5 Things You Didn't Know: Riviera
GOLF.com goes inside the numbers and behind the scenes at Riviera Country Club to reveal interesting facts about the people and the course at the Northern Trust Open.
1. You can own Phil Mickelson's putter ... sort of
According to callawaygolf.com, Phil Mickelson is currently using an Odyssey White Hot XG #9 putter. The putter shown on the company's Web site, however, is finished in steel, while Mickelson's is much darker. He started using a prototype version of the putter in 2006 at the BellSouth Classic (which he won by 13 strokes). He used that putter again when he won his second Masters the following week, and it's been in his bag, in rotation with another custom-made Odyssey putter, ever since. At Riviera, Mickelson averaged just 26.8 putts per round (tying him for 11th in that category for the week) and 1.674 putts per green in regulation (eighth best for the week).
2 of 5Robert Beck/SI
2. Quinney handles Riviera's demanding finisher
The uphill, 475-yard, par-4 18th hole at Riviera Country Club was the toughest closing hole the pros have faced in 2008, playing to a stroke average of 4.321. It yielded just 26 birdies all week, but Jeff Quinney scored a 3 on the 18th both Saturday and Sunday.
3 of 5Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
3. Verplank's below-average driving is still great
Scott Verplank led the field at Riviera in driving accuracy, hitting 78.57% of the fairways and he had an off week! For the season, Verplank leads the Tour in driving accuracy, hitting the fairway 84.96% of the time. His fifth-place finish at the Northern Trust Open was his first top 10 of the season in three starts. In case you're wondering, the Texan's tool of choice is a TaylorMade r7 425 TP.
4 of 5David Cannon/Getty Images
4. Imada slices up Riviera's rugged rough
Television commentators spoke at length last week about the tough kikuyu rough at Riviera, but Ryuji Imada handled it with ease. He led the field in scrambling for the week by getting up and down to save par 82.76% of the time. That is 14.13% better than his season average. According to titleist.com, Imada uses two Vokey 200-series wedges (48° and 53°) and a Vokey prototype 60° wedge.
5 of 5Michael Caulfield/AP Photo
5. The West Coast Swing Gets Tough
In the last two PGA Tour events, no golfer has played all four rounds in the 60s. Three courses were used at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills), but Riviera Country Club was the only course for the Northern Trust Open. The 7,279-yard, par-71 layout was designed by George Thomas and opened in 1926. The course record in tournament play is a 61 shot by Ted Tryba (left) at the 1999 Nissan Open. (Tryba lost by two shots that year to Ernie Els.)
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