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NOTES

NISSAN OPEN At RIVIERA

February 23, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Riviera's greens, so widely criticized during the PGA last summer that the course was closed for several weeks after the tournament, were widely praised by most of the golfers Thursday.

"The greens are much better. I think everyone will agree on that," said Steve Elkington, the PGA winner and co-leader of the first round.

"For all the weather we've had, they've hung in there. They're not spiking up like they did. There aren't any bad ones out there."

The rough didn't get such favorable comments.

"The Kikuyu [grass] is much tougher than it was at the PGA," Scott Simpson said.

"With all the rain, they've been unable to cut it. I'm sure it's higher than they wanted it to be."

*

According to the Nissan Open record book, no amateur has made the 36-hole cut in the tournament since 1989, when Chris Harvey and Chad Morris played the final two rounds. It's unlikely one will play this weekend. Brian Hull, 22, a USC senior from La Canada, shot 38-38--76.

*

All four winners of the major championships last year are playing at Riviera. Besides Elkington, U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin shot a 71, British Open winner John Daly a 73 and Masters champion Ben Crenshaw a 74.

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