Yahoo Contest Preview- Northern Trust Open

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff February 16, 2015 21:22

The PGA Tour stays in California this week as it heads to Pacific Palisades and Riviera Country Club for the Northern Trust Open. Riviera Country Club measures 7,349 yards long, which is a hundred yards above the average course length on tour and is a Par 71. There are four par 3 holes and only three par 5s. The greens are bent grass, and the fairways are kikuyu grass.

Nine of the Top 25 players in the world will be playing in the Northern trust this weekend including defending champ Bubba Watson. The European players continue to trickle over to the PGA Tour and this week Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, and Victor Dubuisson lead the names.

Last year Bubba Watson won this tournament by shooting 64-64 on the weekend, going from four shots off the lead entering the final day to a two-shot victory. Bubba needed just six holes to make up the deficit, pushing in front with a birdie at No.8 on the way to a front-nine 30. He wound up going the final 39 holes without a bogey, turning in the lowest closing round by a winner in 28 years.

As always, we look at the statistic Strokes Gained, and if you check out the articles Do Statistics Really Matter in Fantasy Golf Part I and II, written by our own Jeff Bergerson you will see why. In addition, to Strokes Gained, we will look at greens in regulation and putting at Riviera CC as the greens are small and difficult to hit in regulation and some greens are sloping ones and very difficult to putt. There are several doglegs and a lot of trees, but the rough is not that thick so driving accuracy is important, but not critical. The long hitters only have an advantage if they can be accurate as well. Last year we saw that as Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, a couple of the longest hitters on tour took 1st and 2nd.

Let’s get to the plays-

A-List

 

Sergio Garcia & Bill Haas– Both of these guys have had good success at Riviera in the past, Sergio with seven of eight cuts made, a T13 in 2013 and 4th in 2012 and Haas with a win in 2012, a 3rd in 2013 and 23rd last year. Both are very good with their irons and when they catch fire putting, either can win the tournament.

A-List Others: Webb Simpson and Jim Furyk

 

B-List

 

Jimmy Walker & Jordan Spieth– What a stacked list, it makes it very difficult, but these two guys are our favorites this week. Jordan Spieth had good bounce-back at the AT&T Pebble Beach as he finished T4 after a disastrous missed cut the week before at the Farmers Insurance Open. Last year at the Northern Trust, Spieth finished 12th (his only other appearance he missed the cut in 2012). He is currently ranked 12th in strokes gained tee-to-green. We just really like Spieth’s game and think he is going to win more than one tournament this season, this could be one of them. Walker has started out strong again this season with a runner up in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a win at the Sony Open, and T7 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Last week he finished a disappointing, but palatable T21 at the AT&T Pebble Beach. Walker has played well at the Northern Trust in the past with a 20th last year, 16th in 2013, and 4th in 2012 and 2011. Walker is ranked 12th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 4th in total strokes gained, and 30th in greens in regulation.

B-List Others: Weisberger, Snedeker, Matsuyama & Johnson

 

C-List-

 

Charl Schwartzel & Robert Streb – Charl Schwartzel is one of the European guys who is making his first PGA appearance in 2015. Schwartzel has played extremely well in his two apearances at the North Trust Open with a 5th last year and a 3rd in 2013. His current form is not bad either although he did miss the cut in his last event played at the Qatar Masters. Before that he had a T9 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC and a runner up at the South African Open both in January. In his two events played on the PGA Tour in November he had a T19 at the CIMB and T64 at the WGC HSBC. Last season he made 15 cuts in 18 events including 5 Top 10s. We like him to continue with his success on this course. First let us say that Robert Streb is our guy. We have been on this guy since the fall and have featured him as one of our value picks for each tournament this season and each time he has made us money. He is 8 for 8 in made cuts this season with 6 Top 25s and 5 Top 10s and a win at the McGladrey Classic . Streb ranks 24th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 7th in Total Strokes Gained. He has only played in the Northern Trust Open once, in 2013 he missed the cut. He is right now one of the hottest and most consistent players on the PGA Tour.

C-List Others: Molinari (who we also really like this week) & Henley

 

Good luck to all of you this week, we hope you continue to be successful. Remember, be sure to let us know of your successes via email or Twitter. There may just be a t-shirt in it for you.

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff February 16, 2015 21:22

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