Matt Kuchar earned a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational, where Tiger Woods started hot but faded.

American golfer Kuchar carded a seven-under-par 64 to set the early pace at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades on Thursday.

Kuchar – who was part of Tiger Woods' triumphant Presidents Cup team in Melbourne in December – is without a solo victory since the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii more than a year ago.

But Kuchar made a strong start in California, where the nine-time PGA Tour champion was bogey-free as he holed seven birdies to top the leaderboard ahead of Lee Kyoung-hoon, Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III.

It is a star-studded field for the invitational event – one of only five tournaments given that status by the PGA Tour – and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is in contention.

World number one McIlroy recorded two eagles, a pair of bogeys and a birdie for a three-under-par 68 on day one.

McIlroy headlines a group of 10 players tied for seventh, including Jason Day and Patrick Reed.

Woods is a stroke further back after the 15-time major winner faltered following a bright start in his pursuit of a maiden Genesis Invitational trophy.

The American superstar made an eagle on his first hole, opening a tournament with an eagle for just the second time since 2003 – the fourth of his career at Riviera.

Woods holed two birdies on a flawless front nine before fading after the turn, with the veteran bogeying twice – including the last for a two-under-par 69.

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant – who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Giannia and seven other victims last month – was honoured around the course.

From a flag in Lakers colours and with Bryant's number eight, to Brooks Koepka sporting headcovers inspired by the five-time NBA champion.

Former world number one Koepka, reigning champion J.B. Holmes and Justin Rose are among the players at two under, while the likes of 2018 winner Dustin Johnson, two-time champion Phil Mickelson, three-time victor Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth ended the day one over the card.

Tiger Woods has "delved into the details" after receiving an approach from the Premier Golf League.

A newly proposed schedule that would rival the PGA Tour, the Premier Golf League wants to stage an 18-event season that sees each tournament played over 54 holes, rather than 72.

There would be a team element involved too, with the 48 competitors split into groups of four. Total prize money will reportedly be $240million (£185m).

Speaking ahead of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Woods confirmed he and his team are looking into the potential plans that would see the world's best playing together on a regular basis.

"My team's been aware of it and we've delved into the details of it and trying to figure it out just like everyone else,'' Woods told the media.

"We've been down this road before with World Golf Championships and other events being started. There's a lot of information that we're still looking at and whether it's reality or not, but just like everybody else, we're looking into it.

"I think just like all events, you're trying to get the top players to play more collectively. It's one of the reasons why we instituted the World Golf Championships, because we were only getting the top players together five times a year: the four majors and the Players.

"We wanted to showcase the top players on more than just those occasions.

"So, this is a natural evolution, whether or not things like this are going to happen, but ideas like this are going to happen going forward, whether it's now or any other time in the future."

Woods is tournament host for the Genesis Invitational this week but has yet to win the tournament in 12 previous attempts.

Nick Taylor closed out his first PGA Tour win in over five years with a four-stroke wire-to-wire victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday.

The Canadian carded a two-under 70 in windy conditions in the final round in California to finish at 19 under.

Taylor – the first Canadian to win wire-to-wire since 1960 – secured his second PGA Tour victory and first since November 2014, when he won the Sanderson Farms Championship.

An eagle at the par-five sixth hole set up Taylor's round and he managed to close out a win despite two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine.

Kevin Streelman (68) ended up in second after Phil Mickelson struggled late in his final round on the way to a two-over 74.

Mickelson, the defending champion and a five-time winner of the event, bogeyed three of his final seven holes to finish at 14 under and in third.

The five-time major champion also made history – his 30th consecutive season with a top-10 finish.

Jason Day, who was also in contention heading into Sunday, posted a three-over 75 to finish at 11 under, his round including four birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.

A five-under 67, belonging to Jordan Spieth, was the best round of the day as the American climbed the leaderboard to finish tied for ninth.

Maverick McNealy (68), Daniel Berger (69), Matt Jones (72) and Charl Schwartzel (72) were tied for fifth at nine under.

Nick Taylor will take a one-stroke lead into the Pebble Beach Pro-Am final round, with Phil Mickelson and Jason Day his nearest challengers.

Taylor, who fired an opening-round 63, carded a three-under 69 at Spyglass Hill Golf Course on Saturday to move into 17 under.

The Canadian was one over through his first 10 holes in the third round, but finished with two birdies and an eagle at the par-five seventh.

Taylor is a shot ahead of Mickelson, the five-time winner and defending champion shooting a five-under 67 at Pebble Beach to be outright second.

The American mixed six birdies – holing from the bunker at 13 and chipping in at 14 – with a bogey to continue what has been a strong showing in California.

