LOS ANGELES -- Put together the best field of the year on a golf course players regard as one of the ultimate tests, and the result is a final round at Riviera loaded with possibilities.
Rory McIlroy kept patient through some missed opportunities by making enough birdies for a 3-under 68. Adam Scott, motivated to get a victory at Riviera that the PGA Tour counts, rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole Saturday for a 67. Matt Kuchar recovered from three bogeys in a four-hole stretch to make one final birdie for a 70.
They were tied for the lead at the Genesis Invitational.
Within striking distance was Dustin Johnson, who overwhelmed Riviera in 2017 for a five-shot victory that could have been more and finished Saturday birdie-eagle-par for a 67 that left him two shots behind. Sixteen players were separated by four shots with 18 holes to play.
"I think you just have to worry about yourself, concentrate on what you're doing, do it well, set yourself a target, don't think about anyone else,'' McIlroy said. "And you know, if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great. If not, then someone just played better than you and hats off to them.''
McIlroy returned to No. 1 in the world this week and is playing as though he plans to stay there. This was the 17th time in his past 18 rounds on the PGA Tour that he shot in the 60s dating to his victory in the Tour Championship.
Kuchar has led since a 64 in the opening round, and now he shares the top spot with McIlroy and Scott, two players who have won majors and reached No. 1 in the world.
They were at 10-under 203.
Missing from the mix was Tiger Woods, who went the other direction, and quickly. He shot 41 on the back nine and held it steady from there for a 76 to wind up 15 shots behind.
"Well, that was a lot of shots ... and it was a long day,'' Woods said.
Scott won at Riviera in 2005 and has the trophy to show for it, just not a spot in the PGA Tour record book. The tournament was shortened to 36 holes by rain, and it was deemed unofficial.
This is his first competition in some two months, dating to his victory in the Australian PGA Championship three days before Christmas.
"I almost feel like I know what I'm doing after 20 years of having a season and having a break and coming back out,'' Scott said. "I know what this course kind of demands of you. It's not necessarily the easiest course to show up, but I was in a good place finishing last year, too, so I think I managed that well.''
Harold Varner III birdied his final two holes for a 69 and was one shot behind, along with Russell Henley (68). Johnson had only two pars over his final 12 holes. That stretch also featured five birdies and an eagle for a 67. He was two shots behind, along with Joel Dahmen (66).
Still in the mix was Hideki Matsuyama, who bogeyed his last hole Friday and was the final player to make the cut. Matsuyama played in the final group off the back nine, away from all the attention, and posted a 64. He was four shots behind and very much in the picture.
Woods will have to wait another year to win at Riviera, another week to seek his record 83rd victory on the PGA Tour. In a spot where he couldn't afford to drop shots, he made more mistakes than he had all week, especially on the greens.