” from the Saudi PIF, but according to Woods, the Tour may no longer need that additional investment.”
  • “Financially, we don’t right now, and the monies that they have come to the table with and what we initially had agreed to in the framework agreement, those are all the same numbers.
  • “Anything beyond this is going to be obviously over and above.”
  • “Woods added that while the PGA Tour doesn’t necessarily need the additional investment, they are still open to dealing with the PIF and negotiations are ongoing.”
  • “Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product.
Full piece.

4. Why Tiger remains appointment viewing

Jay Rigdon for the Fried Egg…”Now, nearly thirty years later, Tiger remains appointment viewing. Not like at his peak, when you turned golf on because he was kicking ass on a weekly basis. But because, well, who the hell knows what it will look like? There’s no benchmark. We can get clubhead speed numbers and Trackman data and reports from playing partners about how he looks good again. We also don’t yet know if he’ll be able to handle walking for four days. One thing is certain: we aren’t going to get a straight answer from him. I think that Tiger Woods, more than any other athlete, lives by the George Costanza mantra of “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

  • “It’s an ability to construct whatever narrative he needs to succeed at whatever he’s trying to accomplish, while blocking out anything that contradicts that reality. He occasionally carries it through to the point of complete detachment from the world in which everyone else is living. It’s what gave him his singular competitive edge that, paired with unworldly physical gifts, allowed him to tame golf to a degree no one has or likely ever will match. It also means that we truly have no idea how healthy he is, or what any realistic expectations should be. But Tiger is playing the one sport best-positioned to give us a view of where he’s at now. He won’t be coming off the bench on a minutes restriction. He won’t have to fit in with a new team or worry about where shots or snaps or at-bats are coming from. The scorecard won’t lie. Tiger is going to go out and do what he’s done as often as he possibly could have for just about his entire life: play golf in front of an audience.”
Full piece.

5. Verne’s last Masters

Our Matt Vincenzi…”On Wednesday, Verne Lundquist announced that the 2024 Masters will be the last time he calls the event.”

  • “Lundquist has had some legendary calls at the Masters and his iconic voice is recognized by many generations. The 83-year-old retired from broadcasting football games back in 2016 but continued with the Masters through what will be his 40th time this year.”
Full piece.

6. DJ gave away his wedges after LIV win

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”After Dustin Johnson won the 2024 LIV Golf Las Vegas event this past weekend at Las Vegas Country Club, a couple of fans walked away with a pretty rare gift: his wedges.”

  • “Johnson was putting his clubs away when a few fans strolled by and congratulated him on his third win since joining the league led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. They asked for a picture and got a little bit more.”
Full Piece.

7. Billy Ho on losing his cool

Our Matt Vincenzi…”This week, Horschel went on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio to discuss why he lost his cool.”

  • “We’d just started our second round, we’re on the 11th hole and [Galletti] is over his second shot. We had told some fans over there to be quiet as he was about to hit. There were three or four guys over there that continued to talk and say some things.”
  • “They talked very loudly when he was over his shot, and I just feel like there was a loss of respect there. The guy is trying to play his shot, he’s trying to do his job. It’s the third day of the tournament and we hear a lot of different things.
  • “I just responded to it afterwards that I was displeased with the level of respect that was shown towards a fellow competitor while he is trying to hit a golf shot and compete in a golf tournament. And that’s just the simple fact of it.”
  • “Horschel shared his opinion that many seem to be in agreement with, that the event has crossed the line from fun to unenjoyable.”
  • “Has this tournament crossed the line? Yeah, I think the last couple of years have been a little much,” he added. “I think it has just got a little bit out of control. I just go back to the respect factor of it for what we’re trying to do in ours jobs.”
Full Piece.

8. LET star becomes latest sportsperson to announce OnlyFans partnership

GolfWRX report…”Ladies European Tour player Amy Boulden took to social media to announce that she is partnering with OnlyFans.”

  • “Collaborating with OnlyFans gives me the opportunity to connect directly with fans and bring my followers on the journey with me as I compete around the world,” Boulden said when announcing the launch.
  • “OnlyFans is revolutionising the way we use social media, so launching my page on the platform felt like a natural next step for my career.
  • “With women’s golf continuing to grow in popularity, OnlyFans feels like the perfect platform to showcase the sport globally.”
  • “Boulden has one European Tour win, the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open back in 2020. She is the second professional golfer to partner with OnlyFans, as British golfer Liam O’Neill launched a partnership with the platform last year.”
Full Piece.

9. Photos from the Genesis

GolfWRX is on site this week at famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California for the Genesis Invitational.

  • Tournament host Tiger Woods makes his 2024 debut — and speaking of debuts, GolfWRX already got a look at Woods’ new Sun Day Red apparel.
  • Beyond the 15-time major champion, there’s plenty to see in our photos this week from this Signature Event. Check out all our shots from Riv below, and see what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.
Full Piece.

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