Jerry West to lead Northern Trust Open. Phil Jackson removes his name from consideration for first-tee starter.

May 28, 2009

No truth to the rumor that Jerry West's first order of business as executive director of the Northern Trust Open is to draft someone who can play the low post.

Instead, West, arguably the most successful star athlete-turned-sports executive in history (not to mention the guy who was the model for the NBA logo -- beat that, Lebron!) will be attempting to restore some positive vibes to a tournament that last year was clouded by controversy.

"This is the beginning of something very special, for not only me, but more importantly, for the Northern Trust Open and the community of Los Angeles," West said in a release from the PGA Tour.  "My involvement with the Northern Trust Open is my way of giving back to the city that has given me so much.  For more than 40 years, I have taken all of the love that Los Angeles has offered me - this is my chance to do something for the community that has been so great to me.

"The Northern Trust Open is more than a golf tournament. It's an opportunity to bring all of LA together to make an impact on this great city, to grow the programs associated with the event - those that help children across the city and those that are so desperately needed, especially in these economic times. It's an honor to become a part of the Northern Trust Open and work to make this event the absolute best in the world."

-- Sam Weinman