Northern Trust Open Preview and Picks
Riviera Country Club welcomes a very strong field this week with defending champion Steve Stricker looking to make it two in a row against the likes of crowd favorites Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.Â Riviera will host its 47th PGA Tour event so the course is no stranger to championship golf.Â The 7,279 yard, par-71 layout ranked 20th out of 52 courses in difficulty from 2010 and features some of the faster greens in the Tour rotation.Â The course seems to favor the shotmakers over the bombers based on recent results and youll likely see scoring in the mid to upper sixties by the leaders. Players need to take advantage of the par-5 first hole that plays as the easiest on the course because the par-4 finishing hole plays as the hardest and could put a damper on an otherwise solid round.
Steve Stricker +1200
Stricker notched a Tied for 4th and Tied for 9th in the two Hawaii events and decided that was good enough to deserve a vacation, so hell be making his first start since.Â The 2010 champ certainly has the shotmaking to excel here and his upper-tier putting game should handle the slick Riviera greens.Â This event has been kind to defending champs with Corey Pavin, Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson all earning titles in consecutive years.Â Getting 12/1 to one odds here is certainly a value pick
Hunter Mahan +2000
Mahan has two top-10s in his four starts and hes playing the kind of golf that will produce wins.Â He is 35th or better in total driving, greens hit and putting average which is good enough for 10th in the all around stat.Â You have to like his versatility at a course like Riviera and hes 16th in total birdies on the year so both his birdie looks and makes are trending well.
Betting on golf is a lot of fun when watching on TV.Â Be sure to log-on to sportsbook.com to place bets on this weeks tournament.Â There is always great value when studying how certain golfers perform on certain courses.
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