Greetings From LA, Vol. 6

greetingsfromLAIt was an intensely boring but glorious weather day at Riviera. The crowd woke up with Fred Couples' charge, setting the stage for a retro final day with Couples seeking his third L.A. Open title at Riviera. 230136-275487-thumbnail.jpg
Riviera rainbow (click image to enlarge)

Adding to the final day intrigue is leader Rory Sabbatini's surprising revelation that even after putting a new set of irons in the bag in Hawaii, he's taking them out after 7 straight weeks (see post below). In their place will be his old set, apparently stored in his motor home.

There's no truth to the rumor that Phil Mickelson consulted on this decision. 

Well so much for the Woods-Holmes shootout, with Tiger WD'ing because of the flu.

Holmes on 13 (click image to enlarge)
J.B. and Geoff Ogilvy still put on a good show, with Ogilvy carding a 66 and Holmes unleashing his power on his last few holes.

Nothing about Holmes' game is "fundamentally sound," and yet that's what makes him so promising. He clearly has a feel for the game, which is saying alot with today's equipment divorcing so many players from any kind of feel shots.

JB's approach to No. 8 (click on image to enlarge)
Check out where I saw Holmes hitting from on the non-alternate-alternate fairway 8th, where a record number of players have used the left fairway this week (at least 20!).  230136-275492-thumbnail.jpg
Shotlink shows Holmes's huge drive (click on image to enlarge)

Holmes had a nice angle to the hole and made birdie (see ShotLink photo to the right). Oh, and for the second time this week, I saw Holmes taking a ball out of play, and instead of stuffing it in his bag, Holmes went out of his way to find a young boy. And again, another priceless smile by the surprised kid and lifetime fan for Holmes. He's the only player I've seen do this all week. A wily veteran at 23.

ShotLink tracks Holmes on 7 (click on image to enlarge)
Back to his long hitting antics. Check out what ShotLink says about his drive on the par-4 7th (left), which I unfortunately missed.  Who knew the sand short of the green would become a fairway bunker?

Elsewhere, well, it was pretty dull at "The Riv," as the hot-selling pro shop hat says. (Okay, on three everyone...1-2-3...oy vey!).

A few other notes going into Sunday...

The day-to-day setup has been excellent.  A nice mix of hole locations, with not too many tucked ridiculously and the tee placements varied. 230136-275496-thumbnail.jpg
No. 6 Saturday (click on image to enlarge)

Let's hope tomorrow is not another final day U.S. Open wannabe thing like we saw at Pebble Beach. But based on early season trends, I'm expecting a par-fest.

My favorite hole location was the front-middle spot on 6, set just below the gentle tier. Players could feed the ball down to the hole, allowing the crowd to cheer their ball down. But if they missed a bit too far left, the players faced a difficult two-putt.

Couples on 16 (click on image to enlarge)
No. 16 featured the classic sucker-right location, but that didn't stop Fred Couples from going right at it. He missed an 8-footer for birdie.

And finally, a shot of the rollers they are using on the greens this week... 230136-275500-thumbnail.jpg
Riviera rollers (click on image to enlarge)