Northern Trust Open
Dates: February 16th19th, 2012
Course: RivieraCC Pacific Palisades, CA
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com
Bet the 2012 Northern Trust Open at the sportsbook with the best wagering odds, bar none: 5Dimes.
Week 7 of the PGA Tour schedule has the players making the jump from Pebble Beach to Riviera for the 2012 Northern Trust Open.Formerly the Los Angeles Open, this event has been associated with Riviera Country Club since 1941 and 2012 marks the 48thtime the course has hosted a PGA Tour stop.Aaron Baddeley will defend his 2011 title against a strong field that includes two-time Northern Trust champion Phil Mickelson and Euro PGA stars Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.This week marks the last chance for players to get in the top-64 in the Official World Rankings in order to be seeded in next weeks Accenture Match Play Championships.
Riviera CC is different from most of the courses that the players have seen so far this year.The 7,279 yard, par-71 layout played at the 10th hardest course of the 51 used in 2011 and much of the difficulty comes in the form of winding fairways and well placed bunkers.There is no water in play at Riviera but 60 sand traps force players to place drives in the fairways and execute precise approaches into the greens to get quality looks at birdie.The angles of the course require high level shot making and par is a good score on many holes.The final two holes should provide some drama on Sunday as the 17this a par-5 that should be an easy birdie but the par-4, 18thplays as one of the toughest holes on the course with two very good shots required just to hit the green.
In recent years, certain players have been able to figure something out about the course and have turned that into short runs of very good results.Mike Weir was able to win back to back in 2003 and 2004 and Adam Scott defended his 2005 crown by finishing second in 2006.Phil Mickelson was a runner-up in 2007 before winning in 2008 and 2009 while Steve Stricker went runner-up in 2009 before winning in 2010.One thing all those players had going for them was the ability to shape shots at will and hit fairways in the correct spots.Of course, the fast greens at Riviera will reward the players with a hot putter, both with birdie conversions and scrambling up and downs.
Each week we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think can win it all.We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook.Here are our picks to win the 2012 Northern Trust Open.
Short Favorite: Dustin Johnson (22 to 1 odds to win)
Normally,Johnson would scare you a bit with his below average fairways hit mark, but one of longest players on Tour has managed to get right up to that magical 60% of fairways hit and comes into the week 13thin total driving.Dustin did have a W/D in his first start, but does not have a missed cut in 2012 and is coming off a T5 last week.His birdie and scoring averages have been held back by struggles on the greens but if he solves that this week, he should be looking back at most of the field come Sunday.
Middle of the Road: Aaron Baddeley (30 to 1 odds to win)
Given the recent successes of defending champions, its worth a look at Badds and the value is actually pretty good for the previous years winner.Aaron has not missed a cut in any of his four starts and is coming off a solo 4that Pebble Beach.Baddeley is 11thin strokes-gained on the greens and 9thin total putting, helping him to the 12thbest total birdie count and a 22ndrank in par-breakers.
Longshot: Ryan Moore (66 to 1 odds to win)
Moore has been pretty average in 2012 with three made cuts in four starts and a T20 as his best finish but he did have a T4 last year at Riviera and has the game to make some noise this week.Ryan is 29thin fairways which will give him an advantage over the field and his birdie average is 5thentering the week, so he is cashing in at a good rate.Moore is first is birdie conversion percentage so is he just needs to eliminate a bogey or two to find himself in the hunt.
Head to Head Matches
*picks to win matches based on total score after all four rounds.Check with your favorite offshore bookie for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Hunter Mahan v. K.J. Choi (our pick to win: Choi)
Both players are traditionally among the best at hitting fairways and greens but Choi seems to be the type of player that has success at the hardest of venues.K.J. seems so comfortable at grinding out pars when others would get nervous that his mistakes are often minor and quickly moved on from.Choi has also made more birdies per 18 than Mahan this year so look for K.J. to get a win here.
Nick Watney v. Brandt Snedeker (our pick to win: Snedeker)
Watney cant be happy with his start to 2012 as too many missed fairways have left him out of real contention.Riviera will not be kind to Watney if he continues to struggle and Snedeker owns solid advantages in ball striking, birdies and scoring.Nick will get right and probably soon, but Brandt is the better pick this week.