Ninety years since Riviera hosted its first $10,000 Los Angeles Open and fourth played, the world’s best return to play for $7.4 million and a Genesis luxury automobile.
Just getting tees in the ground and 72 holes played that week was a miracle, as organizers were having trouble raising funds for the purse and days were too short for getting a full field around the brutal test Riviera posed.
A December Sportsman’s fundraising dinner was hosted by comedian Will Rogers—fresh off an aborted run for President—at the incredible price of $100 a plate. Rogers paid his way at what was called the first $100 a plate dinner. A total of $9000 was raised for the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce to host the event, which founded by Scott Chisholm, Sherman Paddock and Willie Hunter (gracing the 1929 program cover below and later Riviera’s longtime pro).
As I detail here for Golfweek, headliner Walter Hagen threw a bit of a fit when faced with a slow pairing alongside Tommy Armour. Given Brooks Koepka’s recent criticism of inconsistent pace enforcement, some things never really change. Well, Hagen never used a private parts reference. That we know of.
But as I note in the piece, the slow play issues at Riviera are now less a player-driven issue and more of a product of traffic jams brought on by the shortening of holes. Fitting for this city.
My Instagram post of the 1929 program: