Greetings From Los Angeles, Vol. 3, 2008 Edition

greetingsfromLA.jpegI didn't see any of the first round telecast from Riviera so I'm not sure if they were able to convey just how strong the gusts were. It was a cruel fate for the afternoon times who drew swirling, cold Santa Ana wind gusts (with more apparently forecast for the morning play). There is no way to describe how good Geoff Ogilvy's late 69, Dustin Johnson's 3-under through 15 total and in progress rounds by Kevin Sutherland and Chez Reavie were considering the extreme conditions.230136-1344456-thumbnail.jpg
Geoff Ogilvy plays into No. 7 (click to enlarge)

I tagged along for 11 holes of Ogilvy's round and his game appeared quite sharp. More alarming was the play230136-1344451-thumbnail.jpg
Mike Weir and caddy (click to enlarge)
of partner Mike Weir, a two-time winner at Riviera who I've watched many times over the years. However, I had not actually followed him recently and while I love the look of his Stack and Tilt swing, everything that happens right up to pulling the trigger is painful to watch. His caddy is constantly asking marshal's to move and his Monty-like ability to hear all sounds leads to constant restarting of his pre-shot routine. Weir won't even pull his driver on obvious driver holes until his caddy rests the bag down next to the teeing position.

Jim Furyk Plays Into No. 1 (click to enlarge)
And they wonder why it was well over 5 hours in the afternoon for the field to finish. Well, most of the field.

As usual the tenth hole proved to be a joy. Playing downwind most of the day 3-wood was often the option for many players. A quick look at ShotLink showed that laying up was a mistake today thanks in part to the green firmness.230136-1344459-thumbnail.jpg
Shane Bertsch approaches No. 10 from a poor angle (click to enlarge)

Though I'm still kicking myself for missing Tom Pernice's hole out for double bogey. Shucks! Apparently he went back and forth between No. 10's greenside bunkers, which was easy to do today with the back left hole location and firm, fast greens.