Pacific Palisades, C A …
In interviewing Padraig Harrington after his super round of 67 he stood close to a black-and-white photograph mounted on the wall of the Riviera clubhouse of four-time Academy Award winning Katherine Hepburn.
Hepburn, who passed away in 2003 at age 96, was known more for her fierce independence and spirited personality and with Hollywood’s leading lady for more than 50 years not known as a golfer.
Hence her picture as Hepburn and many other Hollywood stars often graced the fairways of Riviera and venue for this week’s Genesis Open.
And in nearing the end of our conversation with Harrington his attention was drawn to the photograph of Hepburn and with the triple Major winner attracted straightaway not to Hepburn herself but her grip and takeaway.
“Some people would look at that picture of Katherine Hepburn and admire the woman, what she is wearing and what she accomplished in her career”, said Harrington.
“I look at the picture and admire her grip and her takeaway as it shows to me that this person really knows how to grip and hold a club.
“That’s a very impressive golf grip and she have been a pretty decent golfer in her time”.
Beside the photo of Hepburn is a collection of seven photographs of the most famous women to have graced the ‘silver screen’ – Ann Blythe, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, Great Garbo, Olivia DeHavilland and Mary Pickford.
And each has some connection with Riviera with Taylor, who was then aged 12 having trained for four month’s at the club’s riding school for her part in the 1944 production of ‘Black Beauty’.
Harrington had a brief glance and thought for a second the photo of Harlow was that of Marilyn Munroe.
“If you had of asked who this is (pointing to Harlow’s picture) I would have thought it was Marilyn Monroe as she very much looks like Marilyn Monroe”, he said.
The conversation then switched to a modern day Hollywood heart-throb in Matt Damon, and star of the new movie being released in the States on Friday – The Great Wall.
Harrington was very, very fortunate to have been invited as a guest to the world premier of the movie on Wednesday night at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
And having also starred in the main role of ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’ Damon and Harrington had a lot in common.
“I thought it was a great movie and Matt’s a great actor as we all know”, said Harrington.
“I met Matt at the after party and when you’re injured for four days and nothing to do, it was great seeing the movie and meeting him.
“We talked about China as he was there for five months. Of course, he also starred in Bagger Vance while he told me he’s got a house not far from here at Riviera.
“I didn’t realise last night it was that easy to just wander around so that was a real thrill to meet him”.