Just before the sun set at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, professional golfer Phil Mickelson birdied the 18th hole to wrap his first round at the Northern Trust Open. And judging by the roar of the crowd, he's a fan favorite.
Angelenos are no exception. Patch spoke to a few local spectators who said the first day of the tournament was beautiful and, since it wasn't as crowded, it was the perfect opportunity to watch Mickelson in action.
Locals also said the tournament is a great thing for the city, bringing in business and exposure. After all, the Riviera holds some history for the game of golf. Tiger Woods played his first tournament at the Riviera when he was just 16 years old.
"After Pebble Beach last week, it's interesting to see our course," said Connie Adams of Venice.
"I went to Paul Revere and to Palisades High School. For me it's like a local litte deal," said John Henry Binder, who now lives in Culver City. "The last time I was here, Corey Pavin won and I was probably in ninth grade or something, which was like 1984 … So then I got back here how many years later and I was like, 'Wow, this is killer.'"
On Thursday, Mickelson was at the top of the partial first-round leaderboard, finishing five under par. J.B. Holmes and Hunter Mahan, who is from Orange, CA, both finished four under.
"I played here a couple of times when I was at USC and it's just a throwback golf course," said Mahan in an interview following the round. "It's a great golf course that doesn't favor anybody. It favors good quality iron shots and good golf."
Watch the video for highlights from Day One at the Northern Trust Open.