2021 Genesis Invitational Leaderboard: Sam Burns leads the suspended third round at Riviera Country Club

The Riviera Country Club was a monster in Round 3 of the Genesis Invitational on Saturday, and most tournament directors were given a harmless version of what it could have been. Game was halted in the early afternoon after the wind began tossing golf balls across the greens, but even as the storms settled and players were brought back after four hours of delay, the field average rose to over 73.

Part of what makes Riviera such a great track is that it brings so much variance into play on each hole. While normal PGA Tour courses rarely deviate from a birdie-bogey variance, double that appears to be in play at most holes on the Riviera (all but two holes have seen doubles so far this week).

Sam Burns mastered this peril just like anyone else (more on this below). He was part of the contingent that couldn’t finish on Saturday due to darkness, but his position on Sunday is similar to his position on Saturday. He’s big on the field, trying to end his first PGA Tour win of his career on a golf course that looks like a big championship.

We’ll take a look at his lap, where he stands and who will be following Sunday.

1. Sam Burns (-10 to 13): By the time the third round ends on the Riviera early Sunday morning, Burns will likely have achieved something that has not happened in 50 years by leading here directly after each of the first three laps. The bad news for him is that he’s hot on his heels for some of the best players of his (or any other) generation with just a little more than one round left. He didn’t finish the lap very well on Saturday. He was a live favorite for most of the day, according to the William Hill Sportsbook, but he drove a pretty hot putter. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him fade away on Sunday, although it would be a damn good place for him to take his first win. Even if his short game on Sunday looks like this, it’s a wrap.

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2. Matthew Fitzpatrick (-8 to 17): The Englishman led the field from tee to green on Saturday and his short game is always great. I always go back to his weekend at the Memorial when he shot on Sunday 68 when no one broke on Field 70. Remember when he pauses for it on the final lap.

T3. Dustin Johnson (-7 to 13): It would be an advantage for Burns if the DJ didn’t play his part in the last group when everyone finished the third round early Sunday morning. DJ leads the field on strokes won from tee to green and it seems like he’s been meandering the track for three days but is now in the best position to take this tournament for the second time in five Years to win.

T3. Max Homa (-7 to 13): He did a 3 on number 10 on Saturday which made me laugh out loud. As significant as winning the Wells Fargo Championship several years ago was to him, I can’t imagine how important it would be for him to win in LA on an incredibly consistent basis.

6. Patrick Cantlay (-6 to 16): Unsurprisingly, Cantlay plays well. He was on a good run, has a history here, and is an elite striker. Only a handful of players have done better from tee to green this week, and it’s most likely he’ll shoot 64 right in front of the leaders and steal one.

T12. Jordan Spieth (-4 to 15): Spieth faded a little late on Saturday and is in danger of ending his streak of eleven straight rounds in which he scored punches on the field with his iron game. It will take a very special Sunday (especially with his putter) to chase Burns and hold DJ and Cantlay, but a third straight top 5 result is definitely on the table.

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