Day, a runner-up at the tournament in 2018, carded a two-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to be outright third at 14 under.

Matt Every (68) and Kevin Streelman (68) are tied for fourth at 11 under, a shot ahead of Peter Malnati (66).

Dustin Johnson could only manage an even-par 72 on Pebble Beach to be in a five-man tie for seventh at nine under.

Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, is well back at tied for 55th after a one-under 71 – his third consecutive round in the 70s.

Nick Taylor maintained his two-shot lead after the second round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Friday.

Taylor carded a six-under-par 66 to improve to 14 under through 36 holes at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament.

After opening with a 63 in California, Canadian and one-time Tour winner Taylor had seven birdies and a bogey to stay top of the leaderboard.

Taylor – playing Pebble Beach Golf Links – birdied his final two holes and four of his last five to keep former world number one Jason Day at bay.

Australian star Day was flawless on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, posting an eagle and six birdies in a bogey-free second-round 64.

Defending champion and five-time winner Phil Mickelson is three strokes off the pace.

Mickelson – on the Monterey Peninsula Country Club – shot a seven-under-par 64 to climb nine positions on the second day.

The five-time major champion said he "drove it like a stallion" in the opening round and Mickelson kept it going on Friday with an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys.

Chris Baker (64) and Charl Schwartzel (66) are tied at 10 under, a shot ahead of Scott Piercy (66) and Dustin Johnson (65).

Jordan Spieth's struggles continued as the three-time major champion posted a 71 to fall 22 places into a tie for 66th.

Nick Taylor earned a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Thursday, while defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a 68.

Canadian golfer and one-time PGA Tour winner Taylor carded a bogey-free eight-under-par 63 in California.

Playing Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Taylor – who claimed his only title via the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship – birdied his final two holes to move clear of Patrick Cantlay.

Taylor finished with six birdies and an eagle as American Cantlay navigated the Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

Cantlay posted a six-under-par 66 to be second alongside countryman Chase Seiffert, who played Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Mickelson's title defence opened with a four-under-par 68 on the Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

After enduring a difficult 2019 – missing nine cuts in 23 events – five-time major champion Mickelson impressed in round one on Thursday.

Mickelson only dropped one shot, holing five birdies, including his last three holes.

"I drove it like a stallion," five-time Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion Mickelson said. "Hit almost every fairway. And when you're doing that you can get aggressive and get after it."

Mickelson is tied for fourth alongside Charl Schwartzel, Greg Chalmers, Matthew NeSmith, Justin Suh, Matt Jones, Chez Reavie, Kevin Chappell, Jonathan Byrd, Jim Herman, Jason Day and Wyndham Clark.

Former world number one Dustin Johnson shot a first-round 69, while 2017 champion and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth carded a 70.

Phil Mickelson revealed he would not accept a special exemption into this year's U.S. Open, saying it would be a "sympathy spot".

Mickelson, who turns 50 in June, endured a difficult 2019, missing nine cuts in 23 events to drop down the rankings.

The five-time major champion, still only missing a U.S. Open to complete a career Grand Slam, is ranked 72nd and needs to crack the top 60 leading into the event, or win the Masters, US PGA Championship or The Players Championship, or go through qualifying.

Mickelson, a six-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, said he wanted to earn his place at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.

"I won't accept it so I'm either going to get in the field on my own or I'll have to try to qualify, I'm not going to take a special exemption," he told a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Asked why, the American responded: "I just won't."

Mickelson added: "They've never been an organisation that likes to give out special exemptions, I don't want a special exemption.

"I think I'll get into the tournament. If I get in, I deserve to be there and if I don't, I don't.

"I don't want a sympathy spot. If I am good enough to make it and qualify then I need to earn my spot there."

Rory McIlroy is poised to return to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) for the first time since 2015, dethroning Brooks Koepka in a situation described as "interesting and rare".

The Northern Irishman will move above Koepka when the next edition of the rankings go live next week, even though both he and the American will not be playing at the Pebble Beach Pro Am, which begins in California on Thursday.

McIlroy has had seven spells as the world number one, though he has not held the position since losing it to Jason Day in September 2015.

Koepka is in his fourth spell at the summit and has been on top since May, the longest streak since Dustin Johnson's 64-week run came to an end in May 2018.

Jon Rahm had the chance to move into first place at last week's Phoenix Open but his finish of joint-ninth was not enough and the Spaniard will also not be playing at Pebble Beach.

McIlroy will leapfrog Koepka because he is losing points at a slower rate in the OWGR system that calculates ranking positions.

The OWGR described the quirk by saying: "The current OWGR situation with Brooks is interesting and rare".

