UCLA Trio Tees Off
Published Feb 10, 2012 1:41 PM
The PGA tour returns to Southern California this week, as the Northern Trust Open tees off Thursday, February 16th. The tournament, which takes place at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, features a trio of UCLA golfers including Scott McCarron '88, who turned pro in 1992; Kevin Chappell, who turned pro in 2008 and Patrick Cantlay , the current Bruin sophomore who made headlines last summer when he shot a 284 at the U.S. Open (good for a tie for 21st), an 11-under-par 269 at the Traveler's Championship, a 3-under 277 at the AT&T National, and an even-par 280 at the RBC Canadian Open as an amateur.
UCLA golfers are no strangers to Riviera or the Northern Trust; Corey Pavin won the tournament in back-to-back in 1994 and 1995. Chappell says that his experience with Riviera will be an advantage "especially if I get that 6:50 tee time we used to have to play. I'll have a lot of course knowledge, I played there 30 or 40 times. I think that will help a lot."
The PGA players arrive in Los Angeles early next week. There is a closed-to-the-public Pro-Am on Monday, with open-to-the-public practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. The course opens to the public at 6 am Thursday with the first group of the tournament teeing off at 6:50. Friday's schedule matches Thursday's, with the final two rounds beginning at 8 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Chappell, for one, is looking forward to playing Riviera. "It's definitely in my top five courses, it's got a great vibe to it and it's a very relaxing place to play," he says, before explaining the best way to play the course. "(The key is) getting the ball in the fairway, (because of) all those doglegs and whatnot. You've got to hit it in the right spot to attack those pins. Just understanding what the greens are doing, there's a little bit of grain, a little bit of pull. Unless you've been there a lot, you don't know that.
"It's going to be great. It's my second time playing the Northern Trust and I think I'm a little bit more mature than I was last time when I was 22-years-old and playing in my third PGA tour event," Chappell says. "It will be great to hopefully have some support from the Bruin family while playing a course I'm familiar with."
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