Chances are you would not expect to see singer Johnny Mathis working out next to you at 6 a.m. in the hotel gym (by the way, he is an avid golfer who plays Riviera often). As big as the Lakers are in Southern California, most people would never expect to see a Laker just walking around Riviera. But, Luke Walton raced from practice on Thursday to see his friend Ricky Barnes go bogey-free over the sometimes difficult track at The Riv. And that doesn't even include Northern Trust Open executive director Jerry West, the Lakers legend who is running this event with the same efficiency as he ran the Lakers organization for many years.
But my favorite conversation of the day was with Amy Alcott. She still lives next to Riviera. She no longer has to sneak under the fence to play the course. In fact, she spent quite a bit of time on the practice green Thursday, talking to players like an ambassador for this revered club. She spent quite a bit of time working with Marc Turnesa, providing him guidance on how to approach the course that has challenged some of the greats like Tiger Woods and elevated some of the greats like Ben Hogan.
You may never see Johnny Mathis, Luke Walton, Jerry West and Amy Alcott all share a table at the Ivy. But, they share a love of golf and spending some time in L.A. can provide a great opportunity to see that in person.