Some serious star power is leaving Tinseltown.
Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Bryson DeChambeau were the headliners among those who did not survive the 36-hole cut at the Genesis Invitational on the grand stage of Riviera Country Club north of Los Angeles.
While Sam Burns has roasted the course for two days to gain a five-shot lead at 12 under through 36 holes after rounds of 64-66, the cut came at even-par 142, which also sent leading men Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama and Gary Woodland packing.
The revered Riviera has always been a course than penalizes those who are just a hair off with their game and definitely those who get sideways on the tree-lined, old school track. That’s especially true when the course is playing fast and firm, which is the case this year.
The top players who will miss the weekend can take some comfort in knowing next week’s World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at Concession in Florida does not have a cut.
And the tournament played within the long shadow of Hollywood still is star-studded, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, No. 2 Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau in contention.
But here are some of the players who slammed the truck and headed home.
The world’s No. 3 player, whose grandfather, Paul, died February 6, just didn’t have it this week. During rounds of 77-73, he made six birdies but four doubles and six bogeys. One of the best ball-strikers in the game hit just 53 percent of his greens in regulation. Thomas had made 14 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour.
After tying for fourth here in 2019 and tying for fifth last year, McIlroy was among the pre-tournament favorites but never got going. The world No. 7 made just three birdies in his two days and his string of 30 consecutive-made cuts worldwide came to an end. The four-time major winner is still in search of his first win since the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions.
If spectators would have been allowed, they would have been in danger as the Mad Bomber sprayed tee shots all over the course and hit just six of 28 fairways in regulation. After opening with a 75 that sent him to the driving range deep into the night, the reigning U.S. Open champion rebounded with a 69 in the second round but came up short of the cut.
The three-time winner of the tournament – the same number of times Ben Hogan won this event – was inside the cutline for most of the second round before finishing with two bogeys and a double in his last six holes. He remains in search of his first win since 2018.
After spending 10 days in quarantine in a room overlooking the first tee at Pebble Beach after testing positive for COVID-19, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain drove overnight to get to Los Angeles Thursday morning – just six hours before his tee time. He hadn’t hit balls in 10 days – except for putts on the carpet in the hotel room – so it wasn’t a surprise he shot 75-76.