All the other intangibles favor Torrey Pines. It's a muni, and what's more P.C., an Open at a public track or at an elite country club—one owned by a Japanese businessman, no less? Using the North course for spillover, Torrey Pines has ample room for parking, corporate tents and a practice range, while Riviera is crammed into a Pacific Palisades neighborhood, resulting in an inadequate range and almost no on-site parking. Let's not forget the 1995 PGA, the last of four majors at Riviera. It was a disaster, with sparse crowds and bare greens. Who loves LA? Not golf. "When Steve Elkington won in '95, nobody in L.A. cared. It didn't even sell out," says Haas. "I love Riviera-it's one of my five favorite courses—but for the Open I'd vote for Torrey Pines."
After last week's Buick Invitational—with its big-time leader board, telegenic Pacific views and attendance in excess of 150,000—Torrey Pines has to be considered the favorite for 2008, but don't forget, anything can happen in match play.