The Los Angeles Open was already one of the premier events on the PGA Tour schedule when Tiger Woods and his foundation took the reins as tournament host in 2016. But the competition—now known as the Genesis Open—is set for bigger things next season.
As originally reported by ESPN's Bob Harig, PGA Tour officials on Wednesday elevated the status of the annual stop at Riviera Country Club to an "Invitational" tournament beginning in 2020. That designation translates to the winner receiving a three-year tour exemption, a higher tournament purse and a reduced field, from 144 players this year to 120 next winter.
For context, this is a set-up similar to the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, which Palmer hosted prior to his death in 2016, and Memorial Tournament, hosted each year by Jack Nicklaus.
Though Woods has never won the event, the tournament does hold special meaning for the Southern California native. The 1992 L.A. Open served as Woods' PGA Tour debut, in the field as a 16-year-old amateur. The TGR Foundation's headquarters is located 40 miles away in Anaheim.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan shared the stage with Woods and officials from Genesis and Riviera in making the announcement.
Woods will be making his 13th appearance at the tournament, and will play with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy in the event's opening rounds.
This story has been updated from its original posting.