Points are allocated over a two-year period, with the previous 13 weeks holding the highest weighting.

A spokesman added: "He has had two extended periods of injury during the last two years and both are working against his OWGR currently.

"He didn't play between Week 48 of 2017 and Week 18 of 2018 because of a wrist injury, so every time he plays for the next three months will add one to his divisor.

"Most of his competitors will maintain a more or less constant divisor over that period. This means Brooks needs to win relatively approximately 2.5 per cent more points each time he plays to maintain his average. 

"He has not won many points within the last three months, mainly due to not playing because of a knee injury. This means he is losing points because all of is performances are in the period of decay, i.e. older than three months. 

"He is losing points at a greater rate than all the other players."

McIlroy, who won the last of his four majors in 2014, finished in a tie for third at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open last month.

Koepka, meanwhile, has finished outside the top 10 in his two appearances on the European Tour so far in 2020 and concluded last season earlier than his rival as he struggled with a knee injury.

Webb Simpson birdied the first play-off hole to beat Tony Finau at the Phoenix Open and end his title drought.

Simpson had not won a PGA Tour trophy since capturing his fifth piece of silverware via The Players Championship in 2018.

However, Simpson returned to winning ways after sealing a play-off victory over fellow American Finau in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday.

Simpson forced a play-off thanks to his final-round 69, which saw him join overnight leader Finau (70) atop the leaderboard after 72 holes at TPC Scottsdale.

Finau entered the final day leading by a stroke but his first round in the 70s, coupled with Simpson's back-to-back birdies to close out regulation, saw the pair level on 17 under.

In the play-off, Finau could only manage par at the 18th as Simpson rolled in a birdie for the victory in the Phoenix sun.

Former world number one Justin Thomas (65), two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson (66) and Nate Lashley (68) finished tied for third, three shots behind Simpson and Finau.

Rickie Fowler's title defence ended in a tie for 37th – the American star 10 strokes off the pace at the close of play.

Fowler carded a two-under-par 69 to be level alongside Kevin Tway (70) and J.T. Poston (68).

The PGA Tour will honour the late Kobe Bryant by altering the location of the 16th hole during the final round of the Phoenix Open.

The sporting world has paid tribute to Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

The PGA Tour will honour the Los Angeles Lakers great at the 16th hole, which will be cut 24 paces on and eight from the left edge of the green in respect of the two numbers Bryant made famous during his glittering NBA career.

The flag will be yellow with a purple 24 on one side and eight on the other.

"I think that's awesome," said Rickie Fowler, who is tied for 40th heading into the final round.

"It's a cool gesture. You can't do enough for what Kobe has done and the impact he's had around the world."

Tony Finau, who has paid his respects to Bryant during the tournament, holds a one-stroke lead over Webb Simpson after the third round.

Tony Finau and Webb Simpson lit up the Phoenix Open with a gripping tussle at the top of the leaderboard on moving day.

Both Finau, who played the 16th hole again wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey, and Simpson executed some stunning shots to thrill a raucous Saturday crowd.

It was Finau - enjoying a strong start to the 2020 season - who headed into the final round with a one-shot lead, though, courtesy of his blistering nine-under 62.

The world number 13 was matched stride for stride by Simpson, playing one hole back, until the latter's poor tee shot at the 17th led to a bogey that belatedly opened up a narrow gap.

Up to that point, the pair had delighted the assembled spectators, Finau's most outstanding stretch seeing three birdies and an eagle across five holes from the 12th.

Finau, who turned in 31 and went bogey-free throughout, might have had his second eagle of the day and second in three holes at the 15th, yet an eight-foot putt drifted agonisingly to the right.

"That was probably the most enjoyable round I've ever had on a golf course," he told Sky Sports. "I had so much fun out there."

Simpson bogeyed the seventh as well as the 17th, but he supplied the shot of the day with a hole in one at 12.

Overnight leader JB Holmes was a stroke further back - tied with Hudson Swafford - in third on 14 under, consecutive birdies on the back nine rescuing a title tilt.

Holmes tumbled down the leaderboard at last week's Farmers Insurance Open after a solid first two rounds, and another miserable Saturday appeared to be in store until the recovery to 70.

He fared better than his playing partners at least, Billy Horschel and Wyndham Clark back level in 16th, signing for 73 and 74 respectively.

The duo lay a shot behind Jon Rahm, who lost momentum over the final three holes for the second day running to sit at 10 under.

Rahm can become world number one for the first time with victory this week, but he has plenty of work to do if he is to make up the six-shot deficit to Finau.

Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler's hopes of defending his title are all but over after a two-under 69 - hampered by consecutive bogeys at the 10th and 11th - left him back on five under.

J.B. Holmes surged to the top of the Phoenix Open leaderboard after the second round, while Jordan Spieth's woes continued as the former world number one missed the cut.

American golfer Holmes leapfrogged overnight leader Wyndham Clark with a six-under-par 65 for a one-stroke lead on Friday.

Holmes used an eagle and six birdies, to go with a pair of bogeys, to rise to the top at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament.

A five-time Tour winner, Holmes is 13 under through 36 holes, ahead of countryman Clark (69) at TPC Scottdale in Arizona.

Billy Horschel (68) and South Korea's Byeong Hun An are two shots adrift and tied for third, while Scott Piercy (65) is a stroke further back heading into the third round.

Two-time runner-up Bubba Watson (66), Tony Finau (66) and Jon Rahm (68) are seven under, with Justin Thomas tied for 17th following his second-round 68.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler showed signs of improvement thanks to his six-under-par 65.

After opening with a 74, American star Fowler responded by holing two eagles and three birdies on day two.

However, it was another tough day for three-time major champion Spieth – who missed the cut at one over.

Without a title since the 2017 Open Championship, Spieth's 69 was not enough to rescue the American after his first-round 74.

Spieth, who was tied for 55th at the Farmers Insurance Open, said: "I just really wanted it. I wanted to play the weekend. I had a bunch of buddies coming into town, wanted to kind of give them something to watch the next couple days.

"When I couldn't do the easy part for me, which is putting, that's what was so frustrating. It hasn't been like that. It's been putting saving me, and today it was kind of a little bit of the opposite."

Defending champion Rickie Fowler endured a tough opening round as Wyndham Clark grabbed a two-stroke lead at the Phoenix Open on Thursday.

Fowler, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines last week, dropped shots on four of his first nine holes and struggled to a three-over 74, level with Jordan Spieth.

His compatriot Clark found more comfort amid typically rowdy crowd behaviour at TPC Scottsdale, carding the lowest round of his career.

The 26-year-old fired a 10-under 61 that included 10 birdies to move two shots clear of Billy Horschel, who produced an error-free 63.

"I putted really well today," Clark told Golf Channel. "I made a lot of long putts. I haven't putted well the last couple of weeks and it was shocking, because it was a strength of mine.

"Throughout my history, I think everyone knows once I get on little run, especially with the putter, I feel like I can make anything from anywhere on the green.

"I love these greens out here. Once I get on that run of seeing putts go in, the hole just looks massive and I see this perfect track going to the hole. All I have to do is make sure I hit it with the right speed."

Two-time Phoenix Open champion J.B. Holmes hit a bogey, a double bogey and an ace - at the par-three fourth - en route to a seven-under 64.

Jon Rahm, who played collegiate golf at the nearby Arizona State University, made five birdies in a steady four-under 67 to please the local fans.

"It's fun," the Spaniard told reporters. "It's the biggest golf event in the sense of the amount of people who come watch. If you're a Sun Devil and a hometown favourite you get a lot of people come support you.

"Especially at the 16th, if you hit a good shot and make the putt the cheer is extra loud."

Justin Thomas (68) and Tony Finau (69) also earned approval for wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys in tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers legend, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Marc Leishman fired a seven-under 65 to capitalise on Jon Rahm's final-round errors and win the Farmers Insurance Open by a stroke on Sunday.

Leishman produced eight birdies at Torrey Pines, including one at the last, to claim his fifth PGA Tour victory.

Overnight leader Rahm squandered his one-stroke advantage in a poor first five holes that saw him drop four shots.

The Spanish world number three charged back into contention with a strong run beginning at the 13th and threatened to force a playoff.

Leishman's birdie at the par-five 18th left 2017 champion Rahm needing an eagle to be a chance of winning the tournament for the second time.

Rahm's putt pulled up before the cup to hand his 36-year-old opponent a first Tour triumph since the CIMB Classic in 2018.

"Number five, that sounds pretty good, and on Australia Day," Leishman, who finished 15 under, told reporters.

"Playing well helps but I didn't actually hit it that well off the tee today. Putting always [matters]. You're not going to win Tour events if you're not putting well and I putted as good as I've probably ever putted today."

"This feels pretty amazing. I wasn't expecting this at the start of the day," he added.

Rory McIlroy carded a three-under 69 to finish in a tie for third with Brandt Snedeker (68) at 12 under, while Tiger Woods (70) was a further three shots back.

Woods, who learned about friend and NBA great Kobe Bryant's sudden death after completing his round, congratulated Leishman on the victory with a hug and a handshake.

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