LOS ANGELES – Kevin Stadler can’t count the number of times he has played Riviera Country Club.
He loves the home of the Northern Trust Open.
He has loved it since he used to walk the course as a boy watching his father, Craig, play this event. His affection was only enhanced when he played at USC and made the trip over to play here.
Stadler will follow his father’s footsteps to his first Masters in April, earning an invite with his victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he would also like to follow his father’s footsteps to the trophy presentation here at Riviera. His papa won this event in ’96.
With a 2-under-par 69 Thursday, Stadler is in early position to make a run at winning for the second time in three starts.
“Feel really, really comfortable here,” Stadler said. “I played here every time I could.”
In six starts in this event, Stadler’s best finish is a tie for 10th in 2010.