Genesis Open 2020: Matt Kuchar Shoots 69, Takes 2-Stroke Lead into Round 3

Blake SchusterContributor IIIFebruary 15, 2020

Matt Kuchar tees off on the fourth hole during the first round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Matt Kuchar didn't have his best day on the course, but he didn't relinquish his hold on first place at the Genesis Open, either. After shooting seven-under par Thursday, Kuchar (-9) finished the second round with a 69, navigating a course that troubled even the most veteran golfers Friday. 

Only Adam Scott (64) shot better than a 66 on Friday, jumping 61 spots into a tie for fourth place at seven-under. After Thursday's 72, it's a considerable improvement for Scott, who sank two birdies on the front nine before catching fire and sinking another five on the backstretch. 

Scott was the day's biggest mover, though Dustin Johnson made a late push for that title. Now tied for 11th, Johnson jumped 54 spots on the leaderboard with a second-round 66 to enter the weekend at a four-under.

Genesis Open Leaderboard Round 2

1. Matt Kuchar (-9)

T2. Harold Varner III (-7)

T2. Rory McIlroy (-7)

T2. Wyndham Clark (-7)

T5. Sung Kang (-6)

T5. Adam Scott (-6)

T5. Vaughn Taylor (-6)

T5. Russell Henley (-6)

T9. Chez Reavie (-5)

T9. Rafa Cabera Bello (-5)

     

Tiger Woods (even) came into the day looking to build off an opening-round 69. Instead, he dropped into a tie for 45th after shooting a 73 on Friday. Woods opened up with a birdie on the first hole only to make bogey in three of the next five holes. After steadying himself on the back nine, Woods stumbled again with a double bogey on No. 15.

With the cut projected at plus-one, Woods will just be able to sneak into the third round with a chance to continue fine-tuning his game Saturday. According to the Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker, Woods hit nine of 14 fairways, eight of 18 greens and had 27 putts. 

"I made some bad mistakes out there," Woods told Golf Channel after his round. "Yesterday was a bit different. I had a couple big misses but overall my misses have been tight."

The course at Riviera Country Club has challenged plenty of the game's biggest names this week. Jordan Spieth (even) just avoided missing the cut, as did Brooks Koepka (even), Tony Finau (plus-one) and Jason Dufner (plus-one). 

Adam Long, Jim Furyk, Danny Willett, Nick Taylor, Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson all went home early. 

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