Tiger Woods in person, Saudi talk and Paulina’s bachelorhood

Paulina Gretsky went to St. Barth and went to the Riviera.

Paulina Gretsky, Claire Rogers

Hi friends!

If I can get a little extra West Coast sense from this week’s Rogers report, it’s because I just got back from a week-long trip to Los Angeles. The four of us—me and co-workers Dylan Diether, Zephyr Milton and Sean Zack—managed to live the dream, covering the Genesis Invitational in person, riding top-down in our rental convertible and even enjoying some group yoga in our AirBnB living room. Coming back to cold New England was a harsh dose of reality, but I feel energized by all of the Phil Mickelson chatter plus the constant stream of content coming from Paulina Gretsky’s bachelorette party. But before we get down to business this week, let’s review my first-ever trip to the City of Angels.

I saw the tiger!

Tiger’s press conference was where he will be taking place last week. I couldn’t tell you when the other pistons were out but I knew one thing: Tiger will be speaking at 12 noon on Wednesday.

The media center energy completely transformed while we were waiting for Tiger to arrive. Photographers and photographers who did not attend previous press conferences presented. Soon, the room reached its full capacity for the first time in a week. People were buzzing, the coffee station closed and soon there were no open seats, so the Extremists chose the standing room in the back, hoping to sneak a direct view of the tiger between the rows of heads ahead.

When Tiger entered the room, all eyes turned in his direction. As soon as he spoke, he made it clear that he was not yet ready to play, but I thought he looked young. His face was expressive and full of energy. He seemed really happy to be there. The conversations stopped and you could hear the creaking of the room’s necks as the room turned around to follow his every move. Dressed all in black, he sips coffee and walks to the front of the room, where he perches on his seat on the podium alongside relieved Charlie Seaford Aaron Beverly. Then take questions.

Within 30 seconds of Woods’ press finish, the chamber emptied. Adam Scott – the man who used to lead a room – entered. Very few seem to notice this. The tiger is a difficult business to follow.

Everyone loves Riviera, especially the professionals

The event may be stressful but it is clear that the players had a lot of fun at Riviera last week. I’ve spent some time hanging around near the flash area where the player interviews are taking place after the round, and no one seems to be in a hurry to get out of there. Realized, Colin Morikawa and Victor Hovland, even Colin took the time to snap some pictures of his fiancée and her friends after Round 65. It all means that if the world number two has time to take an Instagram for his gal, so should you.

city ​​talk

I went into the week expecting everyone to be talking about Tiger and Rivera. These two got some attention, but the real topic of interest in Genesis was the Saudi League. Every player was asked about it. In fact, it looked as if questions about the course or the play were just a formality before the reporters got to the questions everyone wanted answered. Joaquin Niemann declined to comment, Victor Hovland said he would play wherever the best player in the world went, and on Sunday DJ and Bryson DeChambeau (both of whom were not present) released official statements that became the talk of the town.

With all this chatter about the Saudi League, I’d like to take a moment to clear the air: I, Claire Rogers, are fully committed to a golf magazine. As long as the best members of the media in the world work at GOLF.com, so will I.

Media Center Notes

First, they had an espresso bar set up in the media center which I thought was pretty cool. I wasn’t the only one – Matt Kochar only came because he heard the coffee was very good.

Media center: Coffee heaven.

Claire Rogers

The media center this week was at the Riviera Club, which means we got great views of the course from the front porch. Verify:

I bet members of the media who travel a lot for tournaments are used to it, but this whole experience was completely new to me, so it all seemed especially exciting. Free food? Reach inside the ropes? Involve me!

As someone who doesn’t usually go to tour events, I’ve taken to reading transcripts of players’ press conferences as soon as they’re posted. Seeing them alive was completely different. For example, I learned that Patrick Cantlay really likes to stop and sit in silence as he thinks about how to answer a question. On the other hand, Max Homma talks through the questions he asks as if they were a puzzle that we all solve together. There is no right or wrong way to do this, I found it interesting how differently players can approach a very similar exercise.

celebrity views

Nelly Korda was out on Riviera all week, and Harry Higgs even asked her to sign a golf ball for him. It was a one-of-a-kind “game respecting the game” moment that I could see up close.

Speaking of Harry, I had to follow him as he ran him along with my co-worker Ashley Mayo on the pro Wednesday. He was funny, down-to-earth, and attached as much as they come. (Disclaimer: I can’t relate to his actions on Sunday’s 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open or his skill level, but other than that, he looked like a normal guy!)

And for any Twilight fans out there, I’m spotted The Taylor Lautner walks around and follows the action on Saturday afternoon.

Various thoughts and pictures

Dylan Dether and I headed to Chester Washington Golf Course on Tuesday, where Tony Finau, Cameron Champ and Sean Foley led a children’s clinic. Despite being a little chilly, a lot of kids have gone out to learn from the best of the best. check it out:

Justin Thomas won Best Dressed in My Book. Huge fan of statement pants.

Justin Thomas, best clothes.

Claire Rogers

Speaking of clothes… it looks like Adam Scott has a new favorite sweater.

Let’s talk about this. Adam Scott is a handsome man. He doesn’t need flashy clothes to make him look better. So I totally support the way the “Catholic school uniform” is worn on us. It might save him (and his laundry) some serious time in the morning.

Seriously, last week was a blast. I’ve met Erica Hermann, Jenna Sims, and a host of amazing people in the golf media. I followed some of the big guys up the ropes and rode with my friends to the gates of the Riviera while listening to Taylor Swift’s ten-minute version of All Too Well. It was the best field trip ever.

And in my final Genesis note, a shout out to my co-workers who made sure we worked in style all week. Dylan and Sean rocked Radmor Golf’s clothes, Zephyr poured coffee and lived to tell the tale and I *kind* *got a picture with Tiger.

Dylan Diether and Sean Zack of Riviera wear the new Radmore sports gear.

Claire Rogers

Milton exhaled, moments after he poured coffee onto his laptop.

Claire Rogers

My picture “with” Tiger

Milton’s exhale

Finally, I watched and even guest-starred on the beloved Drop Zone podcast. Make sure to listen to him.

Rogers’ report, part two

This is just a glimpse of what’s coming next week, as we’ll have a lot more to discuss. First and foremost is Phil’s “apology”.

There’s a lot to take in here, but the takeaway is that “I apologize for anything I said was taken out of context” is a great half apology that I will use after any future arguments.

Next is BA Paulina. She and her colleagues settled on a plane in St Barth this morning. Here I’m going to share some of her best Instagram stories so far, but it’s important to remember that we’re only at ten of what might be a week or even a month event.

Polina Gretsky on her way to her bachelorette

Paulina Gretsky

I’ve noticed Paulina rocks Nikes, which probably wouldn’t be a (contractually!) dead DJ. But this is her week, she can do whatever she wants! Don’t worry, we’ll have full details of the bachelorette party in Rogers Report next week.

(Is this a good tease? I think that’s a good thing. I think I’m starting to recognize this.)

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Claire Rogers

Golf.com Editor