L.A. Open Presented By Northern Trust To Continue Through 2016

Nothing says big news like a Friday afternoon For Immediate Release...

Northern Trust extends sponsorship of Northern Trust Open 
New agreement carries Northern Trust Open through 2016

CHICAGO and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR and Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS) today announced a four-year sponsorship extension for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles through 2016. Northern Trust’s original five-year agreement expires after the 2012 tournament.

That Nasdaq symbol helped. Much appreciated, even though we all had it memorized.

"When Northern Trust first came on board as title sponsor in 2008, its executive team clearly was committed to invigorating this historic tournament and reestablishing its profile as a premier event," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Over the past four years, we have seen tremendous strides and a renewed energy surrounding the Northern Trust Open,

Renewed energy!

particularly with the addition and leadership of Jerry West as Executive Director. With today’s announcement of Northern Trust’s four-year extension, the tournament undoubtedly is going to continue to grow and have a positive influence on the Los Angeles area."

While the charitable impact of the 2011 tournament has yet to be announced, last year’s Northern Trust Open generated nearly $1.5 million. Since Northern Trust’s title sponsorship began, the tournament has raised more than $5 million.

"We are proud to renew our commitment to the Northern Trust Open," said Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. "This is a terrific event that attracts the world’s best professional golfers while supporting our business goals. The Northern Trust Open provides a premiere event for clients, improves brand awareness, and helps the community by generating substantial charitable donations and economic activity."

Yes, for The Golf Channel.

A study commissioned last year by the PGA TOUR with Beacon Economics showed the Northern Trust Open is responsible for an economic impact of more than $21 million on Los Angeles County. The impact includes the equivalent of 201 full-time jobs for a year created by the event, with earnings of approximately $7.4 million and local tax revenues of $350,000.

And now for Jerry West's quote, in the voice of David Pillsbury.

"Northern Trust is an engaged, committed, passionate title sponsor, and the organization’s leadership has helped reestablish the tournament as a major sporting event in Los Angeles," said Jerry West, Northern Trust Open executive director. "Northern Trust's continued commitment will help the tournament continue to grow and make a bigger difference in the lives of our neighbors in need."

2011 Northern Trust Final Round Wrap

Baddelay approaches 18 with a real, honest to goodness gallery (click to enlarge)People! What a miracle seeing live bodies return to the fairways Sunday in a retro L.A. Northern Trust Open finale thanks to fan-favorite Fred Couples and cooperative weather. The attendance figure never did make it in my hands but I'm sure it topped last year's 30,000 number.
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2011 Northern Trust Open Photo Caption Fun, Yours Truly Edition

Reader Tom saw Doug Ferguson's Tweet of my very, very brief media room siesta--John Strege thinks I was only out one minute--and suggested this one needs a caption. To help jumpstart your creative juices, this occurred around 2:00 when Saturday's third round was laboring, the skies were opening up, the heater was working particularly well, the sweet potato side dish was taking over and I was dreaming of what fascinating things CBS guys might have been saying about Riviera.
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2011 Northern Trust Open: The Intimacy Of Classic Course Spectating

Fans could listen in on Geoff Ogilvy and Squirrel discussing options (click to enlarge)A glorious day at Riviera and while the gallery was meager compared to the glory days of the 90's, an improvement over last year. Though the surroundings are special and the opportunity to walk a course of Riviera's stature are a treat, I was struck several times at just what a different spectating experience older courses provide compared to a TPC.

Sure, the sight lines are not as great when the gallery swells and amphitheater or grandstand seating is not available, but the ability to get close to players and eavesdrop on conversations when they hit wayward drives is unlike anything else in sport. The PGA Tour noted this in its clever Sunday newspaper wrap, and it's something they need to continue to drive home when possible.

Even with no wind and pristine conditions, Riviera held its own thanks to sneaky fast greens, the vagaries of kikuyu and some thought provoking hole locations. Doug Ferguson reports on the wacky 9-way tie for first, while John Strege filed blog posts on Bubba Watson's WD and Bob Harig reports on Dustin Johnson's 2-stroke lateness penalty. And as noted previously, there was Anthony Kim's truly terrible luck.

A few other images from our last day of sun until Sunday.

The question everyone was asking today was answered by the stunningly cluttered but still pretty to look at ShotLink videoboards. (Click to enlarge)

Lucas Glover kindly asked Lunde, Vegas and Bradley to pause while he played through. They were on No. 7, he was playing the 15th. (click to enlarge)

Phil Mickelson drives at No. 9 (click to enlarge)

Late light at No. 16 as players approach (click to enlarge)

Big (Bad) Break, Anthony Kim At Riviera Edition**

There was a holdup today when Anthony Kim had to return to the second fairway while Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey and Luke Donald waited for him to hit his second approach following a freak occurrence. Stephanie Wei has all of the details and crime scene photos and I have posted a video detailing what could be one of the goofiest breaks I've ever seen. Not to mention another reason to deplore concrete paths.
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