Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

Fixing Riviera's Greens Has Seniority in Priority

January 29, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

Riviera Country Club's reputation was damaged almost as badly as its greens during the 1995 PGA Championship.

Eager for another chance to prove itself as a golf course fit for major tournaments, Riviera has one with the July 23-26 U.S. Senior Open.

Call it an audition for the U.S. Open, perhaps one as soon as 2004.

So how are the greens?

That question became more intriguing in December, when Riviera hired a renowned superintendent, Paul Latshaw, to oversee the course for the Senior Open.

"The greens were progressing well," says Bill Knight, the Senior Open's championship director. "But Riviera didn't want to leave any doubt and brought in the best man they could find."

Some Riviera members, however, have a more alarming interpretation.

Regulars on the course, they say the greens, while certainly improved since 1995, are still not of championship caliber and that Latshaw was hired out of desperation.

No matter the spin, Latshaw was the right man.

The George Toma of golf agronomists, he has prepared courses for seven majors--the Masters four times, the U.S. Open and PGA Championship at Oakmont and the U.S. Open at Congressional.

Congressional and Riviera faced similar predicaments. In 1995, the U.S. Senior Open at Congressional was an even worse disaster than the PGA at Riviera. But Congressional hired Latshaw, who had the course in excellent shape for the 1997 U.S. Open.

The difference was that Latshaw had two years to correct Congressional's condition. He will have had about seven months at Riviera before the Senior Open.

Seven months should be enough, Latshaw said Wednesday, because Riviera is in better shape than he found Congressional.

Still, he added, it's a "big challenge."

"If the course is this way in July, we'll have a problem," he said. "But I'm optimistic that, by then, it will be in championship condition."

Riviera will be satisfied if its greens are the color of his thumb.

*

Now that it appears Jerry Jones might be serious about hiring Terry Donahue, you've got to love the Dallas Cowboys. . . .

Not really. . . .

Veteran boxing writer Bert Randolph Sugar, who wrote the book, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys and Who Elected Them America's Team Anyway?" has a website for those of like mind. . . .

The address is www.Hatedallas.com. . . .

The preceding paragraphs, in case you wondered, constitute a public service announcement. . . .

Speaking of boxing writers and books, former Times sportswriter Richard Hoffer's "A Savage Business: The Comeback and Comedown of Mike Tyson" is receiving excellent reviews. . . .

Pasadena's Art Center has undertaken the project of redesigning the Zamboni machine. . . .

The goal is to create more opportunities on the ice sweeper for advertising. . . .

What did you think, they wanted to make the Zamboni more efficient? . . .

That would be a job for Caltech or MIT. . . .

Alums from those two schools, proving they aren't as smart as we think, meet in the 12th annual Beaver Cup hockey game Sunday at the Panorama City Ice Chalet. . . .

Luc Robitaille, who attended neither school, is two points short of his 1,000th. . . .

The Buffalo Bills have interviewed UCLA offensive coordinator Alan Borges for the same position. . . .

The only three losses by the UCLA men's basketball team were to No. 2 North Carolina, No. 4 Stanford and No. 6 Arizona. . . .

The last three losses by the UCLA women's basketball team were to No. 6 North Carolina, No. 9 Stanford and No. 10 Arizona. . . .

This could be a lucky year for USC's baseball team, which opens Friday at Dedeaux Field against Long Beach State. . . .

The Trojans won national titles in 1948, '58, '68 and '78. . . .

What happened in '88? . . .

USC, with an infield including Bret Boone at second, Bret Barberie at shortstop and Rodney Peete at third, advanced to within one game of the College World Series before losing to Fresno State. . . .

Larry Smith then was fired as the coach.

*

While wondering whatever happened to the Atlanta Hawks, I was thinking: Four Laker all-stars should be almost enough to match Michael Jordan, I can't figure out whether it's Latrell Sprewell or P.J. Carlesimo on trial, Chris Webber should have called time out.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|