The US Open returns to Riviera in Los Angeles in 2031 after an 83-year absence

The US Open returns to Riviera in Los Angeles in 2031 after an 83-year absence
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles had to wait 75 years to get another U.S. Open and now it’s becoming a regular stop. The USGA is bringing the U.S. Open to Riviera Country Club in 2031.

The announcement Wednesday comes three days after Wyndham Clark won the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, just over 5 miles (8 km) away and across the 405 freeway from Riviera.

The fabled course off Sunset Boulevard is the longtime host of what now is the Genesis Invitational, long considered a favorite by top PGA Tour players. Riviera held the first U.S. Open in California in 1948 when Ben Hogan won with a record score of 276.

Hogan also won the Los Angeles Open in 1947 and 1948, and Riviera soon became known as “Hogan’s Alley.”

The club now takes on a greater profile. It will host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2026 on the centennial anniversary of Riviera, and then it has the golf competition in the 2028 Olympics.

And then, 83 years later, it finally gets another U.S. Open.

“We are so grateful that the USGA will return the U.S. Open to our club in 2031,” said Megan Watanabe, CEO of Riviera. “Over a six-year period, we will showcase our championship course to the world.”

Watanabe, whose family bought Riviera in 1989 and who grew up taking golf and tennis lessons at the club as a young girl, had her eyes on major competition since returning some 12 years ago. Riviera had not held a major since the 1995 PGA Championship and was thought to have too small of a footprint for the modern era.

In a February 2022 interview with The Associated Press, she said would pitch a “smaller, premium-sized U.S. Open” and referenced the U.S. Open going to Merion in 2013.

“Merion is probably about the same size we are,” Watanabe said. “My thinking is they can do it, I think we can do it.”

It is another example of the USGA being willing to take golf’s second-oldest championship to courses that don’t necessarily have the space as Oakmont, Pebble Beach or Pinehurst.

The USGA limited ticket sales to 22,000 for the North course at Los Angeles Country Club, because of the winding barranca on half of the holes that made it difficult for fans to flank both sides of the fairway from tee to green in some spots.

“Riviera Country is a truly spectacular course that holds a special place in the game’s history,” said John Bodenhamer, chief championships officer for the USGA.

Riviera held a PGA Tour stop for the 59th time in February. It has the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour — Lanny Wadkins with a 264 in 1985.

Riviera, designed by George C. Thomas Jr., is known for its kikuya grass, for the reachable par-4 10th hole, the bunker in the middle of the green on the par-3 sixth and the state clubhouse high on a hill.

The club on Tuesday began minor tweaks to the 10th green (slightly lowering the right side because of years of sand accumulation from a bunker) and the 15th green (extending the back right to allow for a pin position).

The fairways are lined by sycamores and eucalyptus trees. The most famous sycamore is left of the 12th green and named “Bogey’s Tree,” because Humphrey Bogart used to sit under it and watch golfers pass.

Unlike Los Angeles Country Club, which eschewed the Hollywood crowd, Riviera was a haven for celebrities like Bogart, Gregory Peck, Walt Disney, Dean Martin and Katherine Hepburn.

Los Angeles Country Club is to host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2032 before the U.S. Open returns in 2039. Riviera now has both Opens in 2026 and 2031, along with the Olympics.

The only two majors Riviera had held since Hogan won in 1948 was the PGA Championship in 1983 won by Hal Sutton and in 1995 won by Steve Elkington. Hale Irwin won the U.S. Senior Open at Riviera in 1998.

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