Spieth, McIlroy officially commit to Northern Trust


The Northern Trust Open has officially added some star power to next month's event, as both Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have formally joined the tournament field at Riviera Country Club.

McIlroy will be making his first start at the course known as "Hogan's Alley." The Ulsterman hinted last month that he would be adding the event this spring as he bolsters his slate of events leading up to the Masters.

"I’ve heard so many positive things about the tournament and the exceptional quality of the course," McIlroy said in a release. "Many legends of the game have played and won at this iconic venue throughout its long history, so I’m really looking forward to visiting LA and experiencing Riviera for myself."

Like McIlroy, Spieth is teeing it up this week at the European Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Spieth spoke about his upcoming schedule after completing an eight-shot romp at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and he will look to improve on a T-4 finish from a year ago, when he finished one shot out of a playoff ultimately won by James Hahn.

Spieth's relationship with Riviera also extends to the 2012 NCAA Championship, when he helped Texas win a national title over an Alabama squad that included Justin Thomas.

In addition to a pair of high-profile commitments, the tournament announced Monday that J.J. Spaun will receive the tournament's 2016 exemption which annually promotes the inclusion of minorities in the game. Spaun, 25, won the Order of Merit title last year on PGA Tour Canada and is fully exempt this year on the Web.com Tour. This will mark his second career PGA Tour start.

The Northern Trust Open will be held Feb. 18-21 in Los Angeles.