For Rory McIlroy, the road to the Masters starts on the other side of the country.
McIlroy is playing the Northern Trust Open for the first time because of all he has heard about Riviera. It's the start of a big stretch. McIlroy is playing five of the next six weeks, and he is looking to regain his No. 1 ranking along with completing the career Grand Slam at Augusta.
The PGA Tour at Riviera is must-see TV for Lanny Wadkins because it's personal.
The most prominent nickname for Riviera remains "Hogan's Alley" from when Ben Hogan won three times in two years, capping it off with the 1948 U.S. Open . Wadkins, however, has his own slice of history on the fabled course off Sunset Boulevard.
The 5-foot birdie putt to force a playoff at Pebble Beach spun out of the left edge of the cup, and Phil Mickelson couldn't believe it. He bent over and braced himself, the left hand on his knee and the right hand on top of the putter.
"It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't make that one," he said.
Far away from the commotion of the celebrities Saturday at Pebble Beach, the most accomplished star among golfers quietly went about his business.
Mickelson efficiently pieced together a 6-under 66 in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, though it only looked easy on the card. He made birdie on all but one of the par 3s, scrambled for par on half of his holes and wound up with his first 54-hole lead since the 2013 U.S. Open.
The back nine didn't go according to plan for Phil Mickelson during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and the par-3 14th hole at Monterey Peninsula served as the best illustration.
Mickelson's tee shot was a laser that covered the flag, and as it descended toward the green, Mickelson began talking to his golf ball.