2020 Genesis Invitational leaderboard, grades: Adam Scott takes Riviera with strong weekend effort

Adam Scott and Riviera Country Club are a perfect match for one another. The former, a majestic-swinging golfer who somehow never seems to age. The latter, an architecturally-transcendent golf course that, despite 100 years of wear and tear, is still as beautiful and as perfect as ever.

Scott won the 2020 Genesis Invitational at Riviera on Sunday with a final-round 1-under 70 to finish at 11 under, two strokes ahead of Sung Kang, Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar. Scott came into Sunday tied at the top with Rory McIlroy and Kuchar at 10 under, and he was the only one of the three to shoot a score at even-par or better as the field average ballooned to more than a stroke over par.

The defining moment of Scott's day came early, just after he birdied the first and third holes to race out in front. He followed that with a horrid double at the fifth, and the tournament narrative swung wildly. Before that hole, it looked like a two-horse race between Scott and McIlroy. After that? Anything could have happened.

What actually did happen is that Scott went out and made a 2 on the next hole -- the par-3 6th, which was playing to an average over par -- and regained control of the tournament. He somehow never trailed the rest of the way. With all kinds of chaos going on ahead of him (and beside him), Scott stood steady and played the rest of his round following that birdie in 1 under for the victory.

It was an absolute tutorial in how to bounce back from what feels like an early devastating blow. 

The unusual part about Scott's day is that he did it mostly with his putter. After two days in which he played his way back into the event with his irons (Scott shot 64-67 after an opening 72), Scott's broomstick sealed the deal, nearly officially so when he made a 11-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th to take a two-stroke lead to the last.

Riviera twisted and ensnared the best in the world this week. Scott outlasted her. He's done so before when he won the 2005 version of this event in a weather-shortened 36-hole tournament, but he's never done so with as much panache as he did this week. Third in approach shots. Third from tee to green. This is the kind of winner Riviera demands. It's the kind of golf he almost always plays at this course, with top-11 finishes in three of the last four years.

The win for him is the 14th of his hall-of-fame career (15 if you count that 2005 tilt). It was not the best or the most well-known or the prettiest. But in a week in which Tiger Woods shot 76-77 on the weekend, McIlroy faltered late on Sunday and Justin Thomas missed the cut completely, it was a reminder that there's no substitute for four rounds of elite tee-to-green play at a classic like Riviera. Make that two classics, Riviera and Scott. Made for one another. Grade: A+

Here are the rest of our grades for the 2020 Genesis Invitational. 

Rory McIlroy (T5): It was pretty simple for Rory on Sunday. He went triple bogey-bogey on Nos. 5 and 6 (where Scott went double bogey-birdie). That was the tournament for him. One hole. If he makes par on No. 5, he's in a playoff with Scott. Great for 71 holes. Terrible for one hole. Golf is cruel. He'll be No. 1 for a long time. Grade: A

Brooks Koepka (T43): Hit it great, didn't putt at all. Short game was pretty weak. That's fine. I did watch him three-putt the 18th on Friday, so casually that I wondered if it was a replay from the practice green earlier in the day. He finished near the bottom of the field in putting overall, which is far less troubling than if the same was true of his tee-to-green play. Quite the opposite, Koepka was solid (and also looked terrific) both off the tee and with his iron play this week at Riviera. Grade: C+

Jordan Spieth (T59): Update: not back. After a strong finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last weekend, I thought it may have clicked for Spieth. It has not clicked. He finished nearly last in the field in iron play and held the whole thing together with a great short game. Until his tee-to-green play improves, the only competition for Spieth is going to be making the cut. Grade: C

Tiger Woods (68th): I didn't expect him to win -- for a variety of reasons -- but I also didn't expect him to finish last in this field. Every day, it was something new. On Thursday, the driver lagged. On Friday, his iron play was poor. On Saturday, his putter was as bad as I've ever seen it. On Sunday, it was back to the irons (with some putter thrown in for good measure). Add it all up, and you get the weakest public showing we've seen from him in any capacity since his knee procedure last fall after the Tour Championship. What's next for Woods? Grade: D-

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It's basically come down to what Adam Scott does at No. 17. He's up one on four guys. If he birdies 17, that's a wrap.

February 16, 2020, 11:05 PM

Rory chips in for par on No. 16. I have no idea what to think, but I do know he needs to eagle No. 17 to have a real chance.

February 16, 2020, 11:01 PM

I don't know if anyone is still paying attention to Tiger, but he just made another bogey. Now +10 on the day week.

February 16, 2020, 10:37 PM

Great putt from Adam Scott on No. 13. Will make par from there. Stay at -11, two clear of everybody else.

February 16, 2020, 10:32 PM

Tiger has played his 30 holes since making the cut in +9. Seems not that great.

February 16, 2020, 10:29 PM

Nobody has a higher score than Tiger Woods at the Genesis Invitational right now.

February 16, 2020, 10:27 PM

Absolutely filthy shot by Adam Scott into No. 13. Curved one in from the fairway to a nasty hole location. Freak ball-striker.

February 16, 2020, 10:16 PM

Monster par for Max Homa on No. 13. Starts the second nine 4-4-4-4. He's in it!

February 16, 2020, 10:02 PM

I do wonder why this event -- which is awesome and always has a great field -- sometimes produces such no-name champions (i.e. John Merrick, James Hahn).

February 16, 2020, 9:55 PM

Max Homa was my darkhorse coming into this final round. He's one back of Adam Scott right now, but in the junk off the tee on No. 13.

February 16, 2020, 9:48 PM

Tiger bogeys the par-3 fourth hole by the way. He's second to last, ahead of only Ryan Palmer.

February 16, 2020, 9:47 PM

I don't know how, but Rory is 2 back after making birdie at No. 11. Course is getting bonkers.

February 16, 2020, 9:44 PM

Average score by day...

Round 1: 71.4
Round 2: 71.2
Round 3: 70.4
Round 4: 71.9

February 16, 2020, 9:43 PM

Rory misses another medium-length birdie on No. 10. Could have gotten back within two. Tough.

February 16, 2020, 9:26 PM

DJ suddenly T2 with Max Homa and Matt Kuchar, one back of Adam Scott, who has a birdie putt on No. 10.

February 16, 2020, 9:25 PM

Double from HV3 at No. 10 after that topped 3-wood off the top. Wild.

February 16, 2020, 9:17 PM

Apparently Harold Varner III -- who is leading the golf tournament -- just topped a 3-wood off the 10th tee. He's about to double or triple that hole.

February 16, 2020, 9:13 PM

Rory going out in 38 was tough. He's three back going to the back nine. Needs something like 31 or 32 on the back to win it.

February 16, 2020, 9:09 PM

Things are happening.

February 16, 2020, 8:54 PM
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