Genesis Invitational: Kuchar takes advantage of three shots in the Riviera while Woods hesitates
THE ANGELS: Matt Kuchar fired a bright seven under 64 on Thursday to take a three-shot lead after the first round of the Invitation Genesis in Riviera Country Club.
Lee Kyoung-hoon of South Korea and Americans Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner shared second place with 67 Rory McIlroy - Just back to world number one - leading a group of 10 out of 68 that also included Australia's Jason Day and former Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Tournament Host Tiger Woods He closed with a bogey to fall from that group, chilling after a hot start to publish a 69 pair of two under while pursuing a record of the 83rd title of the PGA Tour of the United States.
Woods was still a teenager when he played his first US tour event in Riviera, but he never won in the classic field at Pacific Palisades west of Los Angeles in 12 previous attempts, and his difficulties continued Thursday.
I had a good start in the first nine and I just didn't hit many good shots in the last nine, said Woods, who opened with an eagle in the first and added two birdies before the turn, but had two bogeys without a little bird entering.
He made a couple of loose swings and made a couple of good saves in the last nine for the pair, but he just wasn't able to get any birdies in the last nine, Woods said.
Kuchar, meanwhile, began to warm up and stayed that way.
It was a fun day playing with Riviera, said the nine-time winner of the United States PGA Tour, who opened with consecutive birdies on the 10th and 11th.
His seven birdies included a foot of 28 feet in the 18 and a foot of 33 in the eighth, his penultimate hole of the day.
Eighteen was a little more feasible, basically an uphill putt, he said about his first birdie bomb. The putt downhill in the eighth was even more of an advantage.
You can't count on that every day, but it sure is fun when they come in, Kuchar said.
To shoot a number like this, one does most things well, he added. I felt that it was stable Golf , many opportunities and I could turn into a good number of opportunities today.
Kuchar, who hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, said failing in the right place was the key to getting up and down when necessary.
It is definitely a great key here, he said.
McIlroy had two eagles in his round, but said he became defensive too often.
There are a couple of times today that I hit it right but I was on the wrong side, McIlroy said.
After going up and down with an awkward lie in a bunker in the tenth, McIlroy was fighting until an eagle at age 17, followed by another eagle in the first.
The cold temperatures in the morning were a very slow start factor, since McIlroy saw that his wood of three in the 11 climbed 40 yards less than the 285 yards he can usually expect.
Six holes later, with the warmest weather, he was 289 yards in the 17th and placed a three-pin stick, 35 feet from the hole.
So it only shows you what the temperature is, said McIlroy, who drained the eagle putt.
Brooks Koepka, who was ranked number one for the past eight months, opened his week in 69, joining a large group that also included not only Woods but also the 2016 Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose and his English partner Paul Casey , defending champion JB Holmes and South Koreans Im Sung-jae, Kang Sung and Kim Si-woo.