It is not often that we have a major golf championship in Southern California, and when we do, odds are good it will be held at Riviera Country Club just down the coast in Pacific Palisades.
This time around, the future of professional golf will be on display with the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship until August 20, having started on August 14. Coming from around the U.S., 312 players have made it through the narrow window of sectional qualifying to gain a spot in this year’s event.
Stroke play qualifying will include 18 holes at Riviera and Bel Air Country Club, with the low 64 players advancing to match play. The champion will be crowned on Sunday after a 36-hole final match. The winner will surely be tired after a week that could include 162 competitive holes plus two practice rounds.
Riviera is known as Hogan’s Alley after Ben Hogan’s incredible run of victories here in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, including a U.S. Open Championship in ‘48. All the greats have won here, including the ageless Sam Snead who at 64 came in a close second to Dave Stockton in 1974. Tom Watson, Lanny Wadkins, Hal Sutton, Hale Irwin, Fred Couples, and Bubba Watson have all won the L.A. Open held here annually. Amazingly, Jack Nicklaus never won here despite great play in many events in which he finished second, like in the 1984 PGA Championship.
The tickets are very reasonably priced and include access to most clubhouse areas. Visit USGA.org/USam for complete details.