My bad luck continues at Pebble. I had Steve Marino (+4500) who was leading for the first three rounds at the Pro-Am last weekend. He actually had the lead on Sunday until D.A. Points chipped in for Eagle on the very difficult par 5, 14. At that point I had no hope. D.A Points and his amateur playing partner, Bill Murray, devised a plan to play as slow as the Wednesday night women’s league at Nabnasset Lake Country Club. Marino who is a fast player like myself, no practice swing and ready golf, was constantly seen waiting impatiently in the fairway and tee box as Carl Spackler acted like an ass and dragged his spikes around the pin area. Bill and Points went on to win the Pro-Am, Points the tournament, and Marino crashed and burned like I did at last years Duceman Invitational. Cinderella fucking story.
This week The Tour continues the West Coast swing with a stop in the Pacific Palisades for the Northern Trust Open at The Riviera Country Club. The Riv is on my bucket list of golf courses to play, it sits in a canyon just outside L.A., surrounded by mansions and the Santa Monica Mountains, a great scene. Other courses on my bucket list include, Pebble, St. Andrews, Old Marsh CC, Augusta, Cape Arundel and Cypress Point. I’ve got a lot to go.
Riviera is an old style, George Thomas course, which opened in 1926. It rewards accurate, pure hitters who are can putt, I don’t think big hitters like Bubba will get away with driver – wedge this weekend. Stricker is the defending champ, Phil’s in the field and has won twice. I am gonna roll with these guys…
Luke Donald +1850 – He has finished in the top 6 the last three years and in the top 15 last the 5 years at the Riv.
Hunter Mahan +1850 – He’s about to win. Hunter was right there last weekend at Pebble and has 3 top 25s this year. He’s one of the better putters and is accurate from the fairway. Best finish at Riviera is 17th.
Paul Casey +2250 – I still think he is one of the best player in the world, it will be his first US event this year. A risky bet taking two Europeans here, Nick Faldo is the only European player to win at this course.
Jim Furyk +2500 – He had some nice finishes when this event was the Nissan Open. Like his accuracy of the tee and greens in reg accuracy, plus Furyk is a top 10 putter.
Bill Haas +3500 – He has three top 10s and would have had 4 but he shot a 76 on Sunday last weekend. Like Haas this weekend.
KJ Choi +4000 – My long shot. He has finished in the top 10 here twice. I bet on Choi a lot last year he never won and I think I continued to bet on him because he hardly misses the cut. He has made 10 straight cuts at Riviera.