A new beginning
Tiger Woods and Riviera event have part in the rebranding process
A new name and a familiar face will greet golfers and spectators in February when Riviera Country Club plays host to its annual PGA Tour event.
The 2017 version will be called the Genesis Open, with Tiger Woods serving as host and his Irvine-based Tiger Woods Foundation among event beneficiaries.
“To have us come back to Southern California and to be able to host an event here in my hometown, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Woods, who grew up in Cypress and now lives in Florida. “The PGA Tour has a longstanding relationship with Southern California and Riviera. While we recognize the past, we are looking forward to the future. Welcome to the Genesis Open.”
The Genesis Open, titled for the Hyundai luxury car brand, will be held Feb. 16-19 at Riviera. The event most recently was known as the Northern Trust Open and has also had the moniker of the Nissan Open and Los Angeles Open. This year, Bubba Watson won the tournament – in its 90th playing – for the second time.
The name change is also a switch for Hyundai, which is transferring its sponsorship from the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii to the Genesis Open.
“Considering that Hyundai Motor America is headquartered and heavily invested in the greater Los Angeles area, this is a perfect fit for Hyundai’s vision and goals as a tournament sponsor,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said about the Fountain Valley-based company. “We are excited about the upcoming changes for 2017 as we welcome Hyundai’s transfer to Riviera.”
Northern Trust became the title sponsor of the event in 2008 and increased the purse by $1 million its first year. In 2015, more than $2 million was given to nonprofit organizations in the greater Los Angeles area to raise total contributions since Northern Trust became involved to $11.7 million.
Woods, who has never won a professional event at Riviera, is excited about the chance to get involved.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for my foundation,” he said. “This is the first PGA Tour event I ever played, and it means a lot to contribute to a community that has supported me and my foundation for more than 20 years. I’m committed to playing in my foundation’s events, and it will be exciting to return to Riviera.”
The tournament’s website (GenesisOpen.com) has all tournament information, including tickets, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. Fans also will be able to sign up for the Insiders List to get information on breaking tournament news and special ticket offers.