The Forecaddie: Genesis Open may look at field size

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Tiger Woods plays his shot on the second hole during the first round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 15, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) Warren Little/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Genesis Open may look at field size

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The Forecaddie: Genesis Open may look at field size

Huge crowds and a stellar field at Riviera Country Club suggest the PGA Tour’s stop in Los Angeles – the Genesis Open – is headed in a direction closer to its once-premier status.

While The Forecaddie would like to see more grandstands and food for the folks who braved L.A.’s traffic, a few more significant changes may be on the way that will solve practical matters.

Namely, field size.

Nearly every year since the late 1990s, play has not been completed during the first round due to the impracticality of trying to get 144 players around a tough track. This year 15 players did not finish Round 1 despite perfect weather and the first groups going off at 6:40 a.m. PT. The Man Out Front hears the event may be moving to an “invitational” structure as soon as next year, which means only 120 players.

While such a move makes sense logistically, the “Open” in the title has always been part of this tournament, including four Monday qualifying exemptions and a spot for the Southern California PGA qualifier. Losing those would be tough, but if players are not going to speed up, shrinking field size may be the only way to continue this event’s surge in popularity.  Gwk

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