Genesis Open: Defending champ Dustin Johnson returns to ‘special’ place in Riviera

Dustin Johnson won the 2017 Genesis Open by five strokes.
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Riviera Country Club is a special place to Dustin Johnson.

Johnson, the World No. 1-ranked golfer, won the Genesis Open in 2017 by five strokes and hopes to repeat his luck starting Thursday.

“It’s a place I love coming back here. This is one of my favorite golf courses we play all year. Obviously after winning last year, it’s just a place that’s always special to me and I enjoy coming back here every year,” Johnson said.

When asked which hole on the 7,322-yard course was his favorite, Johnson couldn’t pick just one.

“All of them. I really do, I like them all, they’re all fun. No. 10’s a lot of fun. You either really like it or really don’t some days, but I enjoy playing all the holes. They’re all different. You’ve got to hit good golf shots on all of them, so I enjoy playing the whole golf course,” he said.

Johnson owns 17 PGA Tour victories since turning pro in 2007 and already has one victory in 2018 (Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii).

Johnson expects a challenge from the loaded Genesis Open field, including, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and more.

“The field’s good every week. Every week I tee it up, every tournament you play, the field’s really good. From top to bottom the Tour’s really strong, a lot of good players. I want to win, I’m going to have to play my best. But this week, this field is always very good. Last year was good, every year’s good. You know, it’s a week that you’ve got to come out and bring your A game if you want to win,” Johnson said.