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Tiger Woods has never made a secret of the fact that he absolutely loves Riviera Country Club.

And why shouldn’t he?

After all, the famed Pacific Palisades course is where he made his first two PGA Tour starts as an amateur, the first in 1992 at the age of 16 and the second just a year later. In recent years, Riviera is also where Tiger serves as the official host of the Genesis Invitational, which benefits his TGR Foundation.

And this week, it will be where Woods makes his long-awaited return to the PGA Tour as he’ll play his first non-major since the 2020 Zozo Championship. No, “The Match” and the PNC Championship don’t count.

But while Tiger may love Riviera, it hasn’t always loved him back. In fact, it’s the course he’s played the most on the PGA Tour without ever notching a victory — not even in his prime when he was essentially unbeatable.

Tiger Woods’ history at Riviera isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be

Tiger Woods plays Riviera Country Club in February 2020
Tiger Woods looks down during the final round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, on February 16, 2020 | Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While most might say Woods doesn’t have a great history here, that’s really not the case. Considering how dominant he was for so long, it’s just not a great history by Tiger Woods’ standards.

In 13 appearances at Riviera, he’s only missed the cut three times. And the first two instances were those aforementioned appearances as a teenager. The other instance occurred in 2018 when he’d played just two tournaments in the 12 months leading up to the Genesis due to his lingering back issues. The only other time Woods didn’t finish was in 2006, when he withdrew at the midway point with the flu.

In his eight other starts at Riviera, the only time Tiger finished outside the top 20 was his most recent start in 2020, when he finished dead last among those who made the cut, shooting rounds of 76 and 77 on the weekend.

His best shot to win at Riviera came in 1999 when he finished two shots back of Ernie Els in a tie for second. And he scored consecutive top-seven finishes in 2003 and 2004.

Here’s a quick look at his entire history at Riviera. If 2005 confuses you, the tournament was shortened to 36 holes due to weather.

199272-75 (+5)MC
199374-78 (+10)MC
199770-70-72-69 (-3)T20
199969-68-65-70 (-12)T2
200068-70-69-72 (-5)T18
200171-68-69-71 (-5)T13
200372-68-73-65 (-6)T5
200472-66-72-64 (-10)T7
200567-70 (-5)T13
200669-74 (+1)WD
201872-76 (+6)MC
201970-71-65-72 (-6)T15
202069-73-76-77 (+11)68

So, again, it’s not as if Tiger has played horrendous golf here. It’s just that we’ve seen him win everywhere else, many times on multiple occasions. But for whatever reason, things just haven’t worked out. Ask the vast majority of PGA Tour players if they’d take his history here, and they likely would in a heartbeat.

While the odds certainly aren’t in his favor to break the futility streak this week, just imagine how much more special Riviera would be to Tiger Woods if he breaks the tie with Sam Snead and becomes the PGA Tour’s all-time wins leader with victory number 83.


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