Genesis Invitational: Sam Burns leads by two after three rounds; Dustin Johnson is lurking
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — The third round of the 2021 Genesis Invitational finally wrapped up early on Sunday morning at Riviera Country Club and it’s official: Saturday’s high winds and ensuing four-hour delay delivered a serious body blow to the field.
The third-round scoring average of 73.343 is the highest at Riviera for a weekend round since 1983.
Sam Burns, who led by five strokes after two rounds, watched it shrink to two over over World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Max Homa.
Burns started his Sunday with five holes to go to finish his third round and bogeyed the 14th hole to fall back to 9 under. He made a nine-footer for par on the 18th hole to salvage a 74. This is his second 54-hole lead.
“I was proud the way that we just kept fighting and I think that’s going to be something you have to do around this place the rest of the day,” Burns said Sunday morning.
If Burns wins at Riviera, he’ll slide into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup points standings and thus qualify for the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida, which starts on Thursday. He’ll also bank $1,674,000 and earn a three-year PGA Tour exemption.
Fitzpatrick bogeyed the 18th, the one hole he needed to play on Sunday morning, to join the party at 7 under. He was one of three golfers to break 70 in the third round. Matt Jones and Talor Gooch did as well but they played all 18 holes of their third rounds in Saturday’s blustery conditions.
Johnson, who won the tournament in 2017, has posted rounds of 68-67-71 and is seeking his 25th Tour victory. Johnson has at least one Tour win every year since 2008.
“The game plan’s still the same, just got to hit the fairways,” he said after his third round concluded. “It’s going to play difficult, the greens are firm and fast, there’s going to be some wind. Yeah, just take it one hole at a time and take whatever the golf course gives me.”
There is a six-way tie for fifth at 5 under between Jones, Gooch, Tony Finau, Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay and Alex Noren.
Jordan Spieth posted a third-round 73 and is T-11. Tyler McCumber, who was in Saturday’s final group, posted a third-round 77, as did Brooks Koepka, who is now T-49.