Thursday, February 15

Will Tiger Woods Break the Riviera Jinx?

Riviera Country Club often appears near the top of everybody's list of best golf courses. Essentially unaltered, the 1926 George Thomas design and routing make Riviera a classic course that is still a great test of golf for the modern player.

Riviera is called "Hogan's Alley" because Ben Hogan won there three times in 1947 and 1948, collecting two L.A. Open titles and notching a U.S. Open victory.


Many other golf greats also won at Riviera, including Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller and Hale Irwin. And, more recently, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin, Davis Love and Ernie Els.

Surprisingly, two players who have never won at Riviera are Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Both have finished second, including Jack's runner-up finish to Hal Sutton in the 1983 PGA Championship.

Woods played his first professional event at Riviera at the tender age of 16. This year he isn't competing in the Nissan Open, but you can bet he'll be back to Riviera.

Will Tiger break the jinx and one-up Jack by winning at "Hogan's Alley"?

The Armchair Golfer

(Photo: PGA.com)

4 comments :

WannaBeBen said...

Dear Mr. Armchair Golfer,

I won four times at Riviera, not three.

I won in 1942 also.

B.H.

Miranda said...

I say no. Tiger won't win there. There are courses he doesn't like and doesn't play well and he doesn't seem interested in improving that. There's a stat floating around that 40% of his wins come on the same courses, so that tells me he only plays the courses he likes and the courses he does well on. He skipped the tour championship because he doesn't do well there and he skipped the Nissan Open for the same reason, despite his 'jet lag' excuse or whatever it was. The only way Tiger will even come close to breaking this jinx is if a major is held there and even then it would probably have to be the major that gets him the new record.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Mr. Hogan,

Is that really you? With all due respect, you did win the LA Open in '42 -- but it was at the Hillcrest Country Club.

Miranda,

Interesting analysis. Personally, I'm stumped. I would think he would want to win at Riviera but maybe you're right. Perhaps it's not his track.

WannaBeBen said...

Dear Armchair,

Thanks for reminding me that it was at Hillcrest CC. My memory is not so good, as I've been dead for almost ten years.

B.H.