Couples, Homa get Riviera exemptions

Veteran Fred Couples and youngster Max Homa are among several players who received exemptions to play in the Northern Trust Open next week at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The 54-year-old Couples is a Riviera favorite who has made 31 appearances in the old Los Angeles Open, winning it in 1990 and 1992, among his 14 finishes in the top.

Homa, 22, is from Valencia and captured the 2013 individual title in his senior year at Cal.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to compete against the PGA Tour’s best, especially in my home state at a tournament I grew up watching,” said Homa, who has playing status on the Tour after finishing sixth at Q-school.

“I want to thank both Northern Trust and the PGA Tour for such an amazing opportunity.”

Three players from the European Tour–Victor Dubuisson of France, Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and Francesco Molinari of Italy–also received exemptions.

Earlier, Harold Varner III, who was 2012 Conference USA Golfer of the year while at East Carolina University, was granted the Northern Trust Open Exemption.

The Northern Trust Open Exemption provides an opportunity for a top golfer who represents the advancement of diversity in golf and wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to compete in the event.

Varner, 23, also has Tour status after finishing 32nd at Q-School.

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