Star-Studded Field Tests Historic Course in This Week’s Northern Trust Open
For one week every winter the best golfers in the world descend on the historic course off Capri Drive for one of the PGA Tour’s premiere events.
Yes, it’s that time of year again – time for Pacific Palisades to be in the national spotlight during the Northern Trust Open, which will be played today through Sunday at Riviera Country Club.
There are many intriguing storylines leading into the 2014 edition, not the least of which is whether John Merrick, the first winner hailing from Los Angeles County, can defend his title – a feat accomplished only seven times in the 88-year history of the tournament.
First played in 1926 and called the Los Angeles Open, it is the tour’s fourth-oldest event outside of the majors.
Riviera, which was given the monniker “Hogan’s Alley” after the legendary Ben Hogan won there three times in the 1940s, is hosting the event for the 52nd time (all but two times since 1973) and grounds crews have been hard at work for a month preparing the greens and fairways for the wear and tear of a week’s worth of championship-level golf.
A testament to the challenge Riviera presents to even the most accomplished golfers is how 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, the best player of this generation, has fared. He has never won here in nine tries (twice as an amateur and seven as a professional), making it the only PGA event Woods has played at least four times without winning.
This year’s purse is $6.7 million, with the winner pocketing $1.206 million and 500 FedExCup points.
One of the sport’s most unique and famous holes, the Par 4, 451-yard 18th at Riviera spells doom for even the most accomplished players and it is there the tournament is often won or lost on Sunday afternoon.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.