The world's best amateurs gathered in Los Angeles for day one of the U.S. Amateur under glorious mid-70s conditions interspersed with an abundance of agents and club manufacturers hawking their wares.
Of course, Riviera is the annual host to the Los Angeles Open, currently the Genesis Open until further notice, where the PGA Tour pros are "wusses" compared to the players who go the distance this week. From Tom Hoffarth's story for the Daily News and OC Register.
Michael Yamaki, the corporate officer or Riviera and general chairman of the U.S. Amateur Championship, said what sets this event apart from any other golf championship should be obvious, starting with the shorter window of opportunity for an amateur to play in this should he be good enough to turn professional. And, if Yamaki can be blunt, he said “the professionals are wusses … they’re only playing four days. We have to play seven straight days, plus 36 (holes) on the last day. … when you look at the Amateur, it’s really old school.”
So old school that there were almost no volunteer marshals or spotters available for the tees and fairways, leading to numerous lost balls and slow play. Woohoo old school!
At Riviera, Western Amateur champion Norman Xiong fired a brilliant 64 on day one of medal play, matched by two others as Pete Kowalski writes here for USAmateur.com. He will try to wrap up low-medalist at Bel-Air Country Club on Tuesday.
Amateurgolf.com's Kevin Cassidy has a variety of notes and points out the strong play from one of the marquee groups.
Cameras and the occasional IPhone streaming to Facebook could also be found at the 8:34 tee time with Doug Ghim, Cameron Champ, and Norman Xiong. This featured group was chirping for the cameras all day with 15 birdies between them. Champ finished up at even par (70), Ghim three-under (67) and Xiong is tied for the lead at six-under (64).
Players have been saying Riviera is playing at least three shots harder and they will be looking at more birdie opportunities at Bel-Air Country Club.
Former Angel and Mariner Shigetoshi Hasegawa qualified at age 49, and while he struggled to an 81, the retired pitcher appeared to enjoy his first USGA event. I filed this for Golfweek.
Things weren't dull over at Bel Air according to a well-known member and now part-time scribbling great...
Never heard of this b4.. At the #USAmateur today at Bel Air Wilson Furr's caddy left the bag by the lake on 8. It rolled in. ENTIRE bag.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) August 14, 2017
The player in question whose probably got his entire set of clubs drying out tonight: Wilson Furr.
Todd Mitchell opened with a 67 but did not sign his card and was disqualified.